From Mike Lombardi at
[url="http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/2008/09/national-football-post-tavern-talk-23/"]http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/200 ... n-talk-23/[/url] .
Reading this it sounds very possible for us to walk out of Philly with a W. In my mind it comes down to our O-line giving Big Ben that extra 0.75 seconds to throw, and how well Eason and Roye can fill in for the Diesel.
By the way, how well can Westbrook block? If not very well, then as long as we don't get suckered by the screen, all-blitz all-the-time might be the way to neutralize that high powered offense.
WEEK THREE IN THE NFL
The importance of Starting 3-0
Since 1990 (under the current playoff format)
-93 teams have started 3-0
-72 teams (77.4%) made the playoffs
-21 teams (22.6%) did not.
Teams Starting 3-0 and Missing Playoffs - Since 1990
1993 Cleveland Browns
1993 New Orleans Saints
1993 Philadelphia Eagles
1994 New York Giants
1995 St. Louis Rams
1996 Kansas City Chiefs
1996 Miami Dolphins
1998 New Orleans Saints
1998 Seattle Seahawks
1999 New England Patriots
2000 New York Jets
2001 San Diego Chargers
2002 Denver Broncos
2002 Miami Dolphins
2002 New England Patriots
2002 New Orleans Saints
2002 San Diego Chargers
2002 Carolina Panthers
2003 Minnesota Vikings
2004 Jacksonville Jaguars
2006 Cincinnati Bengals
Here are some notes for the big game this week for bragging rights in Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
1. Eagles will need to start the game fast, without any lingering effects of the Monday night game. They cannot get off to a bad start.
2. Pittsburgh is a 3-4 defense THAT CAN ATTACK teams that run the west coast offense. They can create some problems in their protections. And the edge players of the Steelers are fast and will make it hard for Runyan and Thomas. This 3-4 IS much different than the 3-4 of the Boys.
3. MUST LOCATE AND INDENTIFY, CONTROL AND CONTAIN 43 TROY POLAMALU. He is the key to trying to understand what they are doing and where they might be coming from.
4. Eagles have to find big passing plays in the game. It is not going to be a defense you can drive and control the ball on. Have to hit them with a big play and hope you can make plays in the red zone. Hard team to prepare for on a short week. I bet the Eagles spent some time in the off season working on this plan.
5. Mark Whipple, the Eagles offensive assistant, was in Pittsburgh for a few years and knows the defense.
6. Eagles need to work on their nickel runs this week. Trying to make a living on first and ten runs against the Steelers is very difficult.
7. Eagle wide outs MUST block this week. Stopping 43 POLAMALU from getting involved in the run game is hard and takes courage on the blockers part. DeSean Jackson will get killed trying to be physical. His role will be limited to when they throw it AND IF he goes in to block, he better bring his best effort. This is not the place for the timid.
8. Steelers are 13-2 in their last 15 games vs. the NFC
9. Philadelphia was 5th in the NFL in Red Zone defense last year and that is where they broke down against the Cowboys. Pittsburgh, a hard to score on in the RZ team, are excellent at scoring. Hard to run the ball on the Steelers and even harder to run it in the red zone.
10. Whatever running back the Eagles have on the field, HE HAS TO BE the best pass protector. This game will be too tight to have a back on the field that is not a solid and firm protector. Key to playing the Steelers.
11. EAGLES NEED TO USE DOUBLE COUNTS, SHIFTS OF STRENGTHS, ESPECIALLY FROM SPREAD, WHICH MAKES THEM RELOAD THE BLITZ- It will force them to declare and with both the double count and the shift, they have to be precise. This is a smart defense, 9 of the 11 starters have been here since longer than 2004 and in the same Dick LeBeau system. 51 Farrior and 50 Foote, get them lined up. They will know checks and we will have to change our checks during the game. These two are very smart football players.
12. EAGLES MUST AVOID NEGATIVE PLAYS AND PROTECT THE BALL. We have to be able to get the play off and not allow their offense to have a short field. With their ability to create fumbles (6th in the NFL) in that area based on their team speed and tackling ability, we have to hold onto the ball.
13. MUST PRESSURE AND TACKLE 7 Roethlisberger and force him into mistakes. He is not always well prepared for something new, and will make mistakes in the game. Referee has a slow whistle with him. And he does make plays on the move. Last year, Big Ben made more mistakes on the road, and 8 of their 14 interceptions last year, happened on the road. He will make more mistakes away from home.
14. Steelers offensive line is a weak link and Willie Colon and Marvel Smith will be the key to their success. Colon struggles to be athletic and Smith does not handle speed and power. Trent Cole is really playing at a high level right now for Philadelphia.
15. EAGLES MUST DEFEND THE BIG PLAY-There will be ONE coming each and every quarter. From all different ways, trick plays, double moves, vertical to 10 Holmes, play action, anyway they can make a big play in the passing game, they will take a shot. At least one per quarter. TRICK PLAYS–WARD PLAYED QB REVERSE PASSES THROWBACK PASSES RZ PLAYS- PITCH BACK
16. ALERT FOR DEPTH OF BACK-THEY ARE TRUE TO THEIR DEPTHS, RUN/PASS. They are very consistent with their placement of the back and when the back is at seven yards, its run, and 6 ˝ then some form of pass.
17. Another key for the Steelers is what wide receiver is in the game. Along with depth of back, this is key to what runs might be getting called. 85 Washington is the blocker, he will do the dirty work. 10 Holmes is not a very effective blocker. -ALERT FOR 85 WASHINGTON TO BE THE WIDE RECEIVER WHO IS USED ON CRACK BACK BLOCK.