Game Preview – LAR at PHI

Posted: September 19th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Preview – LAR at PHI

The great thing about sports is that you can get a chance at redemption. The Eagles had a bad loss in the season opener. Not all losses are created equal and that was a bad one. The coaches know it. The players know it. The fans know it. Heck, if you ventured into the Amazon rain forest you could find an isolated tribe that hasn’t ever seen outsiders and somehow they would know about Carson Wentz stinking it up last week.

The Eagles can make last week a distant memory if they play well and win on Sunday when the Rams come to Philly. They have a chance for redemption.

Doug Pederson’s team will get some help on the injury front. Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson will make their 2020 debuts. Derek Barnett will play. Brandon Graham won’t miss any time after going through the concussion protocol this week.

The big focus will be on Wentz and the Eagles offense. Wentz looked terrific for most of the first half and then fell apart. He needs to play better and smarter on Sunday. Johnson will start at RT and Nate Herbig will be the RG. Johnson won’t be 100 percent, but his return should help. Herbig started slow, but played better as the game went along. He needs to build on that.

The OL will have a huge challenge in trying to keep DL Aaron Donald under control. You aren’t going to shut him down. The goal has to be to limit his damage. I’ll be interested to see if they have him attack Seumalo or Herbig more. Herbig is the weaker player, but that’s kind of the point. Another DL could beat him. And Donald should win his share of battles vs Seumalo.

The Rams will move Donald around. Eagles blockers must identify where he is. Wentz also needs to know where 99 is coming from. That will affect where he might need to move in the pocket.

As Pederson talked about this week, improved protection is a group effort. Wentz can’t hold the ball as long. RBs need to do better at identifying blitzes and blocking rushers. TEs need to do their part when asked to pass protect. This isn’t all on the OL. But yeah, the OL must play better.

Getting Sanders back will help the run game and also the pass game. Sanders is a gifted receiver. He’s also the Eagles best pass blocker in the backfield.

Eagles receivers must play better. They showed their speed and talent, but made too many mistakes. That will happen when you have rookies and young guys playing a lot. It’s time for them to grow up in a hurry and make plays.

The Rams ran for 153 yards last week. The Eagles played great run defense in the opener and will need to do that again. With Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson controlling the middle of the line, that makes life a lot easier on the other defenders.

I’m curious to see if Derek Barnett starts at RDE or if Josh Sweat keeps that role for now and Barnett comes off the bench. Barnett should be on a snap count since he’s missed a lot of time this summer. You don’t want to wear him down.

There will be tremendous pressure on the back seven. The Rams use a lot of motion and fakes. Defenders must do their tape study and trust their eyes. If you guess, you will get burned. The Eagles are young at LB and Jalen Mills is new to safety. That group has to play smart and limit mistakes.

The Eagles gave the Rams fits for much of their matchup in 2018. Schwartz said the Rams have changed their scheme since then so don’t make too much of that game.

With Craig James out this week, the Eagles made a move.

Trying to figure out the intangibles for this game is tricky. The Rams won a big game last week so they should be confident. They do have to travel to the east coast for an early kickoff against an angry team. That should give the Eagles an advantage. But the Rams are healthier. But the Eagles have won two in a row in this series.

Under Pederson, the Eagles generally respond well after a bad loss. Jimmy Bama ranks last Sunday as one of the 10 worst losses of the Pederson era so that bodes well for a good bounce back game from the Eagles.

But this is a weird year and it looks like a weird Eagles team. Don’t take anything for granted.


Depending on how things go this week, the Eagles could be signing Freeman. They didn’t get enough out of the RB position last week, in terms of yards, big plays or blocking. The pressure is on. Produce or else.


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