Friday, September 18, 2009

Talking Eagles - Eagles vs. Saints Concerns

So here are my main concerns for the Birds Sunday...

1. Starting QB - word from the Eagles is that Donovan is doing all that he can this week to play on Sunday - certainly not a surprise - Donny is as tough as they come. So..would Donovan playing on Sunday be a good thing? It could go a few ways here...

-As a wanna-be smart fan, I want to say "No" - Donovan needs to rest his ribs this week and let the defense try to win this game (bc we know Kolb won't win it)..then..hope that our team wins a "should win" versus the Chiefs without Donny which allows him an additional week during the BYE to rest and return for the Bucs game - healthy and ready to fire away. Depending on this weekend's performance by Kolb, next weekend could allow time for Garcia to know/remember the offense and Michael Vick to be fully up to speed for his anticipated return Week 3. I hate saying this....but..we cannot leave out the long stretch that Kevin Kolb actually plays half decent this week. Long Stretch.

-As an idiot want-to-win-now fan, I want to say allowing Donny to return is OK.. almost in the same respect that I wrote about why we should sit him. If we can get Donny through this game without making his injury worse, we can then rest/or not rest him the next two weeks depending on how he's feeling. We may be able to squeeze just enough out of him to get a win over the Saints. Obviously, This theory really depends on how our offensive line looks this week during practice (OL - to be discussed later). P.S. this theory is for argument sake!

-One way or another, Kolb is penciled in to be the starter and debating what will or will not happen is irrelevant. Fingers crossed...I'm praying - seriously.

2. Pressure from the Linebackers & D-line - Drew Brees...dude is an animal. 6-feet tall with spikes and a helmet on, and he still threw for 5,069 yards and 34 TD's last year - he led the league by over 500 yards passing last year. Ohh and by the way... last week he threw for 358 yards and 6 TD's with a passer rating of 137! Plainly stated, Brees is top 3, if not the best, QB in the game and we need to hit him, sack him, intercept him, but most importantly, put pressure on him ALL game. This is why my concern surrounds our defensive pressure on Brees..

-I will start by saying, last week's defense looked great - 5 int's, 5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 fumble return for a TD. Victor Abiamiri finally looked healthy/strong and I was really excited about this, but news came out today that he did not practice because of a pulled groin and is listed as questionable. Trent Cole and Mike Patterson looked dominant as always and Darren Howard played exceptionally well - 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble. The linebackers are a question, simply because of their inexperience and constant change throughout spring training. Last week, they played better than I had anticipated, but Jake Delhomme is certainly not Drew Brees and Delhomme looked the worst of all starting QB's last week.

-If the D-line can effectively open the lanes for the linebackers to fire then we stand a great chance at dramatically disrupting the Saint's flow of distribution to their many offensive weapons (Devery Henderson, Marques Colston, Reggie Bush, Mike Bell, Jeremy Shockey). As always, this pressure changes Brees' timing and speeds up all decisions and throws - exactly what we need with arguably the best DB's in the game. I would imagine that the Eagle's blitz will be turned up a notch this week from the linebackers, while keeping a constant eye on Jeremy Shockey for the short dump off (he played well last week with 2 TD's - I hate Shockey). Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown have struggled against tall receivers in the past (Plaxico!) and Colston's frame is fitting the mold - should be an interesting match-up for them.

3. Eagles Running Attack - So apparently Donny broke a rib and Kevin Kolb is probably going to start? Ohh Ok..that's fine, he can pass. HAHA SIKE. Dude is terrible! I wouldn't trust Kevin Kolb throwing a baseball into the Delaware River from a Penn's Landing pier, let alone throwing a real football in a real NFL game! Because of this, our running game must be on point this weekend. We will need to run the ball from all different sets and with as many different players as we can. Obviously, the Saints are looking for this and will be keeping their linebackers up on the line more than usual. I don't really care - we need to run BWest, Shady, DeSean and Weaver as much as possible. If we can mix them up with the occasional short pass we may be able to keep the Saint's defense off balance. Kolb better not throw the deep ball - especially if Darren Sharper is in coverage (2 int's last week).

4. Offensive Line - Since all sources seem to be saying Kolb will be the starter, this offensive line play is incredibly important. Winston Justice must play as well as he did last weekend because the test did not end with Julius Peppers. Stacy Andrews is in a three man rotation with Nick Cole and Max Gean-Gilles - understandable with the injury history that Andrews has had in the past year. Regardless, a three man rotation will not help the continuity of a line which has barely practiced together. I am concerned to a high degree about this offensive line. The Birds really need great protection for Kolb and also really need to open the gaps for Westbrook and McCoy to create an effective running game.

Conclusion: I am nervous about this game, which says a lot. I am almost never nervous about the Eagles, but this game will be a tough game for the Birds to win. I think that McDermott will have a prepared defense, much like last week. The offense on the other hand is a tough call. If we can get a run game going then we stand a chance. If we have to pass a lot then we will not win this game. I trust Andy and Marty to figure this out. The game will be closer than people think (although the line is only -1 Eagles). I really feel that the Eagles should lose this game, but I am going to say that the Birds somehow pull this one out 30-27...maybe a game winner by Akers??


No comments:

Post a Comment