The Eagles are at the point we want them to be right now, 1-0. Donovan McNabb has gone down and I doubt he will play this week but the team needs to push on. The Saints had an impressive win Week One but they were also playing a team who didn’t win a game last year. Below is an overview of our Week Two opponent.
Drew Brees – This guy can throw the football. The Eagles had a bunch of interceptions last week, and they need to do the exact same thing this week. Brees threw the ball for 358 yards and six touchdowns last week. Sure they were playing the Lions but that doesn’t mean all that much. He can throw the ball against anybody. In my opinion, he’s right up there on the Tom Brady, Peyton Manning level. The Eagles need to force him into making mistakes. It’s going to be important to get pressure on him so he can’t just sit back and throw the ball all day. If he gets time, he can pick apart any defenese.
Reggie Bush – He wasn’t very impressive with 12 touches last week and one fumble but the guy is still explosive. His NFL career has not lived up to the expectations it was given when he got drafted out of USC but he can’t be overlooked. He’s still explosive out of the backfield, especially catching the ball and is a tough guy to bring down in the open field. I’m hoping Sheldon Brown reintroduces himself to Bush again.
Pierre Thomas – He did not play last week but has been a full participant in practice this week and I would expect to see him on the field a lot. He came in last year and made a name for himself towards the end of the season and showed that he can be a solid runningback. This is a pass first team, but if they can establish a running game they wont hesitate to keep after it. Our defense shut down two really good running backs last week and I expect big things out of them again this week.
Marques Colston / Devery Henderson – These are two young receivers who are really starting to blossom. They combined for over 130 yards receiving and two touchdowns last Sunday. Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown will have their hands full with these two but after last weeks performance I have confidence that they can get the job done. They need help from the defensive line to make Brees try to force the ball.
Jeremy Shockey – Here’s a fimiliar name, and I hope you all hate this guys guts as much as I do. He’s kind of been under the radar lately (on the field, not poolside) but had a nice game last week. He had four catches, two of which were for touchdowns. This scares me a bit because the Eagles seem to have huge problems covering opposing tight ends. They can’t let this guy get open all day or he’ll drive them nuts.
Jammal Brown / Jermon Bushrod – These are the two left tackles that the Saints have and neither one of them practiced yesterday. Brown has a hip injury and Bushrod has an ankle injury. Come Sunday, whoever is there is bound to be less than 100 percent. Trent Cole needs to wreak absolute havok. He played well last week and needs to play even better this week. Brees better get sick of seeing him come Sunday.
Charles Grant / Will Smith – Turns out these roided out freaks will be playing on Sunday. Both have been around the Saints for a while and are solid defensive ends. The Eagles did a good job of containing Julius Peppers last week so I’m confident they can protect the quarterback again this week. Winston Justice needs to prove that last week wasn’t a fluke and that he really is ready to be an offensive tackle in this league for a long time.
Jonathan Vilma / Scott Fujita – These two veterans will be looking to rip Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy’s head off all day. It’s going to be important for Leonard Weaver and any pulling linemen to get a helmet on these guys and allow our runners to get by. It’s particulary imporant because we really need to establish a run game Sunday to take some pressure off Kevin Kolb. We don’t need him to throw the ball 40 times.
Secondary – The Saints secondary had three interceptions last week off a young Matthew Stafford. This would make me feel comfortable except for the fact that Stafford has now started more games than Kolb has. I’m not expecting Kolb to be throwing a lot of deep balls over the top so the receivers really need to run crisp routes to get separation. If not Kolb will more than likely start forcing the ball and he’ll look like Jake Delhomme.
Returns – I think this may be where Reggie Bush poses the biggest threat. If our coverages guys don’t get down there fast enough on punts and he has a lot of open field to work with he can really make you pay. Dimitri Patterson did well last week at his gunner position and is really going to have to work to get down the field fast. Pierre Thomas is listed as their kick returner but I am unsure if he will handle those duties on Sunday. The young wide receiver Robert Meachem handled that job last week and did well so we may see him again. He averaged close to 25 yards per return and had a long of 42.
John Carney – The Eagles face another solid kicker this week in Carney but he does spend 8 of his games every year kicking in a dome. Hopefully the Eagles can hold them to three early and often.
This is the HOME OPENER of the season. We all better be out in full force letting those Saints know exactly where they are. Let’s make some noise and bring home a big W.