The 10-1 Eagles are rolling, to say the least. They have won each of their last three games by 28 points and haven’t lost a matchup since September 17th when the Chiefs were still good. As we look ahead to the possible hardest two-week stretch for Philadelphia, it only makes sense to wonder, do the Eagles have any weaknesses? Anyone who has followed the Eagles for any amount of time knows to temper their expectations, but with this being a seemingly divine season for the team, it’s time to look at what could prevent them from going all the way, and how they can overcome it.
So far this season, the Eagles have been able to do three things well. They stop the run, they run the ball, and they score when they have redone opportunities. While these may seem stupidly obvious, if you can successfully do these three things consistently, your team will be set up for success. If you run well, it opens up the passing attack. If you stop the run well, it stifles the opposite team’s ability to pass the ball. Finally, if you take advantage of red zone opportunities and don’t make avoidable mistakes, you’re going to win. It’s that simple.
We have all heard about Carson Wentz on third down, but as a team, the Eagles have scored on 28 of 39 trips to the red zone. In the last six games, they have scored on 18 of 22 trips. That’s simply incredible. A lot of this can be attributed to Wentz and his ongoing MVP campaign. However, it also helps that he’s getting time from the offensive line and he has receivers who are open and not dropping easy passes.
The Eagles only semi-obvious weakness comes at the linebacker position. After Jordan Hicks went down with a season-ending Achilles injury, there wasn’t a whole lot of depth to fill in. Philadelphia has made up for this with an incredible defensive line and a surprisingly good secondary.
If a team is able to figure out how to target the middle fo the field with quick passes, they could take advantage of a weakened position group. One team that could accomplish this is the Saints. If they’re able to find the mismatch with Alvin Kamara on one of the Eagles weaker linebackers, they’ll be able to chip away like they have all season. However, with a banged up secondary, the Saints defense is looking a little shaky late in the season.
The only team that seems like a real threat to the Eagles right now is the Los Angeles Rams. Quarterback Jared Goff is playing lights out and their defense has also been a brick wall. The key to defeating the Rams is shutting down running back Todd Gurley. If the Eagles defensive line can shut him down, the secondary will be good enough to stifle their air attack. The matchup between the Eagles and Rams in two weeks looks to be a defensive battle.
Ultimately, the way this season has gone, the Eagles biggest competition is themselves. If they can simply keep doing what they’ve been doing for the last 9 weeks, they’ll be unstoppable. The big question, however, is can they keep it up against tougher competition like the Seahawks and the Rams? In two weeks, we’ll know.