Game Preview – WAS at PHI

Posted: November 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 27 Comments »

Sunday is one of those games that doesn’t have a distinct feel to it. The Eagles are the better team, but not to the extent that they can walk on the field and just know they are going to win. As a reader pointed out yesterday, strange things seem to happen when the Eagles play the Skins.

You can go back to the old days with the Body Bag Game or the crazy comeback in 1989. In 2010 there was the Starship 7 game. Kurt Coleman once had 3 INTs in a game vs the Skins. Last year Shady got knocked out of the game on a meaningless carry late in the game. Heck, just think about how wild the season opener was back in September. Always a crazy series.

I wrote my preview for PE.com.

The Eagles played in a similar game when Dallas came to town last month. The Eagles didn’t handle that well, especially Foles. Kelly didn’t go nuts. He stayed the course and now the team is playing good football. We’ll see if that continues on Sunday.

There will be lots of talk on the home losing streak. I wrote a few thoughts on that. Seems to me that a lot of the streak is circumstances (mainly the Eagles being so awful in 2012).

Do not panic if the Eagles get down in the game. The Skins have had at least a 10-point lead in the last 3 games. They went 1-2, with the only win being an OT victory over the Chargers. And the Skins probably should have lost that game.

You would think an offense like theirs would be ideal for playing with the lead, but for some reason they don’t do that well.

The Skins started 3-6 last year before running the table and winning the division. They are 3-6 now, but I sure don’t sense a big run coming out of this team. Honestly, they remind me of the 2012 Eagles. The Skins have 3 ugly wins. This group could easily be 1-8 or 0-9. They can’t hold a lead.

One thing that sticks out is that the Skins don’t seem very smart or disciplined on defense. They have a veteran staff and some veteran players, but you see a lot of plays where all you can do is scratch your head. That certainly brings up feelings of last year’s Eagles.

Nick would be wise to use his pump fakes, shoulder rolls and eye movement to get the defense out of position even more.

Something stood out to me as I looked at the rushing numbers. All the talk was about how the numbers took a major dive when Vick went out. Look beyond that.

The Eagles have played 4 teams that run the 3-4 defense (WAS, SD, KC and GB). The Eagles ran for 263, 100, 264 and 204 yards. I don’t doubt that Vick made a difference in the run game. We all know what a great threat and a great runner he can be. But it could be that the 3-4 defense is more vulnerable to the Eagles attack this year. Shady has posted big numbers against 3-4 defenses this year no matter who the QB was. Sunday will be a good test for that. The Skins have played good run D in recent weeks.

Feels good to be excited about Sundays in November. That wasn’t the case in the last couple of years.

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  • ztom6

    The 3-4 defense should not be more vulnerable to zone read type plays. In fact some have observed that the reason why Kelly insisted on a 2 gap 3-4 scheme for his defense might be because it is better suited for defending against his own offensive schemes. Greg Bedard did an article about defending the read option during the preseason where he had David Shaw (Stanford’s head coach) do a white board session on it. A lot of it centered on the advantages of using the 3-4 — “read option” plays work by creating extra gaps the defense has to defend. The advantage of having your linemen two gap here is that they cover more gaps that way.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Also that means Kelly and Stoutland have more experience going against the 3-4. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of the different approaches to blocking the two schemes.

    • ztom6

      it is true though that the 4-3 teams they’ve played have had success with “nut stunts” and whatnot.

  • Insomniac

    I want to see how well Orakpo plays tomorrow.

    • A_T_G

      Scouting free agents?

    • jshort

      I want to see him with his hands on his hips and his tongue hanging out early 1st qtr,

  • SteveH

    Wonder how Nick responds to another opportunity at a statement game inside the division. If he has another dud here it could end up really damaging his future prospects with the Eagles or with another team.

    I’m not sure I’ve anticipated a game so much since the opener, oddly enough another Washington game.

    • jshort

      Sure do wish we knew the practice tracking numbers, that would be pretty neat to follow.

      • SteveH

        I have it on good authority that Nick Foles ran a 6.4 40 during practice this week, a full .3 seconds faster than he typically does, so that bodes well.

        • jshort

          must be working on his cold weather arm strength…

    • jshort

      As i sit here after working a long day, ignoring my wife,
      getting caught up on what was written about the birds. Out of the silence came, “Who they playing this week”…Told her Washington. …”they any good”? 3 and 6….” they at home, oh god, there at home, aren’t they? They suck at home right. How could you stink at home, you should feel happy being at home” ( giggling as she walks away)………….What could I say.

      I’m looking forward to this one too.

  • pkeagle

    “Feels good to be excited about Sundays in November. That wasn’t the case in the last couple of years.”

    Amen to that Tommy!

    • Dominik

      “Feels good to be excited about Sundays in November. That wasn’t the case in the last couple of years.”

      It would be great if Tommy could write the same thing in December. And it would be freaking awesome if he could write the same thing in January.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    A ton of interesting points in Roob’s 25 random points today – 2 in particular:
    16. The Eagles have had 28 touchdown drives this year. None of them were over four minutes … The 28 drives averaged 65 yards in 1:45.
    18. At home, the Eagles are averaging 14.0 points per game — 31st-worst in the NFL (ahead of only the Jaguars, at 5.3 points per game). On the road, the Eagles are averaging 32.7 points per game — by far the best in the NFL.

    #18 is obviously mind-blowing – any thoughts there, Tommy?

    • Joseph Dubyk

      yeah KC, DEN, DAL was Nick’s horrible game and NYG was w/ Barkley

      • BlindChow

        DEN was an away game.

        • jshort

          Think he meant San Diego…same state…………of mind.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Remember when Westbrook tore his tricep in a 28 – 7 blowout in 03? that sucked too… Even when the Eagles were dominant the Skins seemed to always steal one from us each year. I dont have a distinct feel for this game either.

  • Mitchell

    Tommy:
    A neutrino exploit kit just tried to hack my computer but Norton stopped it. I had 3 tabs up so I don’t know if it was from this sight or not but I just wanted to give a heads up.

    • CampDracula

      It’s probably related to all this talk of skins and nut stunts.

      • SteveH

        We talk about Cox getting penetration a lot too, this is practically a porn site, I wouldn’t be surprised if its riddled with malware.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thanks for the heads up. Will keep an eye out for that.

  • BlindChow

    Anyone see the Georgia-Auburn game? Auburn totally stole the Desean Jackson touchdown play from Green Bay to win the game at the end of the 4th. The ball went 50 yards down the field and landed right in the arms of two defenders, bounced up and over them, right into the hands of the receiver.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ3wp4qInfg

  • Mitchell

    Justin Gilbert from OSU with another good performance today. 2 ints. Keep an eye on that guy.

    • D3FB

      I don’t see him being the kind of player the Eagles will want. He has great size yet doesn’t engage the receivers in press man, is a sub par tackler and in all the film I’ve watched I don’t think I’ve seen him disengage from a single block.

      • Mitchell

        The question is: Does he have the capabilities of doing those things? Does the staff think they can get more out of him? I dnt know just throwing that out there.