1. Consistent Pressure – Donovan McNabb is a great scrambler. But the fact lost on most fans is that he is flat out a great PASSER if not pressured. I don't think we can or that we need to sack him 4 or 5 times, just keep his feet from setting and make him alter his throwing motion and he tends to get erratic and loses accuracy. Last week against Eli Manning I said pressure up the middle was the way to go, this week you need to keep McNabb contained and collapse around him, not flush him out. Look again for Darrent Williams and Lynch coming from outside while Warren, Pryce, Brown, Myers and Ekuban push up front.
2. Keep the Eagles in front of the coverage - I don't think the eagles can beat us using the "death of a thousand bites" philosophy. If we can keep them in front of our DB's and LB's I think we limit them to a lot of 3rd and 4's or 5's. TO poses a matchup problem for Williams so look for a Champ Bailey vs Terrell Owens battle on Sunday.
3. Run it down the gullet!! - Just like the Giants, Skins and Chargers no one has been able to run on the Eagles....yet. I think talent wise this is the best defense we have faced so far. But an old saying goes something like "you are what you are" and what we are is a running team. I think a healthy dose of Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell will prove effective. The key to this will be how well our OL can get to the second level, by this I mean blocking Jeremiah Trotter. If they can get a hat on him most of the game then the cutback works and we move the ball. Make no mistake though, Trotter is probably one of the finest run stopping middle linebackers in football.
4. Treat Brian Westbrook like we did LaDanian Tomlinson - LT led the league in catches a couple of years ago. Westbrook is an equally good reciever that poses a matchup problem for most teams.....just not ours. Ian Gold and D.J. Williams are two of the finest coverage LB's in the NFL. I would look for Westbrook to be very limited in his effectiveness this week just like LT was a couple back.
5. L.J. meet Tony, Antonio and Jeremy - So far we have shut down the two best AFC tight ends and one of the best in the NFC in Shockey. L.J. Smith is as good as any of them, yes I just said L.J. Smith is as good as Tony Gonzales. Much like Algae Crumpler in Atlanta he doesn't get the recognition of Shockey but in all honesty is probably better. I think the key here is making him block, if we can bring guys off the strong side edge you force him to either pick up the blitz or leave McNabb open to it. This tactic took Shockey, Gates and Gonzales out of their games....I think it will again this week.
6. Criss Cross gonna make ya...jump...jump. Went a little old school there....hehe. I think the Eagles with Michael Lewis at safety play great pass defense. In my opinion the best way to counter this unit is to run guys through zones and criss cross the field in layers. Meaning I think you will see a lot of two wideout on a side formations. If they play zone this clears the zone out behind the reciever and allows backs and TE's to cross into that empty zone. Playing man against this scheme means you get to chase recievers across the field all game, not a pleasant proposition at 5280 feet.
7. The final and greatest part of the post. I know I have said this ALL FREAKIN SEASON but here we go again! For the love of all that is good about football, please.....please finish a freakin game!!!! I know it's redundant to say it again but championship teams do not just beat opponents, they knock them down, kick dirt in their face, spit on them and then laugh when the clock expires. I'm hoping that last weeks humiliation of getting beat by a team you dominated will wake the boy's up. Hopefully Coyer applies the same defense for all four quarters and the offense can maintain some drives. I personally think that the veteran leadership of the team will see to it that this happens.
So there it is, my all knowing, all seeing key's to Sunday's game. Prediction you ask? Because I am eternally faithful, I say Broncos 24 Eagles 17.
Oh yeah, forgot something, Matt Cubbler is a big GIRL!!!!
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