SUNDAY 1:00 Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
SINCE the giants are off this week, a win by us and a Redskin loss puts us in 1st place in the NFC East. So we’re still talking playoffs around here; and as long as QB Sam Bradford isn’t around to hold us back anymore, we may actually have a shot at qualifying for them.
The pass rush is back and we don’t allow a lot of points, but the fatigue factor is clearly catching up to us. Last week we had no business allowing the Dolphins to come back from a 16 – 3 deficit, but that’s what happens when fatigue sets in. When you dig down to find a little more to keep going, you find that the well has run dry. The Defense is playing way too many minutes- (sorry Chip) too many snaps out there, and it’s starting to show up (for the third year in a row) on the opponents score boards.
Same system, new sheriff. QB Mark Sanchez doesn’t have as talented an arm as Bradford, but he has more mobility, more of a “push the ball” mentality, and is more of a vocal leader. Sanchez isn’t likely to give you a 4 TD performance, (more like 2 TD’s and 2 Ints), but with him you’ll move the ball and 3rd down will likely stop being a point of ruin. That will allow the Defense to get more rest than they’ve managed so far in games this year. Especially early in games.
As long as the Eagles are willing to stay in RB DeMarco Murray‘s wheelhouse and run mostly between the Tackles or tosses, he’ll be productive. If they keep running him on sweeps and stretches, we’re gonna miss RB Ryan Mathews. Be nice to see Darren Sproles get a couple of those actually.
What would really be nice is to see a WR not named Jordan Matthews catch 4 or 5 balls this week. Not 4 or 5 catches by the WR’s, but one guy (I’m looking at YOU Nelson Agholor!) catching 4 or 5. That would be sweet.
This group can get after the QB with different players and even scarier, their two best pass rushers are defensive lineman led by DE Jacquies Smith and DT Gerald McCoy. That means those aren’t scheme sacks, they’re “defeated the blocker” sacks. Those sacks contribute to a league leading 14 FF (Forced Fumbles). They allow a ton of points (26th in the NFL allowing 26.3 per game) but they’re a stingy bunch when it comes to giving up yards (7th place, at only 334.2 per game).
If they have a weakness to exploit it’s that they’re a very “quick” front seven. Quick in this case is code for small. S-M-all. Seriously, their MLB is 227 pounds, and they have a 238 pound back-up DE (Howard Jones, 3.0 sacks so far). If a team committed to a power run concept, they’d have the Bucs gassed by the half, open mouth huffing for air by the end of the 3rd, and by the mid 4th quarter, they’d be trying not to flinch (pre-snap) from the coughing fits that result from gagging on spit when you gulp air too fast.
This is a game for “Big people beat up little people.”
This is a uhhhhhh…..Let’s call the Bucs a work in progress. This team can run the ball, but they still have a rookie at QB in Jameis Winston. His performances are still all over the map, but that’s not all on him. From what I see it has a lot to do with the one-dimensionality of the passing game. His top two WR’s are big physical guys who’s game is largely devoid of fine-point craftwork. As a result they’re an easy read for defenses and it makes the QB look worse than he is.
Stopping them won’t be hard since most of their problems are built into their own concepts.
I will always have a sore spot in my heart for Tampa for the way they bragged “We tore down the Vet” (I couldn’t find the video anymore, just that reference). It was the NFC Championship game where Joe Jurevicius scarred Levon Kirkland for life on a crossing route that Kirkland shouldn’t have been covering in the first place.
Needless to say I harbor an ocean of personal animosity for this team because of that, and so a loss to that logo is unthinkable for me. This is only intensified by the fact that they suck right now. We can’t lose to these hapless bastards. And now that we have a QB, we won’t have to.
EAGLES 28 – 13