Its about time to focus on the most important game for the Eagles this season: that being the next one...Yeah, its cliched but I am firm believer in the one-game-at-a-time model...and the Eagles better be as well. After a hugely disappointing loss in New Orleans the Eagles can ill-afford to come out soft against the struggling Buccaneers. Under Andy Reid, the Eagles have a pretty good history of rebounding...and they need it as much as ever when they travel to Tampa on Sunday. Why, because a win would put them at 5-2 and keep them ahead of whoever wins the Dallas-GYNts game on Monday night.
Lets face it, the Dallas-GYNts winner will be 4-2, the loser 3-3, if the Eagles can keep it together they will have restored some distance between themselves and all but 1 other NFC East team. As for who I like in the MNF game....that is a tough one...a Dallas win keeps the MEO erosion at bay and it benefits the team I most love to hate...however it would make the GYNts 2-1 in the division instead of 3-0 so that it good thing (the Eagles really need to get that win back when they go to the Meadowlands)....A GYNts win would keep the second best team in the NFC East red-hot make life harder, BUT it would probably all sorts of consternation in Dallas (especially if MEO gets shutdown).
Ok, so now that the stakes are laid out, what will it take to win? Well, the Eagles need to get to return to the balanced offense that was on display in the first few games...my reasoning is simple: as the Eagles have gone "big-play" in the last few games their ability to sustain drives and convert third downs has seriously diminished. This situation has fed on itself and made the Eagles O, in my opinion, seemingly more reliant on the big play to re-assert itself or get any sort of momentum. This also puts our D on the field more often, which, in turn, adds to the number of time they must come up with stops...We, as a team, just shouldn't be allowing the other team to have so many possessions during a game...each possession, inherently, presents our opponent with an opportunity to score. It would be nice to be see the offense try and run the ball a little bit, especially since the Bucs just traded one of their biggest bodies in the middle of their D, DT Booger McFarland, to the Colts. Its not like they don't do ok running the ball...the Eagles CAN run the ball, they just don't seem to stick with it long enough to make a real difference in the game.
The Eagles D and Special Teams also needs to kick it up a notch (or two)...Much as I just harped on the offense, they are putting up points; and enough to win each and every game. Special Teams cost us 7 points last week, and it came as just the wrong time (just before the half when it looked like the Eagles might be able grab some momentum). Not that there is GOOD time to have a huge ST gaffe, but anything with less than two minutes remaining in a half is B-A-D....