We’re just a few hours way from the Eagles’ game against the Patriots and there’s certainly no shortage of storylines. But we’re here to point out the three things you should be watching out for in Sam Bradford’s return.
Sink or swim:
The Eagles are coming off of two games in which they conceded a combined total of 90 points. They’re coming off of three game which should have propelled them to the top of the NFC East and has instead sent them into a frenzy of media speculation and disarray.
This is the one matchup that fans have been dreading since week one..the matchup in which the team will either be on the receiving end of a Tom Brady demolition job or somehow band together to at least give the Patriots a tough game (nobody is expecting a win today).
The character of the team will be tested to its core today. After weeks of seeing this team crumble, you have to feel that today is the day that the team either come together and play for each other or greet their remaining games with a goodbye kiss.
The excuses have run thin and this is a team who will punish even the tiniest of mistakes. It will be interesting to see if such a disjointed team can finally band together and stay efficient. If they do and can fight for all four quarters then there is hope for the remainder of this season, if not…be prepared for another week of barbaric quotes and rumours.
There was a bitter sense of irony in the air when Sam Bradford went down with injury against the Dolphins just as he was hitting his finest form as an Eagle. In the weeks that followed, the Eagles receivers have miraculously stopped dropping passes (for the most part) but they never had the Quarterback to feed them the right passes.
Not only that but guys like Brent Celek have recently emerged as key players under Mark Sanchez. Bradford almost seemed reluctant to target his Tight Ends but after seeing two huge weeks for Celek, we may see a slight change in the gameplan.
So now with Bradford back and the receivers seemingly much more efficient, are we finally going to see a passing Offense that actually intimidates a Defense? The potential has been there all season long it was just never utilised as different parts of the machine seemed to defunct.
Are we finally going to see Sam Bradford enter a game with weapons that can actually fire instead of buckling under pressure? Will the Bradford critics be silenced as they realise there was more to the inconsistency than number 7 himself? All we know is that in terms of a passing Offense, this is the most poised the Eagles have been for a good game since very early on in the season.
One man under considerable amounts of pressure is Billy Davis. After his failure to adjust last week and leaving rookie Eric Rowe on Megatron island, Davis has been the subject of some rightly deserved criticism.
But now he faces a very tough task in the way of stopping Tom Brady from running riot. Without Nolan Carroll, both Davis and his Secondary will be tested. Not to mention Alonso’s inconsistencies or the potential absence of Cedric Thornton.
If the Defense continues to show more holes than Augusta Golf Course and can’t get to the Quarterback then it’s just going to shatter any remaining confidence the team had. Keep an eye out to see how frequently the team adjust or if there are any new faces making an appearance. Guys like Ed Reynolds and Denzel Rice could well be become frequent factors in the Defense and we may even see some new packages being played to try and somehow out coach the Pats.
The Defense is under more scrutiny than the Offense and that HAS to change today…an efficient showing from Davis and his Defense could spark a fire on both sides of the ball..but something has to change.