Time To Pay The Bills

Posted: October 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 25 Comments »

That’s the cheesiest headline I could think of for this week’s Game Preview vs Buffalo.

This isn’t technically a must-win game, but it is what ever is a notch below that.  This is the biggest early October game the Eagles have played in a while.  Maybe a long while.  2-3 is worlds different from 1-4.  This is a game the Eagles desperately need to win.


The Bills have a slow front seven.  We’ve got speed all over the place.  That favors us in a major way.  This might be a week to run the ball.  I’m not talking about doing that for balance, but rather because it could lead to big plays.  Oakland and Cincy each ran for 171 yards vs BUF.  You can block them up front and then their LBs lack the speed to be good in pursuit.  Check out the leading tacklers for the Bills.

1 – LB Nick Barnett
2 – S George Wilson
3 – S Bryan Scott
4 – CB Leodis McKelvin

The next LB shows up at the 9th spot. This is a team you can run on.

The secondary is the strength of the team, but the problem is the lack of a pass rush.  The Bills have just 4 sacks.  QBs have time to find receivers.  I think we’ll throw deep on them.  This week that needs to mean TDs and not just big gains.

This is a game where we do need to score TDs.  Buffalo has a potent offense.  We gave up points to NYG and SF.  Buffalo is more explosive than both so we must score TDs.

While the Bills don’t have a strong set of pass rushers, we’ll have a new OL group playing together.  That could help them.  King Dunlap will be at LT.  Danny Watkins makes his NFL debut at RG.  Dunlap should be okay.  Shawne Merriman lacks the burst to be a force off the edge.  If the Bills play Arthur Moats more, that could change things.  He’s the guy that basically ended Brett Favre’s career last year.  Moats is a young guy, but he can run and hit.

Watkins will see a lot of Marcel Dareus.  That won’t be an easy matchup.  Dareus has moments where he looks like an impact player.  Other times he looks like a rookie.  Let’s hope the light fully goes on for him next week and not Sunday.

Andy and Marty will make sure that Dunlap and Watkins have help.  They know we must protect Vick.  Jason Kelce will have his hands full with Kyle Williams a lot of the time.  Williams has a non-stop motor and is a quick, aggressive player.  Kelce should matchup with him pretty well.  He won’t be physically overwhelmed.

I hope we see Clay Harbor more involved in the offense.  He had his best game last week, but didn’t play a ton since we were trying to attack the SF secondary.  This week we will try to attack the Buffalo LBs.  That should mean more PT for Harbor.  And maybe Celek will be a factor as well.

We’ll all have a close eye on the Red Zone offense.  There’s nothing to say.  Let’s just see what they do and hope the guys learned their lesson about the pulling OL and trick plays.  Also, NO TURNOVERS DOWN THERE!!!


We finally get to play a team with a spread offense.  This is what the Eagles defense was built for.  All 3 primary CBs will play a lot.  Joselio Hanson should play a lot.  I think we’ll do a solid job in coverage.  This is finally a matchup that works for us.

I know the pass defense has looked lousy at times.  We’ve struggled with TEs and RBs.  We’ve been burned by backup WRs.  This is finally a game where the opponent will put out 3 quality WRs and we can put a good CB on each one.  We can play a lot of man coverage and let the guys do their thing.  I’m not scared of Ryan Fitzpatrick or the Bills WRs.

RB Fred Jackson is another story.  The Bills will spread us out and then run.  That puts pressure on the LBs to get to the ball and tackle.  I’ve got some trust in Brian Rolle, but with Jamar Chaney I’m just hoping.  Jackson is 215 pounds (or more).  He isn’t easy to tackle.  You can’t go at him softly.  You better get to the right spot and attack him.  The Safeties need to help out as well.  Jarrad Page is frighteningly up and down.  Let’s hope his elevator gets stuck on a high floor this week.

Jackson is a factor in the passing game.  To handle our pass rush, the Bills will mix in screen passes.  We need to read them and chase.  Jackson also will line up out wide and in the slot.  He is a legit threat in these spots.  Chaney will likely cover him in these situations.  Jamar has the skills to be good in man coverage.  He’s struggled vs TEs, but out in space is a whole different situation.  I’m sure Buffalo will test him.  I sure would.

Our DL has an advantage on their OL, but Fitzpatrick negates that with his smarts and ability to move.  He’s not a great runner, but surprises people with how athletic he is.  He also sees the field well and gets the ball out quickly as much as he can.  We’ll get some hits on him and a sack or two, but Fitzpatrick is a tough QB to keep under pressure.

We’ll be without Trent Cole (hurts to write that), but Darryl Tapp will take his spot at RDE.  There is a possibility Juqua Parker will plays.  He’s on the mend, but we won’t know for sure until Sunday morning.  Having him would be huge.  We could actually rotate DEs.  I’m also excited to see what Derek Landri can do.  I’m trying to stay realistic and put my worship of him on hold, but that’s hard to do.  I’m thinking he finds a way to score a TD on offense, defense, and STs.  Then again, he may not want to show off.  I’ll settle for him being disruptive and getting into the backfield a couple of times.

