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2015 Week 4 Eagles v Redskins

Blognosticator - Riggotoni

Chips Ahoy

It was with more than meager ounce of elation I observed the Eagles fall flat on their beaks the first two games of this season. After all, who could resist a snicker or two at last year’s NFC rushing champ DeMarco Murray averaging a whopping 1.6 FEET per carry. These weren’t the result of heartbreaking last drive collapses like those that afflicted the Giants – this was full blown ineptitude. Hallelujah! This was the Stay-Puff Marshmallow monster wreaking havoc on the City of Brotherly turmoil. This was Sam Bradford being who we all thought he was, only we weren’t certain because he never stayed healthy long enough to prove his mediocrity. It was glorious. Schadenfreude’s finest hour.

And then, tragedy struck. A complacent Jets team let some guy named Ryan Matthews drop 100 yards on them, and they let Darren Sproles take a kick back to the house. Yo Jets – losing on account of special teams incompetence is our expertise – how dare you encroach upon our territory! And then there was Fitzpatrick, doing his annual “just when you thought I’d turned the corner…fooled ya!” game.

Bradford for his part still only managed a measly 118 yards and 50% completion rate despite having a rusher pass the century mark. Those are “Scott Brunell 2004” numbers.

So, just who are these Eagles, and should we be afraid? We have enough beef up front to stop Matthews – I’m more worried about Sproles getting a bigger role in the screen game. We have enough depth (thank you Scot) along the D-line to not succumb to fatigue from Chip Kelly’s hurry up offense. On paper, this is looking like a relatively favorable matchup, especially for a home game. And yet somehow that affords me little comfort.

Much of our success controlling the clock the first two games came from dominating the left side of the line. I was never a fan of Lavao, but once we scrapped the oil and water hodgepodge of vestigial Shanny blocking systems with Cincy schemes and went straight for muscle, he’s done an admirable job of pulling and clearing big holes for MoJo. It started to look like Rock and the Big Banga knocking people over on the right side back in 99. Booyah!

And now he’s hurt.

LeRibeus at LG? Ugh. Spencer Long? Who knows? Kouandijo? Another unknown. We have to get the run game going early and often (thank you Captain Obvious), and this isn’t exactly inspiring confidence.

Speaking of lack of confidence, I think it was frighteningly evident that Cousins went into last weeks’ game still haunted by his 2014 NY debacle. We’ve all seen Cousins make questionable decisions, but I don’t recall ever seeing his accuracy so far off the mark. It’s the misfires that concern me even more than the INTs, because I think they’re indicative of trepidation in the pocket. Perhaps it’s just the Giants that are his boogeyman; at least, that’s what I’m hoping. Garcon and Reed are going to need to come up big and bail him out this week. That is, if he can get the ball anywhere near them.

Divisional games never go the way anyone expects, unless it’s the Texans losing, or the Patriots winning. I expect this to be an ugly game. Our defense has been quite effective at “bend, don’t break,” but they’ve come up with just one turnover in three games. It’s the unfavorable turnover ratio and some special teams gaffe that will ultimately stop us short of the mark in this one. Eagles peck out a win, 20-17.
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