LET’S clear the air. Last week wasn’t a sprint. It was Week 3 of a 17 week marathon. It wasn’t winner take all. It was part 1 of 2. Don’t get the story tangled. The Eagles aren’t done with the NFC East. Not by a damned sight.
This week we get the 1 – 2 Kansas City Chiefs, in our house. We have a Top 10 Defense being 10th in points allowed, and 7th in yards allowed. We’re going against a team that hemorrhages both points (32nd ) and yards (30th ). So this game IS winnable. Especially if RB Miles Sanders is allowed to play.
At the moment we’re in third place in the NFC East. A win gets us to 2 – 2 and keeps us very much in the running for the division. Especially if our rivals have a tough week. A loss would drop us to 1 – 3. While there would be plenty of time to make it up, playing catch-up is never a good thing.
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 Chiefs:
1) The back Seven: We have to use our Linebackers more aggressively and creatively. Allowing the opposing blocking scheme to dictate the action, too often takes our LB’s out of plays, and makes it seem like we’re playing 8 vs 11. Let’s see some blitzing out of OLB Eric Wilson.
We also need our CB’s to play more man press. Giving up big cushions, leads to quick throws with zero pressure. It’s how we gave up a completion percentage of 80.5 last week, and 73.3 the week before.
2) Run the ball: ATLANTA – We handed the ball off 24 times, and won in a blowout. SAN FRAN – We handed the ball off 19 times, and lost a close one. DALLAS – We handed the ball off just 3 times, and got our O-rings blown out.
There exists an obvious pattern here, dear friends
Running the ball will keep the clock running, and the ball out of the hands of the Chief’s offense. That means our Defense gets a chance to rest. Nothing good comes from a gassed defense. We need 24 or more hand offs this week, with 18 or more going to Sanders.
3) Ends Gotta Sweat Mahomes: DE’s Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett have to show up this week. Not only do they need to get pressure on the QB, but they have to do a better job of setting the edge vs the run. Run the OT up the field, and either force the RB to cut back inside, or run back and around the block in the backfield. The Ends needn’t make every tackle, just cause them.
4) Throw the ball deep: The deep ball needs to be used to keep a defense honest. Early in this game, there needs to be a pass where the ball is in the air for 20 yards or more. We can’t run the underneath stuff, if opposing CB’s don’t even back pedal. You’d think a former WR would know that…
WR Devonta Smith needs to see at least two deep shots. Right now it seems that we spent a high draft pick, just to turn a talented kid into Josh Huff. We need to put the pressure on Smith to deliver, and not treat him like his confidence is delicate. Competitors, remember? Paper, rock, scissors?
If we do these Four Things,
At home? In front of our crowd? If we do these things, a win is in the bag. Scoring on the Chief is a given. If we can’t get laid in that whorehouse, we need to fire the coach before his post-game presser. Scoring is the easy part.
The hard part will be making sure they don’t score when they have the ball. Eating up the clock could act as a brake on the number of opportunities they see, but that means little if they can cash in those opportunities. Sadly, I think this is where we run into a problem, because Andy Reid is just a flat out better coach than Nick Sirianni.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 24 – Chiefs 30
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.