Game Preview – NE at PHI

Posted: November 17th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Preview – NE at PHI

The Eagles are facing the number one defense in the league. That is a huge challenge when you have a healthy team and life is good. The Eagles will be taking on the Patriots defense without Jordan Howard and Alshon Jeffery. In a word, yikes.

Don’t worry, though. The Eagles added Jordan Matthews and Jay Ajayi this week so they shouldn’t miss a beat.

Okay, I might be exaggerating just a tad on that.

It is easy to go negative and focus on how the Eagles are going to struggle today. And that might happen. But I honestly believe this team can beat the Patriots. Miles Sanders is a playmaker. Zach Ertz is a playmaker. Dallas Goedert is a playmaker. Carson Wentz is one of the best QBs in the league. The O-line is playing well. The offense has the potential to move the ball and score points in this game.

The Eagles cannot play sloppy football, as they’ve done for much of the season, and win today. They need to eliminate mistakes and make plays.

We’ll find out something about the new guys, a mixture of young players and re-treads. I think Matthews can step into this offense and produce immediately. He won’t turn into TO or anything like that, but he can get open and catch the ball when it comes his way. Ajayi is a huge mystery. He hasn’t played in more than a year. He does know the offense, but can he come of the street and contribute in just a few days? RB is one spot where it can happen, but I don’t know if it will. Boston Scott could quietly be an X-factor. He’s played well when given the chance this year.

The coaches were all over the receivers this week in practice. Can that get Mack Hollins out of his two-year coma? He showed such promise in 2017, but has struggled mightily this season. JJ Arcega-Whiteside looked so good this summer, but he’s been invisible during the season. If the Eagles are going to win, those guys must step up. If they combine for no zero catches, I don’t see the Eagles winning. It won’t be easy for them when facing the best secondary in the league, but there will be some opportunities. Seize the moment (and the ball!).

Sanders might be the real key to the offense. Patriots LBs don’t match-up well with him in coverage. The Eagles know that and will use him accordingly. Sanders also needs to be productive as a runner. The Pats have struggled vs the run. Sanders must move the chains today.

Bill Belichick is a defensive genius, but one thing he can’t account for is off-schedule plays. Mobile QBs can drive him nuts because of that. Carson Wentz needs to make plays with his legs in this game. That could be running up the field or buying time for his receivers to get open. Wentz can’t just be a pocket passer today. He must use his mobility.

Doug Pederson and his staff put together a brilliant gameplan for Super Bowl LII. The Pats are much better on D and the Eagles aren’t as good. Still, Pederson knows how to scheme against this team. I think he also knows he might need to have a trick play or two ready. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nelson Agholor run the ball today.

What about the Eagles defense vs Tom Brady?

The Pats offense isn’t nearly as good as it was in the SB. The OL has been up and down and they don’t have a feared group of skill players. They do have Tom Brady and he is the king of the short passing attack.

The Eagles normally focus on taking away the run game. New England has struggled to run the ball this year so you wonder what Jim Schwartz will do.

The key will be the Eagles DL. Brady is a pocket passer. The Eagles must pressure him. They must win the battle up front. If they have to blitz to get pressure, it will be a long day. Brady is smart and has a million years of experience. Blitzing him is tough.

You do wonder how the Eagles will use Genard Avery. He’s had a couple of weeks to learn the scheme and carve out a role. Maybe Schwartz will throw some new looks at Brady.

One thing we do know…if the Eagles have breakdowns in the secondary, Brady will make them pay. I hope a week of self-scouting helped the coaches figure out some coverage solutions.

The Eagles will go into this game with the right mentality. They won’t be scared of Belichick, Brady or the Patriots. The Eagles will be aggressive and confident. That helps when facing New England. It is easy to get intimidated by all the rings and records. That won’t happen to the Eagles.

I do hate the fact the Eagles are facing a Patriots team that is coming off a bad loss and a bye week. Belichick will have that team in a bad mood.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the Eagles play today. This is why you drafted Wentz, Sanders, Goedert and even JJAW. The pressure is on. Let’s see how the young guys handle the big moment.


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