WASHINGTON got tossed last week, and now it’s New York’s turn. This game, instead of being cute like last time, expect a brutal, grinding effort, from our no nonsense ground attack.
From a purely mathematical standpoint, the giants have yet be officially eliminated from the playoff picture. No matter. At 1:00 today, the Eagles will be walking Ol’ Yeller out to where the red fern grows. And that should be that.
Win or lose this week, our playoff chances will still be alive, likely with us on the outside looking in. However, an Eagles win combined with several things, could put us on the inside. If we win and go to 8 – 7, then with :
A Vikings loss to the Rams, MIN falls to 7 – 8, putting Philadelphia in the 7th seed.
That’s it. That’s all the help we need for now.
The point of Four Things isn’t to predict a winner, it’s to discuss which tactics will practically guarantee our Eagles this win. CAUTION: I don’t have the faintest clue as to what a point spread is, and I know even less about how it works. I know football and that’s IT. If you use FT as a gambling tool, you are trying to lose your money, and will deserve it when you do.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the giants:
1) Run Jordan for Miles: I said this the last time and we didn’t do it en route to a 7 – 13 loss. Look, the giants are a division rival. They’re wise to the Read Option, because we showed it last year under Pederson. Now they’ve seen it under Sirianni. Being cute won’t beat a division rival. Being a rival requires exploiting their faults, with your built-in advantages.
Last time, we faced this team, our rushing attack was spearheaded by QB Jalen Hurts and RB Boston Scott. Between them, they accounted for all 4 of our turnovers. Scott is a plucky guy, but he’s small and he wears down. No one wants to admit it, but our opponents know it.
Rotating RB Miles Sanders with RB Jordan Howard, is how you tire out a defensive front. That one-two, working of the body, allows Hurts to maximize his potential. We did it wrong the last time, and we couldn’t manage 10 points because of it. This isn’t rocket science.
2) Feature Devonta: Our coaches have spent weeks manufacturing passing yards, instead of saying “My guy can flat-out beat your guy”. We need to be able to push the ball down the field, to keep space open for the run game. That’s where WR Devonta Smith comes in. In the last game, we showed the giants that they don’t even have to cover WR Jalen Reagor. So we need an actual threat. Which we drafted Smith to be. Right?
It’s time to see if we have that, in Smith. If we do, then we just may have the QB/WR combo that we need for the future. If we don’t, then we may need to figure out which end of that QB/WR combo needs tweaking. This is the time of year, not September, when that test means the most.
3) Blow up the Center: giants QB Jake Fromm is making his first NFL start in this game. The strategy that most teams use on inexperienced QB’s, is to try forcing mistakes by blitzing the young fella. We can do better than that. We can rush the “A” gaps and take away Fromm’s ability to stand in, or climb the pocket.
Better still, inverting the pocket won’t allow Fromm to step into his throws. A first start, versus a Philly crowd, and suddenly he can’t even trust his own delivery? That has all the makings of a Pompeiian picnic for New York.
4) Be Active Pre-snap: Everybody knows, QB’s like to look at the alignment of the Secondary pre-snap. Just to get an idea of whether or not there is an easy throw to be made. “Are there any gimmies?” We should let Fromm get a look pre-snap, and then subtly shift the alignment once or twice on him.
The idea is to get him to second guess his placement on his passes. We want to feed him doubt on most downs, and punish his team when he’s confident on others.
If we do these Four Things,
We will walk away from this game above .500, and with our playoff hopes intact. No doubt.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 28 – giants 13
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.