GREEN BAY, WI –
After two straight losses, the Philadelphia Eagles desperately need a victory to change the direction of the team around. The Eagles will take on the Green Bay Packers on the road, and the Packers boast a tough offense and revamped defense who has carried them thus far. This will be one of the toughest games of the season for the Eagles on a short week, and it will take a full 60-minute effort to emerge victorious. Here’s what to watch tomorrow:
1 – Do the Small Things Right: The Eagles have been their own worst enemy at times this season. Whether it’s missed blocks, detrimental penalties, or dropped passes, the Eagles have hindered their success due to self-inflicted mistakes. The Eagles need a dynamic, full-team performance, and the Eagles can’t emerge victorious if they continue to get in their own way. Look for the Eagles to clean up the mistakes they made last week and continue to be more efficient offensively and defensively.
2 – Establish the Run Game: The Eagles still have yet to have a 100-yard rusher on the season. Miles Sanders is the leading rusher on the season with just 106 yards, and the Eagles have just 193 rushing yards outside of Sanders. I would feed Jordan Howard more and Sanders less, personally, but either way, the Eagles need to establish some ground game. Darren Sproles should be used only on rare occasions on specialty plays. The Eagles can’t expect Carson Wentz to do everything.
3 – Step up Secondary: Rasul Douglas, Malcolm Jenkins, Sidney Jones, and every Eagles CB and S needs to step up, especially after losing Ronald Darby. After three lackadaisical starts this season, the Eagles defense as a whole hasn’t been very productive this year. Aaron Rodgers will find ways to pick apart the secondary if the Eagles don’t make major adjustments. I expect Rodgers to have success against the Eagles, but the Eagles need to mitigate his success and force Aaron Jones to run the ball. The Eagles need to figure out their pass defense woes quickly.
4 – Feed Him until it Ertz: If I were the Eagles, I would force the ball to Zach Ertz early and often. I don’t know how effective the Eagles’ WR corps will be, and even back from injury, top receivers won’t be at peak form. The Eagles need their big tight end to get more targets and play a bigger role. Ertz was limited since he was double-teamed against the Lions, so if the Packers don’t double him, Ertz should be thrown to until it’s practically impossible.
5 – History: The Packers have dominated the Eagles recently winning five of the last six match-ups. The Packers also own the all-time series 27-16. The Packers have recent and past success against the Eagles; can the Eagles reverse history? The Eagles and Packers are trending in two very different directions, so it is absolutely vital for the Eagles to get their momentum going quickly against the undefeated Packers.
Tune in to FOX or NFL Network at 8:20 for Thursday Night Football. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet on Twitter: @BirdsInformer during the game.