Are you ready to go? I’m fired up. Big time opportunity tonight for the Eagles to right the ship and get a big win.
If you prefer to hear my genius, Jimmy Bama and I did a game preview show. The first 20 mins are us discussing the other NFC East losses from yesterday’s glorious NFL action.
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So what are some keys to tonight’s game?
We must score points. Simple as that. The Saints average 27 points a game. If we have a great game, we’ll hold them to 20. That means we need a minimum of 3 TDs (or a crapload of FGs). I know we’re 28th in scoring. I know the offense has struggled. We also haven’t faced the Saints defense, which is the single worst unit in the entire NFL.
We need a minimum of 5 stops. Doesn’t matter if they come in the form of 3rd defense leading to punts, 4th down defense giving us the ball, or takeaways. We need 5 Saints drives that don’t end in points.
We need to make plays. When the ball is in the air, we need to catch it (on offense or defense). When receivers are open, Vick must get it to them. When rushers get free, they must hit Brees. When skill players get the ball in space, they must maximize those gains. When the ball is on the ground, an Eagle needs to recover it (on offense or defense). This year has been filled with “almosts” and close calls. We need those to now start becoming big plays.
OL must block well. The Saints really struggle in coverage. The receivers need time to get open. Vick needs time to get them the ball. If the line can do just a solid job, the offense should put up 27 or 28 points and deliver some big plays.
D must tackle well. The Saints don’t have the fastest skill players in the world with Darren Sproles hurt and Robert Meachem playing for the Chargers. They are still very talented and Brees knows how to get his guys the ball. We’ll give up 10 yards here and there. Maybe 15 or 20. The key is not to give up the huge plays. Make them work the ball down the field. Brees is only completing 59.7 percent of his passes this year. The Saints aren’t sustaining drives like they did in the past.
Don’t be afraid of ghosts. The Saints are 2-5. They needed a 4th quarter comeback to beat the Chargers and then beat the Bucs in a shootout. The 1-win Chiefs got their only win…in New Orleans. The 2-win Panthers got their first win…vs New Orleans. The Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009. They went 11-5 and 13-3 after that. This isn’t the same team. Sean Payton isn’t coaching this year. Steve Spagnuolo is the new DC. LG Carl Nicks is gone. So is Meachem. So is their mojo. The Saints still have plenty of talent, but don’t lose to the ghost of teams past. The current Saints are 2-5 for a reason. They aren’t good. Talented – yes. Dangerous – yes. Good? No.
I will get worried if the Eagles don’t score in the 1st quarter. I will be very worried if the Eagles have 3 or 6 points at halftime. We must score points.
If Vick and the offense don’t get going tonight, we might see changes. This is the game where there are no excuses. Crappy opponent. Playing in a dome. No worries about altitude or anything like that. Produce or else.
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Not sure if Nate Allen will play. His presence would be a huge help. If his hamstring isn’t good, David Sims will start in his place. I’d love to think that Sims can be the next Bob Sanders, but he also could turn out to be the next Bob Denver. Let’s hope Nate is ready.