The Eagles head in to Sunday having conceded 90 points in the last two games after having seemingly crumbled in recent weeks. Their opponents are a team who are fired up after having their perfect streak ruined…a team with the second highest ranked Offense in the league. The New England Patriots are set to dismantle the Eagles in every sense of the word..if there is a team who will humiliate an ill-prepared, morale ridden team..it’s this one. But I have a hunch this may not be as one sided as people are making out, here are four reasons why.
The return of Sammy B:
It may not sound very intimidating but since Sanchez has taken the reigns of the Offense all hell seems to have broken loose. In the moments before Sammy B separated his shoulder, not only did he have a concussion but he also went 19/25 for over 200 yards and scored a touchdown.
Bradford was showing constant signs of improvement and in the weeks leading up to the injury seemed much more comfortable, confident and finally began to resemble a leader. Then….Sanchez came in and began to hit Darren Sproles with his handbag before hitting a receiver in the back of a head with a ball. There was no leadership, no union, no morale. It only seems natural that the team will rally behind Bradford and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Sammy B give another secret pep talk before the game.
One man can’t fix everything wrong with this Eagles team…but he can certainly help. Now the receivers are dropping less passes, it will be intriguing to see if Bradford can pick up where he left off. If he can, he may shock a lot of people.
The Elastic Band:
You can only stretch an Elastic Band so far before it snaps. I think that’s what’s going to happen to the Eagles. The team have already showed signs of individual upset and have expressed their concerns to the media on a variety of topics. But at what point does the band snap? At what point do the Eagles have enough and learn to play for themselves instead of the situation they have such a problem with?
Against a team who will beat them down time after time after time. The Pats are notoriously merciless and I think it’s that kind of aggression that will re-ignite a fire in players on both sides of the ball. If the birds can tap into that sheer ruthlessness they were once known for then again, this game will not be as one sided as people make out. The play-calling and coaching could both be terrible but if the players start to give everything they’ve got once again out of pure frustration and angst at the situation then we could have a game on our hands.
With the Eagles coming up against such an efficient Offense, they will be very much aware of the amount of pressure they’re under. But without Gronkowski and without Edelman..Brady is running out of targets. The Eagles Secondary has been terrible in recent weeks, largely due to the failure on the coaching side of things but if there’s ever an incentive to come out swinging..it’s to jump on a team who have just taken a right hook and go for the knock out.
This Defense was incredible just a few weeks ago and since the loss of Hicks and the return of a very dizzy Kiko Alonso, it simply hasn’t been the same. It’s time to wake up and dominate as they did this time a month ago. Nobody is expecting an Eagles win, but that’s where this team thrives. We’re a city who pride ourselves on being the gritty underdog..and if the Defense can once again engage with that kind of mentality then they have every chance of stunting a weakened Patriots Offense and giving the Eagles Offense a small hope in doing the unthinkable…beating the Patriots.
The Eagles season is widely considered as over despite the team being within reach of a division win. With their rank ever falling and playoff chances fading surely it’s time to raise the stakes and exploit the predictability.
Teams have thrived on Chip’s Offense in recent weeks. Why? Because what was a complex, head-scratching, fast-paced demolition crew has turned into that kid on Madden who only ever uses that one play that kills you every time…only this is real life so teams counter it.
Kelly must know by now that N O T H I N G he has tried this season has paid off…so it’s time to up the risk factor. Throw it down-field, don’t use swing passes straight out of the box, try different run packages, let Bradford take the ball on Option, hell even use more trick plays..anything to keep one of the most disciplined teams in the league on the edge.If they can do that and convert on a few red-zone drives early on then the Eagles may..just may cause an upset.