A Big Test

Posted: November 14th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The 5-4 Eagles face the 8-1 Patriots on Sunday. To a lot of people, this is a complete mismatch. New England has been dominant this year, while the Birds have been frustratingly inconsistent. Can the Eagles really pull off the upset and win this game?

Absolutely.

Let’s not be naive and think this would be easy. The Eagles have been a sloppy team for much of the year. That won’t get it done this week. The Patriots don’t make a lot of mistakes. They make you beat them.

The most interesting matchup in the game will be the Eagles offense against the Patriots defense. Bill Belichick’s group is number one in the league in fewest points and yards allowed. That defense is doing amazing things this year. The Eagles offense has been erratic. This will be a huge challenge.

Doug Pederson mentioned the other day that the Eagles would have a good idea what the Pats wanted to do on defense. Belichick believes in taking away the top player from the opposing team. That will be Zach Ertz on Sunday. There is some good news on this front.

The Eagles have dealt with this before and overcome it.

They’ve also faced this type of defense this season.

That game didn’t go as well because the skill players didn’t make plays. There were too many dropped passes. Miles Sanders was still adjusting to life in the NFL. Jordan Howard only got 11 carries. The Eagles did pile up 373 yards in the game and scored 24 points. The big difference in the game was the Lions KOR for a TD.

There are some injury concerns for Sunday.

Losing Sproles wouldn’t be a big deal. He hasn’t done much this year. Boston Scott has looked better on offense. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles put him on IR and sign Ajayi. That would give them better depth in the backfield.

Playing without Jeffery on Sunday would be tough. He struggled the last time out, but if you remove him you have Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside going against the best secondary in the league. Yikes.

It is easy to talk about this being a big game for the RBs and TEs, but the receivers who do play on Sunday are going to have to step up. They will need to make plays when the ball comes their way.

That’s not an accident. Clearly Pederson and Mike Groh have let Walch know that the receivers aren’t getting the job done. They were very hands-on back on Wednesday. Today it was Walch being more assertive. There are no guarantees this will work, but you have to try something. Go coach the heck out of those guys. Push them. See if that makes a difference.

You can look at this game as a huge challenge. It is also an opportunity. If the offense can play well and the Eagles can win, that would give their confidence a huge boost for the stretch run.

New England had not allowed more than 14 points in a game until their last time out. The Ravens put up 37 points in that game. That’s important because the Patriots played a soft schedule up to that point. They faced bad QBs and weak offenses. Baltimore was their first real challenge and the Ravens shredded that defense, running for 210 yards.

Heck, over the past two games, New England has given up more than 180 yards per game on the ground. Over the past six games, the Pats have given up more than 130 rushing yards per game. They are vulnerable. The Eagles are a good running team. This will be a huge part of the game. If the Eagles can run the ball well, they have a legit chance to win this game.

It really will be interesting to see how things play out on Sunday.

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One Comment on “A Big Test”

  1. 1 The Linc - Eagles have three of the NFL’s top ranked run blockers - Philly's Top Five said at 7:30 AM on November 15th, 2019:

    […] A Big Test – Iggles BlitzThe 5-4 Eagles face the 8-1 Patriots on Sunday. To a lot of people, this is a complete mismatch. New England has been dominant this year, while the Birds have been frustratingly inconsistent. Can the Eagles really pull off the upset and win this game? Absolutely. Let’s not be naive and think this would be easy. The Eagles have been a sloppy team for much of the year. That won’t get it done this week. The Patriots don’t make a lot of mistakes. They make you beat them. The most interesting matchup in the game will be the Eagles offense against the Patriots defense. Bill Belichick’s group is number one in the league in fewest points and yards allowed. That defense is doing amazing things this year. The Eagles offense has been erratic. This will be a huge challenge. […]