If Hurricane Sandy sets her course through the mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast, this upcoming match between the 3-3 Eagles and the 6-0 Falcons on Sunday may be postponed to a future date...
But let's pretend for now the game is on...
At the very least, the Eagles need not be intimidated by the Atlanta pass rush, which should give Mike Vick and Marty Mornhinweg some extra courage...
The Atlanta Falcons have all the ingredients you need to put together an elite pass rush. They have a lot of talent—at least on paper—plus a good defensive coordinator, and an aggressive gameplan. They've also played against some middling offensive lines.
Despite that, the Falcons' pass rush hasn't really taken off. Dave Choate of the Falcoholic.com has argued that the Atlanta pass rush has been underappreciated for its impact on opposing quarterbacks, and he stands by that. What gets lost there, though, is that most of the work has been done by John Abraham, the defensive tackles and the linebackers, with occasional help from Kroy Biermann. The rest of the Falcons' defensive end rotation has vacillated between "alright" and ghost-like.
This is somewhat baffling, given the combination of talent and production at the ends. Ray Edwards is clearly a useful pass rusher when he's bookending another terrific player, and having Abraham across from him is like having only a cut below Jared Allen. Yet Ray's been virtually useless at getting to the quarterback lately despite his pedigree.
Lawrence Sidbury put up a few sacks last season in limited action and looked awfully sharp doing so, but he's been a complete non-factor this year, getting limited snaps and not doing much with them. Cliff Matthews has been similarly quiet when he plays. Jonathan Massaquoi is being brought along slowly, as expected, and that's about it...
What's to be done by the Falcons? Without knowing the dynamics at play here, all I can suggest is that the Falcons continue to give Biermann snaps in place of Edwards in most pass-rushing situations, because he's clearly been the more effective player. The best solution of all for the Falcons would be getting El Sid and his clear speed rushing chops in there on occasion to mix things up.
Whatever the solution, the Falcons need to find a way to get a more consistent push out of defensive ends not named John Abraham. With the rest of the defense playing quite well against the pass, this is probably the biggest factor preventing the Falcons from reaching the next level as a defense...you know, aside from that run defense and all... and the Eagles could and should take advantage of this weakness.
I was listening to Ravens' ILB Jameel McClain on talk radio today while driving around the Delaware Valley, and he said something like this: "You don't coach against strengths, you coach against weaknesses..."
Well now, if McClain is on the money with that comment, then the Eagles should be looking very hard to take advantage of the Falcons' so-far lukewarm performance in the pass rush department...
Atlanta avoided close calls against Carolina and Oakland at home to remain undefeated, and have made big plays on both sides of the ball when necessary. But this a game where the Eagles must make the Falcons pay dearly for any weaknesses they have shown...
This game could end up being a defensive struggle; four of Atlanta's last five games and six of Philadelphia's last eight games have gone UNDER the posted total, and seven of the last nine games between these two teams have also gone UNDER the total.
But if the Mayor of Philadelphia and the meteorologists allow this game to be played on schedule, do not be shocked if Vick and Marty come out throwing. The Atlanta pass rush is suspect...and that could bode well for an Eagles' air attack that might cancel out any counterattack by Matt Ryan and his talented corps of receivers.
If it comes down to defensive prowess in this one, with both teams' passing games cancelling each other out, the Eagles should hold the advantage.
Weather will be a factor if the game is allowed to be played. Windy and/or rainy conditions should play into the Eagles' favor. Vick can throw darts in the wind...Matt Ryan cannot.
The Eagles' O-Line has been hampered with injuries, starting with the loss of All-Pro LT Jason Peters during the preseason, then the in-season loss of Jason Kelce (C) and a sprained ankle to RG Danny Watkins.[Looks like Dennis "Hagrid" Kelly will get his first NFL start at RG if Watkins can't go on Sunday]... How much of the Eagles' offensive shortcomings so far is on Vick and how much is on the line is up for debate, but the fact remains that Vick takes a tremendous amount of punishment every game. Unfortunately for Atlanta, it still looks like their D-Line is anchored by John Abraham. You can expect Philly to consistently double him, so the Falcons will be relying on creative blitzes to try and get to Vick. I’d expect to see Atlanta's LBs get plenty of opportunities to get into the backfield...now it's up to Vick and his pass-pro blockers to read and recognize those pre-programmed blitz moves by Atlanta and provide a downfield answer...
At the skill positions, Atlanta obviously has an offense that is hard to defend. However, Philly still has two very good corners who will look to lock down JJ and Roddy. The pick-up of DeMeco Ryans during the offseason has helped the Eagles LB corps, but I’d still expect Tony Gonzo to see quite a few targets come his way. Likewise, this would be a heck of a game opportunity for Harry Douglas to put up some large numbers. Atlanta can score on this Eagles defense, but it will not be easy, and much of their success will depend on whether they can get any kind of run-game going – if for no other reason than to help sell the play action and slow down the Eagles' pass rush.
On the opposite side, Philly probably has the fastest skill players in the league, starting with their QB. Add in one of the most explosive RBs in the league in Shady McCoy, and two fast receivers in Maclin and Jackson, and you’ve got a very formidable “paper team.” However, the Eagles' offense has been incredibly disappointing this year, ranking in the bottom 5 of points scored. Despite getting McCoy a good number of carries, this offense has been hampered by the erratic and turnover-prone play of Mike Vick---and you know the rest of the story. He leads all QBs in the league in total turnovers, throwing 8 INTs and losing 3 fumbles. And yes---a lot of that is due to the somewhat crippled nature of the Eagles' O-Line at this juncture. The Falcons' defense matches up well, though, with play-making safeties and two very good corners. However, I’d still expect McCoy to get many touches to try and exploit the Falcons poor run defense-- and also take pressure off of Vick to make plays.
