Back off the Bye: Eagles v Patriots Preview

13 November 2019 Opinion

Eagles fans, welcome back. Welcome back Eagles football as we get the second half of the season rolling. Well rested and hopefully well prepared, we have 7 more games to position ourselves closer toward greatness. As we sit with a record of 5-4, we are in prime position to win our division as we still control our own destiny. The previous 9 games are in the past and it’s time to take over this division. With four divisional games remaining, a clean sweep of those games and a layup game verse Miami would be a perfect way to head into the playoffs; however, two titans stand in our way.

In two weeks, we host the red-hot Seattle Seahawks, who just took down the now 8-1 49ers. The game was set to take place in primetime at 8pm, now we have been flexed to 1pm. The Seahawks are 7-0 in their last 7 1pm kick off games and will be coming off a bye. We’ll worry about them when the time comes. The task at hand Sunday is a mighty one. The 8-1 New England Patriots are coming into town on Sunday and they’ll be pissed off after getting whooped on national TV against the Baltimore Ravens. They get be as angry or pumped up as they want, but right now, they’re exposed.

Let’s get this straight. The New England Patriots are a good football team. They are well coached and have talent spread throughout their roster. Prior to last week, they were undefeated; however, that record should not be a surprise. The Patriots schedule and season was like the first semester of college. First, it’s orientation. You receive a warm welcome and the campus employees want you to get eased into the flow of a new life or a new season per say. Well, the Patriots start off the year against a Steelers team who was just gutted in the offseason losing Antonio “Clown” Brown and Le’Veon “NY is my new hell” Bell and several other key players. The Patriots beat the Steelers handedly 33-3.

Oh, it gets better for the Pats. For the next 7 games here are the QBs they faced: Josh Rosen (97 passing yards, 1 int), Luke Falk (98 passing yards, 1 int), Josh Allen (153 passing yards, 3 ints), Colt McCoy (122 passing yards, 1 int), Daniel Jones (161 passing yards, 3 ints), Sam Darnold (86 passing yards, 4 ints), and Baker Mayfield (194 passing yards, 1 int). Don’t get it twisted, the Patriots defense is fantastic. But c’mon. They faced the worse QBs in the league to start the season and anyone who watched the games and didn’t just look at the box scores saw their opponents implode week in and week out. Then finally it happened.

The Patriots not only played a team that doesn’t need to be reminded to breath, they played a team with a winning record… and what happened Billy boy? You got spanked. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens beat the Patriots in every aspect. All year, Jackson has been a living highlight reel and that held true as he totaled 3 touchdowns against the feared New England defense. The Ravens offense rushed for 210 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. The Patriots headed into their bye week bruised and beaten. Now it’s time to send them right back into their self-pity and remind them that we have their number in recent meetings. And at home at the Linc, I’ll always bet on our Birds.

The Eagles went into their bye week on a two-game win streak where they averaged 182 rush yards per game and where Carson was efficient and effective with a less than spectacular cast around him. Execution, discipline, and dominance at the line of scrimmage is the recipe to beat any team but especially the New England Patriots. You cannot afford dumb penalties, turn overs, or questioning your play calls because this team is unforgiving. Carson must understand that not every play has to be a TD. Take what they give you. Belichick always picks one player on your offense to eliminate. That will be Zach Ertz. They will double Ertz all day and that is ok. That just means that we Goedert will be open and that the other guys need to step up. I think the Goedert and Alshon will be the x-factors because Stephon Gilmore will most likely be shadowing Alshon for most of the day. Regardless, we need to let Howard run wild against the Patriots.

The Patriots just got rolled for 210 yards on the ground by Ingram, Jackson, Edwards, and Hill. The week prior, Nick Chubb rolled up 131 rushing yards and would have had an even better day if he didn’t commit two egregious fumbles. There is no reason why the Eagles should not and cannot exploit this and roll all afternoon. Another huge x-factor will be Miles Sanders out of the backfield. A few well-timed wheel routes and screens will keep the Patriots off balanced and guessing.

On the defensive side of the ball, I think we have all we need to shut down the Brady Bunch. The Patriots line is not good at all. They are injury riddled and our experienced line should have them tired and turn-around all day. Sony Michel is a good running back, but he is one dimensional and our defense plays well against backs with his playing style. They have little to no threat at tight ends, but they are talented and experienced at wide receiver. Edelman, Sanu, Dorsett, and Jacobi Meyers are not flashy, but they get open and they are in tune with what Brady wants from them.

The key to a win is hitting Brady early and often. In addition, we need to communicate all day. Brady is not and has never been mobile. We need to force him to make off balanced throws and if the ball is in the air or on the ground, we need to attack. A well-organized game plan only does well with great execution, and I believe that two weeks of preparation has us in prime position to continue the trend and take our third straight win against the Pats. Let’s get the second half of the season rolling and start off in the win column. And don’t forget, an Eagles QB is the last QB to throw a touchdown in the Super Bowl even though the Patriots and Rams had whatever that was last year. And a reminder to the Wentz Haters, Carson Wentz owns an 18-6 career record at the Linc, which marks the best home winning percentage by a starting QB in franchise history. In the last 16 home games, Went is 363 for 544 for 4,163 passing yards, 53 touchdowns, 6 ints, and a 106.4 rating. To add to that, Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson are tied for the current NFL Record for having at least 1 touchdown pass in consecuative 12 games. As Always, Fly Eagles Fly!

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