Jump to content

Game Preview – PHI at DAL


Recommended Posts

Game Preview – PHI at DAL

Posted: September 27th, 2021 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

I was excited for the Eagles season opener. I was curious heading into last week. This is Dallas and that means I’m nervous. Dallas can either bring out the best or the worst in the Eagles. Think of the Pickle Juice game or 44-6. Or think about giving up 34 points a game in the last three trips to JerryWorld. Dallas makes me nervous.

This will be a key test for the young Eagles. Dallas doesn’t have a defense like the Niners so Jalen Hurts and his skill players should be able to score points on them. The Cowboys do have a great offense so they will show us just how good the Eagles defense is (or isn’t).

Both teams will be missing players. Dallas is without multiple DL, a starting LB, a key WR and their RT. The Eagles will be missing Brandon Graham, Brandon Brooks, Jordan Mailata and Rodney McLeod. Neither team has great depth so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Some backups will have a chance to prove themselves and be heroes…or will struggle on national TV.

Brandon Graham will be replaced by Josh Sweat in the 4-man DL looks. When the Eagles go with 3-man looks, it will likely be rookie Milton Williams who gets the call. Sweat will do just fine rushing the passer from LDE. Williams has been up and down so far. Dallas would be smart to try to run at him. He isn’t the most stout DL against the run.

Landon Dickerson gets the call at RG. He took over last week and had his share of struggles. The coaches love his potential so they’re going to play him. And now he’s had a full week of practice to get ready. I think he should be fine.

Marcus Epps will start for McLeod, again. Epps is an acceptable backup, but he’s not proven to be a good player. That’s not ideal when going against the Dallas passing attack.

The biggest mystery is what will happen at LT. Andre Dillard will start and the Eagles are saying all the right things about him, but his track record is less than inspiring. This is a huge opportunity for Dillard. If he can play even reasonably well, that will change the narrative and get people off his back. If he struggles, it will enforce the notion that’s he’s a complete bust.

Dillard has good feet. He is athletic. He has the potential to be a solid starting LT. The big issues are strength and physicality. Dillard is susceptible to power rushes. He does not anchor well. He doesn’t get much movement in the run game. Maybe that changed this summer, but it didn’t seem to based on practice reports.

Dillard did play well against the Jets in the preseason finale. Legitimately well. Not graded on a steep curve (No QBs were maimed so I guess he was okay). Dillard wasn’t great by any stretch, but he did look better than he had in previous showings. He was going against backups in the preseason so we can’t make much of this. Still, it had to help his confidence to play like that and then to see it on tape. The potential is there.

I’m genuinely curious to see how the Eagles defense does tonight. Dallas has a solid OL, playmakers all over and a good QB. They can beat you in a variety of ways. This will be by far the best offense the Eagles have faced.

Dallas can move the chains (best 3rd down offense in the league so far) or they can gash you with chunk plays. The Eagles have limited big plays, but struggled at times with letting both SF and ATL grind out drives one first down at a time.

It will also be interesting to see how Darius Slay, Steve Nelson and Avonte Maddox do against these receivers. We know the secondary is improved. But how good are they? Just being Top 20 would be better than the past few years.

The Eagles have not come up with a takeaway yet. That needs to change tonight. A Josh Sweat strip sack would be fun for the whole family.

Nick Sirianni called a great game in the opener and the Eagles executed his plan perfectly, throwing quick passes and adding RAC yards. Last week was bombs away, with a bunch of deep throws. Only one worked and even it didn’t lead to points. Ugh.

With Dillard at LT, this feels like a time to go back to the gameplan from the opener. That said, Dallas has a better back seven than Atlanta did so you can’t count on having the same kind of success.

We really need to see Hurts get the ball to his WRs on intermediate throws. We also need to see him work the middle of the field better. Everything can’t be outside the numbers. I think we’ll see Hurts feed the ball to DeVonta Smith tonight.

The TEs disappeared last week. It would be great to see them come back. Dallas Goedert has had some big games against Dallas.

The Cowboys haven’t given up more than 95 rushing yards in a game so far. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles try to run on them, specifically going at Micah Parsons. He is a MLB playing DE. In theory, you should try to run right at him. See if he holds up. Also, pounding on him might slow down his pass rush. Parsons was highly disruptive last week as a rusher.

I feel like Sirianni will have a good plan and the Eagles will be ready to play tonight. But Dillard has me nervous. I’ll go with the Eagles, mainly because I believe in this coaching staff. I think they’ll learn from last week.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...