After two narrow victories in the first two weeks, the Eagles got a reality check in a 27-6 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
It’s still very early in the season and there is still a lot of football to be played. There are still a lot of question marks about this team. Can Michael Vick improve upon his ball security? Will Andy Reid make changes in his play calling? Will Juan Castillo change the way he utilizes his defensive stars?
Although there are a lot of questions, the Eagles are still the favorite in their SUnday Night match-up with the New York Giants. For those who use sports betting online, it has to be a very tempting line to put some action on.
However, we saw this same type of line come out as the Eagles hosted the Ravens in Week Two. They didn’t cover the line, but they definitely improved upon how they played the previous week. Can we expect to see an improved performance against a Giants team who has looked better after falling to the Cowboys in their opener?
If so, some definite changes are going to need to happen, and it all starts with the quarterback. Although he was able to turn the ball over numerous times in the first two weeks and escape with a win, it’s not the kind of strategy he can continue with and keep winning.
I think something that can help aid in reducing the turnover number is a healthy dose of LeSean McCoy. Even though McCoy is among the leaders in touches, it doesn’t feel like it. He’s a workhorse and can really turn the tide of a game. They need to get him started early and make the Giants defense respect the run game.
If McCoy can get it going, it will make life a lot easier for Vick. He’s made some questionable decisions early in the season, but we’ve seen some of the great throws he can make during the Ravens game.
The play of the offensive line will also be a key for the Eagles offense. If they can open some holes for McCoy and give Vick decent protection, the offense should be able to put some points on the board.
On the defensive side of the ball, I Castillo needs to play match-ups on the Giants receivers. Assuming Hakeem Nicks returns to action this week, I’d like to see Nnamdi Asomugha follow him around all night while Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie shadows Victor Cruz.
Ahmad Bradshaw will return to the lineup for the Giants, but the Eagles run defense has made improvements in their front seven compared to last season. Opposing run games don’t scare me the way that they used to in years prior.
The defensive line needs to get to Eli Manning early and often. We’ve all seen that Manning will make bad decisions once he gets rattled. If they can get to him from the start, they should be able to produce some turnovers.
This is a game the Eagles should be able to take if they play as well as their capable of. However, we haven’t seen them live up to their potential so far this season.
With the Brian Dawkins jersey retirement ceremony taking place Sunday night, there’s no doubt that the Linc will be rocking. The Eagles just need to show up and really give the crowd something to cheer about.