LAST week we hung 40 points on a defense that was Top 5 in points allowed, and put 242 rushing yards on a unit that was Top 5 vs the run. This week’s opponent comes in ranked 23rd vs the run. So we all know what’s about to happen with that…
A win gets us to 6 – 6 (.500). Once that business is taken care of, only THEN we can start talking about qualifying for the playoffs and such. Right now our record doesn’t qualify us to start talking about the season as if it’s already a success. Wild Card seeding talk is premature.
A loss sees us fall to 5 – 7, but technically still alive for a playoff spot. So even with a loss, there will be no talk of tanking. Right now our record doesn’t qualify us to start talking about the season as if it’s already a failure. Draft position talk is premature.
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) Make the Passer Rush: LB Davion Taylor is on IR. If he wasn’t, I’d say use him for this. Since we don’t have access to him, we should use LB Alex Singleton. Put him on strong-side blitzes of QB Daniel Jones, on 2nd and long, 3rd and long situations. Jones likes to run, but he shouldn’t be able to outrun Singleton.
Bring MLB T.J. Edwards on “A” gap blitzes, on 1st down, sometimes. The idea is to make Jones very uncomfortable, and encourage him to get the ball out of his hands as fast as he can. A rushed pass, coming out vs Press Coverage, looks like six to CB Darius Slay.
2) Go Deep Off of Play-action: QB Jalen Hurts hasn’t seen 200 yards passing in any of the last four games, since we’ve rediscovered the run. So the giants may have it in their heads, that they can play 8, even 9 man fronts, to take away the run. We need to kill that idea before it breeds throughout the league.
Hurts needs to use play-action, and rifle the ball at least 30 yards in the air, sometime in the first quarter. Preferably on the first drive. Complete, incomplete, intercepted. If any of them happen on the first drive, off of a long pass, any of those results do the job we need done.
The point of the pass, isn’t the pass itself. It’s to tell the giants DB’s “You’d better stay the fuck back, or we will murrr – derrr you!” A few deep shots will maintain room for our running game. At that point our Offense can operate from a point of stability, and we can be who we are. (Bonus Points for completing an early shot of 40 yards or more, to WR Quez Watkins.)
3) Play Man Press: Usually the point here, is to make the QB go to his second and third reads. With Jones it’s more about his accuracy. He’s going to throw a few questionable balls in this game. He does in every game. If our guys stay close to the receiver, they have a better chance of picking off a pass. Or three.
4) Running Miles from Boston: This week we’ll be without RB Jordan Howard and his tough inside running. That however, doesn’t mean we can’t run inside. While RB Miles Sanders isn’t the fall forward, bulldozer type that Howard is, Sanders does break arm tackles, and he runs through contact.
RB’s Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell, on the other hand, don’t run through much contact or break tackles reliably. For that reason, the run game shouldn’t be an even split this week. We should feature Sanders/Scott on a 20 to 10 carry basis. Gainwell can be sprinkled in, but it would be great to see him get some work in the Slot.
If we do these Four Things,
We just need to stick to the script. The giants just fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and replaced him with Freddie Kitchens. So naturally the knee-jerk reaction is to comb through old film of Kitchens, to see how he calls games vs how Garrett calls games. Right? Nope. Don’t do that.
Just like we only had a week to prepare for the giants, the giants also had just a week to prepare for us. We know who we are, and what we’re building on. The giants are trying not to be who they were a week ago. The guy now responsible for that, has had his daily routine totally torn up, and he has to reinvent his team. On the fly.
The thing is, his new job doesn’t make a single player a fiercer blocker, a faster runner, or a higher jumper. It’s too late to draw up a new play-book, so they’re going to run the same stuff. The pre-snap keys will look the same. The spacing will look the same. The core concepts are going to come from their head coach. So the giants offense is still the giants offense.
Stick to the script. Don’t get cute. Do what we do, how we do it. Don’t get to a point where we’re second guessing ourselves, over a guy trying to find out who he is now.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 28 – giants 17
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.