Is everyone fired up for the Dallas game on Sunday? 1st place in the NFC East is on the line. I can say without hyperbole that this is easily the biggest game in the history of the Eagles franchise.
I don’t have a good feel for the game. I was somewhat confident the last 2 weeks. Dallas is better than the Giants or Bucs, but I certainly don’t fear the Cowboys. They’re as flawed as they are talented.
I just got done watching a show at Cowboys.com. I found this surprisingly entertaining. They openly question DeMarco Murray’s toughness. They rip on Miles Austin and talk about the fact he’s as good as gone next year. 3 of the 4 predicted that the Cowboys would win in a blowout. One gave the score of 35-18. That’s not awesome analysis. One guy predicted the Eagles to win. He actually offered some intelligent thoughts on the game. His focus is the Cowboys defense going against LeSean McCoy. He also thought that Dallas being one-dimensional would lead to a turnover or two. The 3 who expect the big Dallas win all thought backup RB Joseph Randle would have a good game. Randle has 11 carries for 17 yards so far this year. Of course, going against the Eagles defense can help a player have a breakout game.
There was no discussion of the Chip Kelly-Monte Kiffin angle. I feel confident the Eagles will move the ball and score points, because of that and the Eagles personnel. Stopping Romo is the huge question. I just don’t know if the Eagles can win a shootout.
There is a part of me that wonders if this could be one of those odd games where all signs point to a shootout and then for some reason the game is actually a defensive struggle. Division games have a way of bringing out the best/worst in teams. You never know what is going to happen in an division game.
Here’s an interesting fact for you…Tony Romo has never won in Philly in consecutive years. He won in 2007, 2009 and 2012. He lost in 2008 and 2011. Didn’t play the 2010 game. That was a backup. Since Romo won last year that doesn’t bode well for Sunday.
Then again, the Eagles haven’t won in Philly in 13 months. The last win came last year against the Giants, when Andy almost gave the game to the Giants by calling a timeout. Andy wanted to free the kicker, but he missed the kick that Andy called the timeout on. Luckily, the kicker also missed the next attempt. Since then…
DET 26 , PHI 23
ATL 30 , PHI 17
DAL 38 , PHI 23
CAR 30 , PHI 22
CIN 34 , PHI 13
WAS 27 , PHI 20
SD 33 , PHI 30
KC 26 , PHI 16
Is that depressing or what?
I really want the Eagles to get the win and end this annoying losing streak at The Linc. The foundation for being a good team is winning at home. It might help to hold someone to less than 26 points. That’s the common denominator in the streak…terrible defense. And things aren’t getting any easier. Going against Romo, Bryant, Witten and company will be quite a challenge.
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Nick Foles will be the QB. Mike Vick announced he’ll be out, even though the Eagles like to make it sound like he could still play.
I’ll write more about Foles vs the Cowboys tonight or early Saturday. Jimmy Bama wrote a piece on the question of which Eagles QB is a better matchup in the Dallas game.
I do agree that scoring TDs should be a premium in this game. Dallas is 2nd in the NFL in points per game. They put the ball in the endzone. The Eagles must be able to execute in the Red Zone to have a shot in this game. My first preference is to fee Shady and let him run on Dallas in the RZ. If Dallas stops that, the Eagles must be able to throw for TDs. Foles is hot in the RZ so far this year. Keep your fingers crossed on that.
The guys on the Cowboys.com show said that most Dallas defenders preferred facing Foles. The fear of chasing Vick around is what made most players want Foles. They know he’ll be in the pocket so that makes defending him easier. I get that mentality.
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If the Eagles are going to win on Sunday, the DL needs to have a big game. Fletcher Cox was terrific last week and that wasn’t lost on the guys at MMQB.com. They wrote a good piece on DL and pressures. Cox was the initial focus of this week’s piece. They had Cox as 2nd in the NFL in pressure points among interior pass rushers last week.
The bad news is that Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher is 1st. He is a very disruptive interior rusher. Hatcher is quick and athletic. He’s been a great fit in Kiffin’s scheme and is having a terrific season.
MMQB has the Eagles OL as allowing the 3rd most pressures in the league. I can see this. KC dominated the line in that game and that has to have a big impact on the season stats. Tampa got a lot of pressure last week, although that was due to blitzing. The SD and NYG’s games featured very good protection. The OL has been shaky this year, but they seem to be playing better.
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How do you guys feel about this game? Confident? Nervous?