The Philadelphia Eagles ‘Dream Team’ has failed to impress anyone. There are a laundry list of problems that are currently plaguing the Eagles, and if they are not adressed in a timely fashion, this season could be quickly lost. Luckily for Philadelphia (1-2), they have a bounce-back game this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers (2-1), in a game played at Lincoln Financial Field.
Given the Eagles recent struggles, this game will be the team’s chance to prove themselves and make a statement to the doubters that are already writing the off. This is also one of the few games that Philadelphia will be able to fall-back on, before their schedule gets more difficult. The 49ers may have the better record, but their two wins came against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks.
Here are five bold predictions for the game:
5. Nnamdi Asomugha Will Make a Huge Impact in The Game
Philadelphia was rioting after last week’s loss to the New York Giants, and how the Eagles big free agency acquisition Nnamdi Asomugha failed miserably in pass coverage. Even to this day, how Victor Cruz was able to out-perform a shut down corner like Asomugha in the red-zone is beyond me, but it happened. This week, Asomugha won’t let it happen again.
Alone the caliber of quarterback between Eli Manning and Alex Smith is huge, and Asmougha will inevitably force a mistake from the 49ers struggling quarterback, or he will lock down an entire side of the field. Really — Just doing what he should have been all along.
4. There Will Be a Few Roughing The Passer Calls Called For Michael Vick
After losing to the Giants and being knocked out of the game, Michael Vick publicly said that he wasn’t getting calls that other quarterbacks in the NFL would have. Whether or not he is right is beside the point, but the NFL certainly took notice of the comments. There will be a no non-sense quarterback policy on both Smith and Vick in this game, and there will be a number of calls for both passers.
In other words — Vick wins.
3. Frank Gore Will Do Nothing Against The Eagles Rushing Defense
This will be the first week that rookie linebacker Casey Matthews will not be starting, and instead will be another rookie in Brian Rolle. I am not sure how effective the switch will be, but I do know that Jamar Chaney starting in the middle changed the entire complexion of the Eagles defense. Last week the Eagles did a great job at containing Ahmad Bradshaw and I expect that to carry over into this game.
Frank Gore hasn’t been the same since his season-ending injury last year, and the Pro-Bowl running back could be on the decline. I am actually more worried about Kendall Hunter, the 49ers rookie running back from Oklahoma State.
2. Andy Reid Will Run The Ball More Than Usual
Andy Reid does run the west coast offense, and he does prefer the pass. This is common knowledge in Philadelphia. However, given Michael Vick’s recent struggles with injury, Reid will be aiming to keep him healthy, and that means utilizing the running game. LeSean McCoy has been a monster this season, and is only getting better as the weeks go on, and I expect him to have a good game against the 49ers defense.
There is no reason for the Eagles not to utilize McCoy, and he could be the key to the season. Reid has done this in the past, when Donovan McNabb was injured, he would shoulder the load onto Brian Westbrook.
1. The Eagles Offense Will Explode For 30 or More Points
Philadelphia has a lot to prove this game. They were considered early Super Bowl favorites, and three weeks into the season look more like a rebuilding team than an actual contender. This is the perfect game for the Eagles to flex their muscle and show that they really are legit Super Bowl contenders, and are an actual team to fear every single Sunday.
What does Philadelphia do best? Put up points, and put them up quickly. Against a mediocre 49ers defense this will be the Eagles perfect chance to strike.
The Eagles and 49ers base talent is on two entirely different levels and Philadelphia should have no problems taking care of business at home here. These two teams played last season, and the Eagles barley escaped from San Francisco with a win, but that was when Kevin Kolb was starting and Vick was injured. Philadelphia will win big this Sunday — 49ers 19 – Eagles 31