STILL atop the NFL! Despite last week’s loss to Washington. We did some things last week that are uncharacteristic for us. We barely ran the ball. We turned the ball over four times (two real, one bullshit, one on the game’s final desperation play). Even still, up until that last play, we were only down five points.
Now because Washington ran the ball a lot and controlled the clock, rumor is, this is the blueprint for how to beat us. So expect the Colts to try to copycat. Of course, the operative word in that sentence, is “try”.
Last time I checked, we still had LT Jordan Mailata. We still had LG Landon Dickerson. We still had Hall of Fame C Jason Kelce. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t RT Lane Johnson still play here? I get the feeling, that they’re going to want to impose their will on an undersized Colts defensive line. Like I said… Just a feeling.
A win here, and the Eagles are guaranteed to finish above .500, and will still have a strangle hold on the NFC East. Also, we’ll still sit at the head of the table in the conference. Especially if Minnesota loses to the Cowboys. (That game works for us regardless of how it goes.)
A loss here, and the Eagles still are at the top of the division. Even when the giants beat Detroit. Coupled with a Minnesota win, we’d lose the NFC’s top spot, but if we lost, then we’d sort of need a Cowboys loss more, to keep a tighter grip on the East.
Both us and Minny losing keeps us in the NFC’s top spot, but the Cowboys would inch closer to us and the giants.
The point of Four Things isn’t to predict a winner, it’s to discuss which tactics would give our Eagles the best chance to win this game. So here are the Four Things that we need to focus on this week, versus the: Colts
1) Run the ball: If only for the sake of letting our Defense get a breather. We brought in reinforcements for DT Fletcher Cox, but DT’s Linval Joseph and Ndamokung Suh are coming off their couches. (Maybe off-the-couch players, is how you beat an off-the-couch coach? Perhaps there’s some wisdom couched in that there somewhere? I’ll stop. I’ll stop. C-OUCH! Banged my knee.)
Seriously though, the Colts also have an undersized front seven. They have LB’s who can fly around and make stops, but they don’t generate many big plays. We hardly touched our run game last week, so our big fellas must be hungry for some contact. It’s time we let them impose their will, and show the NFL that the KING, still lives.
2) Drop ‘em!: Enough with this holding the ball-carrier up, to swipe at the ball, bullshit. Just make the gall-dang tackle! Just get the guy on the ground!! There is no reason to let a RB churn a 2 yard gain, into a 5 yard gain. There even less reason to let it happen consistently. It makes 3rd down almost impossible to win.
3) Open Up the Passing Game: In nine starts this season, WR Devonta Smith has averaged double digits per reception in just three of them. In nine games (three starts), WR Quez Watkins has seen all of 17 attempts in his direction. His shock at getting his hands on a ball, and his over-eagerness to make a play was evident in him trying to do too much, and fumbling.
With TE Dallas Goedert on I.R., this Offense will need another home run hitter, who can threaten a defense, and open things up inside for the run game. We can’t keep making WR A.J. Brown the only deep threat in town.
4) Get Heat On Matty Ice: Before he was benched in favor of a rookie, QB Matt Ryan was already out there seeing ghosts. So we need to hit him early, even if it’s late. By which I mean, be willing to draw a couple of flags, just to rattle him. We need to get him off his game early.
Ryan has never been the most athletic QB, and his arm isn’t what it used to be. He is still in this game at his age, because of all the mental parts of his game. Take that away from him, early. The rookie they had replace him, looked bad with a week of practice. If for any reason Ryan has to come out of the game, that rookie will have less prep time. Or maybe we’ll get to see third string QB Nick Foles.
If the Eagles do these Four Things, then we’ll be virtually impossible to beat. That being said…
We go eight games with no losses and the NFL barely notices us. We lose one game (and make no mistake, Washington didn’t win it, we lost it), and suddenly people are picking the Colts to beat us.
The disrespect is real!
No matter. The Eagles have a point to prove this week. They didn’t last week and came out flat. Actually if we’re keeping it Wilt,
the Eagles have started flat for a couple of games now. Last week’s loss was just the kick in the pride, that this group of grown men needed. Hell, it got General Manager Howie Roseman to flex his phone call muscle, and Owner Jeff Lurie to flex his check writing muscle.
Don’t expect flatness to follow moves like that.
Prediction: EAGLES 25 – Colts 16
WARNING: 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 Four Things as a gambling tool, you are trying to lose your money, and will deserve it when you do.
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how this game went.