The Bills are the best or 2nd best RZ offense in the league.  When they get down deep, they score TDs.  Any RZ stops we can come up with would be huge.


The Bills have an advantage, but neither team is great or overly weak in this area.  We do need to do a good job of covering Brad Smith on KOs.  He has big time ability.

Obviously we’ll all be watching Alex Henery closely.  He missed 2 FGs last week.  Is he able to leave them in the past or do they follow him and affect him this week?  Good kickers need a short memory.  Won’t bother me in the least if he doesn’t get a FG try and only spends Sunday kicking extra points.


* The Bills made major comebacks for wins in Weeks 2 and 3.  Getting a lead on them early doesn’t mean anything.  They dominate the 3rd Qtr, outscoring teams 35-13.

* We beat the Bills in 2007, 2003.  Lost to them quite a bit prior to that, usually in heartbreakers.

* Buffalo leads the league with 8 INTs.  We must protect the ball.  They are good in takeaways/giveaways.  We aren’t.  Could be a huge factor.


I feel like we’re going to see a very focused, angry Eagles team.  Not sure what to expect from Buffalo.  Are they humble after last week or did that loss destroy their confidence?  We’ll find out on Sunday.

A few people have commented that they could see us winning in a blowout.  I also think that’s possible.  Really depends on how well we do vs Fred Jackson on defense and how we protect the ball on offense.

25 Comments on “Time To Pay The Bills”

  1. 1 Zachary said at 5:59 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    To those who see us winning in a blowout – – – I think you are are nuts.

    Tommy commented that he thinks we’ll see a angry fired up Eagles team, in the past I might have agreed. Heck I 100% would have agreed, and would have left me with the conclusion above conclusion that I currently think is dead wrong.

    I just think this team lacks leadership. I don’t think these players have any pride in the jerseys they are wearing. These guys are doing a job, not playing football. I don’t think they’ll look at this week any differently. I hope I’m dead wrong, but I expect more of the same. Good moments mixed with terrible moments and a general lack of caring.

    PS – FIRST!!!!!

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 6:18 PM on October 7th, 2011:


    The Bills are beatable. No question. Unfortunate that Cole misses the first game of the year against a team w/ a weak O-line that throws a lot.

    It’s gonna all be on the defense.

    I’m wondering if you’ll weigh in at some point on Reid’s decision to have a rookie coach for the safeties (Zordich) and a rookie coach for the LBs (Caldwell).

    I know both have been around as quality-control guys. And Johnny Lynn’s around to help Zordich.

    But is it only a coincidence that the Eagles’ biggest D-problems are at positions coached by rookie coaches?

    Just wondering.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 7:07 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    That’s a fair question. I don’t really know if Mike Z or Mike C is a good coach. I hear certain things about coaches (Ted Daisher and Rory Segrest didn’t get good reviews), but I’m blank on these guys.

    Right now it doesn’t appear that the grouping of players and coaches is working. We’ll see if things start to click for the young guys. If they are making bonehead mistakes in another month, then we know something is wrong. At that point we’ll have to decide if it is coach or player.

  4. 4 Furt said at 8:12 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    After Juans offseason talk of simplifying the D, he comes out this week to defend Nnamdi by saying he made things too complex too soon. Whats up with that?

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 10:23 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    A coach earns a player’s trust and respect by defending him. Juan learned well from Reid. Saying “yeah, maybe he isn’t as good as we thought” would not help anything.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 6:32 PM on October 7th, 2011:


    A little off topic, what would do when Justice and Peters are fully healthy? Leave Todd at RT?

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 7:08 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    I’m inclined to leave Todd at RT and Mathis at LG. They’ve been solid.

    Justice says his knee is still sore. He could play, but how well? He doesn’t know the new blocking scheme well. I’d hate for him to be learning on the job.

  8. 8 Mac said at 7:31 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    I’m inclined to agree with Tommy.

    The Mudd way is to play your best 5 guys. I believe that Todd is a better fit than Justice especially in attitude. I would rather have Mathis out there and Justice because the impression I have is that Justice is mostly playing football for the money rather than for pride or love of the game.

  9. 9 Eric Weaver said at 7:27 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    With the Eagles playing a lot of weak offensive lines this year, I’m looking at Babin breaking the sack record. Yeah, you heard it here first! haha

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 8:42 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    Without Cole, Babin’s lost any shot — that is, unless Tapp/Hunt rush the passer like Cole.

    Right now, the Bills and Skins will scheme to stop Babin — and not have to worry about anyone else.

    No one could do that with Cole on the field.

    Hope you’re right, though. A

    And I hope, on his way to the QB on 3rd-and-7 this week, Babin grabs a RB w/ the ball.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 8:58 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    Slightly off-topic question about personnel:

    It is no secret that we went hard after Darren Sproles in the off-season. He’s been one of the most electrifying offensive weapons in the NFC through 4 weeks… my question is: had we acquired Sproles, would he be languishing in the same lack of touches and production as Ronnie Brown? Is it simply a case of New Orleans using him to perfection?

