Gameday – SD at PHI

Posted: November 7th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Gameday – SD at PHI

The Eagles host the Chargers today in what should be an interesting test. Nick Sirianni’s team has three wins on the season, all over bad teams – Atlanta, Carolina and Detroit. The Chargers are 4-3 and have some big time talent. Beating them would be different.

This test isn’t just about winning and losing, though. We’re still trying to learn about the Eagles coaches and players.

The Chargers are terrible against the run. They play with a light box, essentially daring teams to run on them (sound familiar?). They have given up 186 or more yards on the ground in four games this year. The flip side is that they have one of the best pass defenses in the league.

The Eagles are coming off a game where they ran for 236 yards. Will Nick Sirianni stick with the run? The Chargers do have some secondary injuries and that could be tempting for a coach that loves to throw the ball.

I hope Sirianni doesn’t try to outsmart himself. Come out running the ball. If it works, stick with it. If the Chargers play a heavy box and focus on the run, then switch up. This doesn’t mean giving up on the passing game. You have to be able to throw the ball. But this is a game where the Eagles strength matches the Chargers weakness. Focus on that matchup.

Too many coaches get too cute. Think of the battle of wits from The Princess Bride.

The Chargers know we want to run the ball so they’ll focus on that.

But wait…they’ll know that we know that so they’ll focus on the pass.

But wait…

And on and on and on.

Just run the damn ball. If the Chargers stop it, adjust. Don’t overthink this.

Jonathan Gannon did a good job with the Eagles defense last week. He wasn’t facing a top QB or dangerous skill players. Will Gannon be willing to take chances today? I sure hope so. The more aggressive style brought out the best in his players. The Chargers will burn the Eagles here and there when Gannon does take chances, but that’s okay. Be aggressive. Better that than being passive and having the Chargers still move the ball and score points.

I mentioned earlier that the Eagles haven’t beaten a good team. They also haven’t beaten any dynamic QBs. Matt Ryan, Sam Darnold and Jared Goff aren’t exactly star players. Justin Herbert is a very talented young QB. He can make every throw. Guys don’t need to be open for him to get them the ball. Herbert is big, strong and mobile.

Herbert has struggled in recent games so we’ll have to see if that continues or the coaching staff got him back on track. His OL isn’t great so the Eagles need to win up front and make him uncomfortable. Josh Sweat will be facing a mediocre RT. Sweat needs another big game.

This game will be a good test for the young LBs. TJ Edwards and Davion Taylor played well last week. Doing that against the Lions was one thing. Doing it against the Chargers will be more challenging. Edwards was especially impressive. He played downhill football, attacking the line of scrimmage. That was such a welcome change from watching Eric Wilson’s passive approach to playing LB. So glad he’s gone.

It will be interesting to see if the Eagles have any plays designed for Jackson. He is a big, talented player, but he’s raw so you have to mix him in carefully.

Hightower played a decent amount last year and struggled. With Jalen Reagor out, the Eagles need another WR in the mix. Quez Watkins is much better this year than he was last season. Has Hightower improved? Today will be our first chance to see.

Another good game from Jordan Howard could mean the Eagles need to make room for him on the roster. His physical running style is something the team has been missing this year.

Back to winning and losing. The Eagles need to build off last week’s performance. If the players come out complacent, the Chargers will shred this team. If the Eagles come out focused and hungry, this is a game they can win. Winning needs to be less of an event and more of a result of playing good football.

It would be good for the Eagles to win a home game. They are 0-3 at The Linc this year and have lost four in a row, if you go back to last season. That needs to change.

A win would put the Eagles to 4-5 and keep them in playoff contention, as crazy as that sounds for a team that has seemingly struggled so much.

The opportunity is there. All the Eagles have to do is go win the game.

Pass the test.


Comments are closed.