I’m not one to write up big game previews and things like that, but I did want to pass along some random notes that I’m thinking about heading into Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. I could write a better intro to this, but why bother? Let’s just get on with it:
-The biggest question I have for the Eagles (and this game as a whole) is which offense shows up on Sunday. Specifically, which Michael Vick. For a pretty long stretch this season, he was playing the position of quarterback at a level that I’m not sure we’ve ever seen before from anyone else. Legs aside, he was throwing darts all over the field and not turning the ball over. Last couple weeks? Yeah, he hasn’t been the same. His legs have taken a beating and that’s affected everything for him, but mostly his accuracy. He should have had four balls picked against the Vikings. Hopefully, the rest does him some good, because a return to his earlier season form spells big time problems for the Packers. If the rest doesn’t help and he continues the scattershot passing and “make one read then run” mentality, I have to chalk this one up to Green Bay.
-LeSean McCoy is a big key to this game as well. Not just his ability to make explosive plays, but if they can get him going (run or short passes), it will go a long way towards keeping the ball out of Aaron Rodgers hands. I’m a big fan of just about anything that will yield that result.
-Oh boy, can the Eagles secondary cover these wide receivers? Dimitri Patterson has been horrific (other than when they blitzed him, but so what?) of late and I don’t trust him to cover Greg Jennings….at all. Green Bay will surely move their guys around to get the matchups they want, and those matchups are there for the taking. Their receiver are just far superior to the Eagles secondary, with the exception of Asante Samuel.
-Which leads me to the pass rush of the Eagles front four. If they can get to Rodgers consistently with the front four, the Eagles are in terrific shape. Remember the Packers also have quite a poor offensive line that can be taken advantage of. My money, however, is on the Eagles not getting the push from the front four and having to rely on the blitz. That’s scary to quite scary.
-Anyone else glad Jermichael Finley isn’t playing?
-Everyone is talking like the Packers are some kind of 49ers-in-the-80’s juggernaut. They aren’t. They have holes. They can be beaten. It’s not that they don’t run the ball, it’s that they can’t. That could be a big problem.
-Will the Eagles’ interior line be able to handle B.J. Raji? We all know what pressure up the middle does to an offense.
-It’s games like these where special teams can really bite a team in the butt. The Eagles like to start at their own 20-yard line off of kickoffs. That’s very poor. And coverage has been an issue this year, so other teams seem to be starting out at the 35 or 40. Can’t live like that. Too far to ask your offense to go every time (had same problem in Dallas last year. They kept starting at the 10 or so), and on the other side, you are handing an already out-manned defense a short field to defend. That’s a recipe for disaster.
-Keeping with special teams, these are the games when you are thrilled to have David Akers on your side. And I have not been thrilled with Sav Rocca lately. If he starts clanking short punts to put this Green Bay offense in business somewhere near midfield too often, it’s going to be a bad day. No one wants to think about punting until it’s horrific. Sav can’t afford too many bad ones on Sunday. And while we’re on that topic, I think serious competition needs to be brought in for him in the offseason.
-Clay Mathews already has me worried. The Eagles need to know where he is every time the line up. A.J. Hawk? Not so much.
-The Eagles have to keep penalties to a minimum. They are absolute killers and they have committed way too many dumb ones this year. I understand that you need to take a penalty sometimes. Hold a guy to protect a QB if you are beaten. Drag a receiver down if that’s the only other option besides him catching it for a TD. I get that. But some of this stupid stuff has got to stop. Also, err on the side of caution when touching QB’s or players near the sidelines. Don’t put the refs in position to make a bad call because this year they are all too happy to do so.
mathews will get doubled like we adjusted in the second half. vick – spot woodson before the snap.
the packers have a young and inexperienced defense, much like ours. capers > mcdermott
with that said, we have a slightly better oline and a more mobile qb
our team rested a week, reid had extra time to gameplan, and GB had to play all out last week
i repeat, lesean mccoy needs to get 18-25 touches, even if that means 10 catches and 10 carries
get him the ball and take advantage of that mismatch
if they switch woodson onto mccoy, game over. vick and our wrs will run wild
marty cant fall in love with deep routes, take the short/intermediate routes help the whole offense out
IMO – McCoy must have more than 15 carries. Ideally, no less than 10 in the first half.
i would hope so, but i realize our reluctance to run. as long as we feed mccoy…