Hello again everyone, and welcome back to another pregame preview for the much anticipated Eagles-Falcons match-up. Today, we will take a look at the other side of the ball, discussing what the Eagles need to do to stifle a young and talented Falcons’ D.
Like the Falcons’ offense, their defense displays a nice balance of young talent and veteran leadership. With guys like Vic Beasley Jr., Deion Jones, and Desmond Trufant; this defense is a scary unit with legitimate threats in every position group. This defense is good enough to keep Atlanta in every ball game, meaning the Eagles will need a solid game plan and constant execution if they want a shot at winning.
Put a Premium on Pass Blocking
The Falcons pass rush is scary, especially on the edge. Even with the loss of veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn, they still boast a pair of young yet ultra-talented edge rushers in Vic Beasley Jr. and Takkarist McKinley. These two have the ability to put pressure on quarterbacks every play, meaning tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson will have to play their best football to lock down the edges. But the outside isn’t the only concern. The Falcons have plenty of youth on the interior, mixed with lots of speed from any potential blitzing linebackers. The offensive line must be on their A-game, or whoever’s in the backfield is going to take a beating.
Run the Ball Early and Often
It’s common knowledge to most football fans that the run game sets up the pass. By establishing a ground game, offenses keep opposing defenses on their heels, setting up things like play action and RPO’s. And RPO’s are something Eagles’ fans should be quite familiar with. Nick Foles, the more probable week 1 starter, thrived in last seasons playoffs with the implementation of RPO’s. And as Nick is likely to start week 1, there’s no reason to stray away from them. Other than setting up the passing game, it is also important for the Eagles to get their variety of weapons rolling. With a backfield full of talent, including rushers Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Darren Sproles, there’s no reason to hide anyone. Getting these guys on the field will only help the group start building confidence for the rest of the season.
Got Two Quality Tight Ends? Use Them
With the 49th in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select… Dallas Goedert. After losing Trey Burton and Brett Celek this off-season, the Eagles were in need of an Ertz backup. So with their first official pick of the draft, they landed just the guy. Goedert is a big, physical tight end with the ability to both block and catch. Combine this with the fact that he has one of the league’s top tight ends to learn from, and he could be a huge threat in years to come. But the South Dakota State product shouldn’t be sitting too long. The Eagles have a golden opportunity to deploy many two tight end looks, whether it be to bolster the running game or create more passing options. Against a Falcons’ defense displaying a talented secondary, the Eagles need as many receiving weapons on the field as possible. And with Goedert now in the mix, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.