Those last two bold-highlighted phrases are my keys to the game.
If they hit their stride against the Falcons, the Eagles will be very hard to beat. The Falcons had better bring their best game on both sides of the ball or they will walk away with their first loss of the season.
Now back to the Weather Channel...
My Hoosiers at the top of the preseason AP poll... Surprisingly only the third time ever... The first time was the only undefeated team to win a national title under the current format. Go big red... IU!!!
Bri is right, you're all a bunch of wussies,..embrace the rain and fog and wind,...easier to get away with cheap shots and grabbing and holding wiffout penalty flags being thrown,..."It's not cheating unless you're caught, McMahon,..."---Jesse The Body Ventura,...
Welp,..this stormer ,.all right,..shore looks impressive. Wifey is nagging me about making shore we gots all the stuff we need. I axe her,..like what?,..and she just walks away in silence. I likes dat in a woman!
One of me boys invited me and the ol' high school chums...and similar colleges,..for a PSU rootfest on Sat. This weather ting may trump my 100 mile journey to his mancave. Frankinstorms ,..kinda suk........Dunces and their like banter are more mundane and pedestrian than raking leaves,..and having to do it again,.and again,.and again. Whoswiffme?
@briview Yes, this is an ambiguous "storm warning"... now they seem to be telling us the Jersey shore will get hit with the "surge", but we will be left with the 50 mph winds and 6 inches of rain...
Is that really a "W" for us?
I say stay home--- stock up on the dog food, batteries, liquor and toilet paper...we could be out of power for several days at the worst...which means we may be following the Eagles game vs. Atlanta on a battery-powered radio with Merrill Reese as our only webmaster...
Good night my fellow Eagle fans.
Tomorrow I have four hour drive and I'm home. Very nice trip, but I'm tired of living out of suitcases.
The real entertainment begins here when Yokel and Dorkel start liking each others rhetorical garbage.
OL is in deep doodoo this week. Watkins ain't much to begin with and he's hurt. Herremens struggling at T. King rusty and Mathis mediocre. Reynolds(sp) --well--he's the center.
Best to use rolling pocket away from Abrams, with Vick being so mobile.
@Jerky OK if you take yours out of the till. Deal?
Welp, don't none ya snitches say nuttin to nobody... but I'm cuttin out early for the weekend... catch the night shift crew later on when I'm on sick munchkin patrol tonight.
This is the first "crucial" game of the season, as I see it....not a "must win" in the technical sense...but a game we gotsta win, nonetheless.....
I don't care how. Just win.
@Harry Pianos definitely not must win... but winning it sure wouldn't hurt our chances down the line
We better not wuss out on a little cold rain. I don't want another Tuesday night debacle. Even so, the rain should encourage MM to, oh, I don't know, maybe RUN THE DAMN BALL!! 3 step drop for the few times we gotta pass and stop Vick from getting killed!!
@EagleNut792 ha... that's just what Atl will EXPECT us to do... therefore our brain trust of MM and AR, will go 180 degrees from that thinking... Atl will never see it coming... WINNING!!!!
Speakin of likes... that's 36k.... yeah, ya know it.... A... T... V!!!!
Thanks to all youse who took the time to validate my greatness, which 36k likes clearly proves... ahem
Just goes to show you've been around for awhile
@EagleNut792 not as long as some... and most definitely longer than some will last.
@Harry Pianos it's a don't ask don't tell policy... Broz came up wiff it... I'm not sure how though??? NBW
@atvcar Welp...somebodies gots there fingers in sumpins.....that is all I know....
@atvcar @EagleNut792 Here at Lupes place...there is a lot of us who have been here the whole time....some of us just have more face time with their 'puter....and some of us are better posters than others.....and some of us have fingered out loopholes in the "like" system....
But we is all Iggles fans, so it all be good from where I sit.....
@atvcar I guess I should feel responsible for most of them, even though I have only given 7,600 total likes............something wrong with the math, that's all.
@sunbutts Why dont you shut up and give that hole in your face a chance to heal
@Jerky I don't banter with children!
@sunbutts Waving the white flag like the little Taliban member that you are, haha.
@Jerky Now you are getting too adolescent to banter with. Grow up and come back again. Bye!
@sunbutts Do you still love nature....despite what it did to you?
@Jerky You get more clever with each post. I revise my opinion. You must have finished alt least freshman high school. Impressive!
@sunbutts Shut up, you'll never be the man your mother is...
@Jerky Witty--yup! really witty--and original as all hell. Wow!
@dutchrubb Did you read that Shakespeare quote on a scrapple package, perhaps?
@sunbutts We have a thing in common, we both think you're a douche bag who needs to go play in traffic
@Jerky You and Yokel loving each other again. Crap always seeks its own level.
@sunbutts Get to bed then, gramps.
@sunbutts Well, I knew you were an assclown.
@dutchrubb I didn't know you were a Shakesperian(sp), Yokel.
@sunbutts Methinks you doth protest tew much.
@dutchrubb Me and the Geezer? ROTFLMAO!
@sunbutts And by the way......................I don't wish to trade.
@sunbutts And you Bri's
@dutchrubb Cut it anyway you like, you are still ATV's lap dog. Quarf!
@briview @atvcar Welp......even you are not one sided enuf to think I laid all 7K likes down on ATV, now are you, old wise owl? That would assume I never gave you any, and neither did the other four, which you know not to be true................so your math has a flaw. And here we all thought you never made a mistake.