Given the Philadelphia Eagles have the bye and gameplan the rest of the season, I have a few suggestions that come to mind. I will break it down into three parts: the offense, the defense, and quarterbacks.
- First and foremost, wide receiver DeSean Jackson must get healed. Not partially. He suffered a major concussion, and recovering from it will take a couple of weeks, maybe more depending on the severity.
- Keep the balance of running and passing up, Coach Andy Reid. A balanced game is still optimal for a great rest of the season. Ask the New York Jets with LaDanian Tomlinson. A widespread offense can be keyed upon by defenses. Ask the Denver Broncos and their passing offense led by their quarterback Kyle Orton.
- Optimize LeSean McCoy. Even the Oakland Raiders can tell the Eagles what a running game can do for an average quarterback in Jason Campbell.
- Keep the offensive line stable so that Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick won’t have to rush their passes or run in general.
- Prepare for some tough games that will rely on the offense to be in sync. The Houston Texans, the New York Giants, the Minnesota Vikings and the Indianapolis Colts will be coming up.
- Score with the “small ball.” One can’t depend on homeruns with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin always.
- Nate Allen, despite having 3 interceptions this season, was flat-footed as a safety. Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt torched the Eagles for 200 yards plus and 3 touchdowns. It can’t happen again.
- Watch out for false starts. This dual quarterback situation will make some of the offensive line out of sync and a bit pensive.
- Stuff the run. Arian Foster of the Houston Texans, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, and Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants all have sights on tearing up this defense.
- More pressure equals more sacks. The Giants defense has been one to reckon with. Seek that as a goal for this defense. It isn’t 2004 anymore, with reliance upon former safety Brian Dawkins to direct this defense. Someone has to step up and check down the potent offenses coming up in their schedule.
- Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb have to learn to slide when defenders are closing upon their position. Diving head first to reach the first down or touchdown won’t mean much if they’re injured in the process.
- Repeating from previous, the offensive line has to hold the pocket for any chance of success. A good running game will help alleviate the pressure on Michael Vick.
Eagles fans, this is it. Can we make the playoffs? Likely, if our offense and defense plays like they should. However, some tough opponents are standing in our way. The Eagles have to play better than they did in 2004 with the parity in this league. It’s make or break time.