Friday, October 22, 2010

Eagles @ Titans Preview

Before the season started I predicted the outcome of each Eagles game and through the first six weeks I am right on track as far as wins and losses. I had Philly knocking off the Redskins at home and losing to the 49ers on the road, but the end result remains the same; 4-2.

This week I have the Eagles winning in Tennessee to go into their bye week at 5-2. While the Titans are playing better than I expected, this is a game that Philadelphia should be able to win given the way that Kevin Kolb has been running the offense and the pressure that the Bird's defense has been able to create against opposing quarterbacks.

The main concern in this game will be Philadelphia's ability to contain Tennessee RB Chris Johnson, who is currently the second leading rusher in the NFL with 596 yards. The Eagles did a great job last week shutting down Atlanta's Michael Turner, but doing the same to Johnson will be a bit more difficult.

One thing in the Eagles favor is that it appears that Kerry Collins will get the start at quarterback for the injured Vince Young. Collins is more than capable of moving this offense down the field , maybe even more so than Young, but his lack of mobility plays right into the hands of Philly's pass rush and blitz schemes.

This game will be won or loss on Kolb's ability to keep the offense on the field and put points on the board like he has done the past two weeks. The easiest way to get a win against the Titans is to grab an early lead and force Collins to beat you with the pass; which takes Johnson out of the mix.

The second half of the Eagles season is far more challenging, so getting to 5-2 before the bye (as predicted)becomes extremely important to the long-term success of this team as right now it looks like it will take at least 10 or 11 victories to win the division.

Below is a link to my complete preview of this game as originally posted on Cappers Picks.

NFL Week 7: Eagles vs. Titans Wagering Pick / Handicapping

Friday, October 15, 2010

Atlanta vs. Philadelphia Preview & Free Week 6 Pick

Week 6 in the NFL brings us the first real big game of the 2010 Eagles season in my mind. The game with the Redskins was important because it was a divisional opponent as well as having the drama of Donovan McNabb's return, but Sunday's game with Atlanta will provide a great test to measure how good Philadelphia really is (or is not).

The Falcons are currently the most solid team in the NFC in all phases of the game. Their offense is ranked seventh overall and second in rushing offense. Their ball-hawking defense is ranked 10th overall, second in points allowed, and +7 in turnovers.

Atlanta also matches up very favorably against the Eagles as its core strength;running the ball with Michael Turner and Jason Snelling will go against a defense that has had major problems stopping the run this year. Philly is giving up an average of 125.8 rushing yards per game, ranking them 24th in the league.

The X factor in this game could be the availability of Michael Vick. Andy Reid has not ruled him out which tells me if Kevin Kolb gets off to a bad start and the Eagles fall behind, Reid may push the envelope and try and work him into the game.

Call it a hunch, but do not be surprised if Vick pulls off a couple of big plays to get Philly a win against his old team.

Below is a link to my entire preview of this game as originally posted on Cappers Picks

Atlanta vs. Philadelphia Preview & Free Week 6 Pick

Friday, October 8, 2010

Eagles @ 49ers preview

Washington got the best of the Eagles on the scoreboard in last week's 17-12 loss, but I would hardly call this game a testament that trading Donovan McNabb in the offseason was a huge mistake.

If you look at his overall performance it was very typical of why Philadelphia decided to go in a different direction with Kevin Kolb and recently Michael Vick in the first place. He ended the game completing just 8-of-19 attempts for 125 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. These are hardly numbers that justify trying to sign McNabb to a huge contract extension. His biggest asset in this game was his feet, scrambling for 39 yards including 18 yards for a key first down at the end of the game.

Even with this play, McNabb did not win this game for the Redskins, the Eagles lost it with turnovers, stupid penalties, and all-around sloppy play. After what I saw last Sunday, Washington still looks very much like the team that only managed to win four games last season.

Do not get me wrong, I was and still am a big Donovan McNabb fan, but it is highly doubtful the Eagles would be any better than their current 2-2 record if he was still with the team.

There are problems with a run defense that is giving up an average of 138.8 yards per game and special teams that are continually giving opposing teams excellent field position on both kick and punt coverage. These obviously have nothing to do with the quarterback position.

If you breakdown the Eagles offensive numbers, they are ranked 12th in passing, 11th in rushing, and eighth in total yards and points per game. There is a much better balance between the pass and the run and once Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are healthy, they will be back to full strength.

In the meantime, Kevin Kolb will get his job back for at least Sunday night's game against the 49ers as the Eagles try to get by without two of their biggest offensive stars against a team that is 0-4, but still very dangerous at home. At this point, a win in this game would be a bonus and do not be surprised if Philly is still tied for the lead in the division even if they lose this one.

Here is a link to a brief preview of my top 3 matchups in the NFC this week including this game. It was originally posted on SportsBook Lists.

Top 3 NFC Matchups-Week 5