    It seems clear that Reid just doesn’t grasp the concept of a “power back,” so a lot of Brown’s potential in this offense seems for naught. I’ve found myself daydreaming of a McCoy/Sproles/Lewis backfield where we would just have 11 defenders chasing chickens all Sunday long.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 2:22 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    Reid has wanted a power back the past few years. I don’t know if he considers Brown a power back or not. The last time Reid used a bigger back wisely was the Thanksgiving beatdown of ARZ in ’08. Kyle Eckel had 10 or 12 carries in that game.

    I’d love to talk to Reid and get the real scoop from him on what the deal is.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 10:11 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    I’m not sure what we’ll get on Sunday from the Eagles. If we do see a focused, angry squad, then I’ll have hope we can eventually turn the season around, even if we have to wait another week.

    If we see the same old, same old — confusion, sloppiness, inconsistency, brain-scratching play — then it’s time to stick a fork in 2011, we’re done.

    I think rock bottom has been reached, and the time to check guts has arrived. The poop has hit the fan and sprayed all over the mythbusters. It’s the last train to Clarksdale and I’ll meet you at the station.

    If the Eagles don’t come out like their house is on fire and the guys on the other side are holding all the matches, then… well, then, I’ll still watch.

    But I’ll multi-task.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 10:28 PM on October 7th, 2011:

    Wow, that was metaphorific.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 12:30 AM on October 8th, 2011:

    Man, you are almost making me feel better about our chances. It does kind of seem like each season there is one game that the Eagles come out to make a statement, usually because of the game before where they really stunk it up.

    Still, the Bills have all the right poison pills to beat us and the Eagles just look dysfunctional to me.

    Upgrading my outlook to cautiously pessimistic.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 1:32 AM on October 8th, 2011:

    Whenever I hear the term “Time to pay the Bills” in relation to Buffalo, I’m reminded of a MNF game back in 91-92 where Christian Okoye and Barry Word went nuts on the Bills.

  17. 17 Jon Blank said at 3:19 AM on October 8th, 2011:

    Well that was an Eagles like chokejob by the phils.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 4:31 AM on October 8th, 2011:

    Is it disorienting that hardly more than a week ago we were hearing about gametime clutchiness (Lawlorism #47) and now, the clock striking 7:30AM, we’re talking about the time of season clutchiness? Our muses have all posted stellar numbers: Vick did WHAT last week?; Cutondime25 has how many yards?; how many times did they show Babin’s awful tattoos during the broadcast?; etc. It is no longer a mystery: individual performances do not win games. A group of talented players do not have to prove that they’re talented players. They have to prove that as a team they can win games. I’m optimistic because our players have something to prove (well, Nnamdi has something to prove). I’m optimistic because we aren’t supposed to be 1-3. I’m optimistic because we have talented players. I’m optimistic because we’ve played from ahead for the past few games. And that’s obviously gotten us nowhere. It’s time to play from behind. And as a Philly fan, honestly, this is where I feel most at home.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 6:59 AM on October 8th, 2011:

    * The Bills made major comebacks for wins in Weeks 2 and 3. Getting a lead on them early doesn’t mean anything. They dominate the 3rd Qtr, outscoring teams 35-13.

    Is there anyway we could steal the resilience when they are not looking, because as teams go, we are the polar opposite of the Bills at this moment.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 2:23 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    I’ve got some old high school buddies that were good thieves. I’ll see if they can help us out.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 12:16 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    Someone tell Andy/Juan that FitzPatrick went to Hahvahd and outsmarting him is maybe a strategy that we take out of the playbook for this week.

    In all seriousness though, Tommy, your point about no trick plays in the RZ I think is pretty crucial. I think if we win this game, it’ll be because we didn’t try a halfback pass option in the RZ and we didn’t try to put the team on the back of Owen Schmitt.

    And hopefully we see that VY package in the RZ, with JamJax at center. I can’t wait to see what damage that could do. Was Vince a decent RZ QB at Tennessee?

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 1:37 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    With how we are getting outplayed in the second half each week, what do you think of the idea of saving a few of the changes they installed this week for the second half? Juan picks his three favorite plays and marks them as off limits until the half. It might weaken us a bit in the first half, but it should be almost as good as a defensive adjustment for the second half.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 2:24 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    That’s not a bad idea. Part of coaching is to know when to mix in your special ideas/packages.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 2:42 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    I love the fall, look forward to it every year. If the Eagles lose sunday, they may take the heart right out of it. The Phillies kept me going through this horrible 1-3 start, now it seems like it’s down to the next 2 weeks to keep any hopes alive for the rest of this year. What the hell am I going to do with nothing to look forward to these coming months? Focusing on the friggin draft and spring training? F*ckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
    We better be 3-3 at the bye.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 2:46 PM on October 8th, 2011:

    RIP Al Davis…