The game today will tell us a lot of things. I've already talked about the weather. They are predicting nasty conditions. How does this team perform in that stuff? I can't recall a bad weather game yet this year.
The Eagles are a solid team. If you trust in our Power Rankings--which I have started to--they are better than the Giants and not all that far behind us. What is escaping them is the cupcake schedule we've had. Where we've had the Cards, 49ers and Rams, they've had the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins. They are good enough to beat us soundly on their home field. They are 3 pt favorites, which is what all homes teams get, so oddsmakers consider the teams even. I'd consider it a statement and an upset if we take this game.
Things I'll be looking for:
- Passing in the weather.
Will it even be reasonable to expect a passing game from either team? Won't know until I see the conditions live.
We can afford a loss, but we can't afford an injury to Hass. If we thought the Rams pressure packages were creative, just wait.
- Shaun and the running game
Don't be surprised if we see a breakout game from one or both of our RBs today. However, if we can't pass the ball to setup the run, don't blame these guys. We've seen all year that this team can't run on it's own. Everyone talks about how Mo helps us in the passing game where Shaun can't. He has 5 receptions in the past 3 games. Not exactly Tomlinson numbers. That said, if we are having some success running with Mo today and Shaun doesn't match or exceed it...
- Sack parade continue?
Philly is near the bottom of the league in sacks allowed (34 tied for 26th in the league). The Hawks are second in the NFL in sacks. Kearney should get some attention, although he's going up against a good tackle in Jon Runyan. The hope is that the attention will shift toward him and allow Julian, Tapp and/or others to get some sacks today. Remember, this is the right tackle that allowed 6 sacks in one game to Osi Umenyiora.
- Pursuit and gang tackling
With Westbrook getting the ball in space for screens and pitches, we need everyone rallying to the ball.
- Turnovers and Special Teams
With the weather, you'd expect some silly turnovers, and they often come on special teams. Will anyone be able to kick? Will we be going for it on 4th down to avoid trying FGs? Does that put an increased emphasis on red zone execution?
I'm excited to see the game, but believe we will lose. A win here today would be a significant step towards being more than a mediocre team.
NOTE: The lovely HawkBloggerWife scheduled a brunch at our house starting at 10AM. Awesome! I am DVR'ing the game, unless I can find a way to watch. We have better luck with cwu91 commenting anyway! :)