Seattle, WA- The Philadelphia Eagles have the chance to shock the world once again if they can get a victory over the Minnesota Vikings to play in Super Bowl 52, but the task will be hard.
The Eagles have put a defensive clinic on their last four opponents and have made it thus far with a shaky Nick Foles at the Quarterback position. Foles has done just enough to put the Eagles in the victory lane to finish the game off, but the offense has stalled on many attempts. The Eagles have nothing but speed on the outside with Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and Nelson Agholor, but recently they have not been productive on the receiving end.
Jeffery, Smith, and Agholor only combined for a total of 124 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. In order to go against the top-ranked defense, which has allowed only 16.24 yards a game, the Eagles need to take their shots down the field. The Vikings like to play a lot of zone coverage, which could be a huge momentum change for the Eagles if Foles can get the ball out on time. The middle of the field will be open and that will open up big plays in the later quarters.
However, the matchup between Jeffery and Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith will be something that can alter what the Eagles will do offensively.
Harrison Smith is considered one of the best safeties in the league. He is very smart when it comes to staying disciplined. He rarely bites on double moves and that is something that the Eagles like to do against opponents. Foles has to be mistake free in order for the Eagles to pull off the upset against the Vikings. The Vikings will put pressure on the Eagles, so the offensive line has to be ready and Foles has to have time to go through his progressions. At times he has a habit of throwing to his first read without going through all of his progressions, which could be a problem if he feels pressured.
That is one of the factors that the Eagles can pull the upset off, but their running attack on the ground has been superb the entire year. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount have been the lighting and thunder that the Eagles needed. Both of these running backs have to have at least 10-12 touches each to take the pressure off of Foles and Ajayi needs to take care of the ball. Last week against the Falcons, he fumbbled the ball on the Eagles first possession. Take care of the ball is a must to have any type of success against the Vikings.
The Eagles need to strike aggressively and take their shots down the field. The Vikings are a bend but don’t break team so get your playmakers the ball early and be mistake free.
On the defensive end, the Eagles are ranked 4th in the league and opponents averaged around 18.4 points game against them. The defense came up big on a 4 and 2 in their own end zone against one of the best wide receivers in the league last week against the Falcons. However, the defense has to keep Case Keenum contained. They have to put pressure on him and not give him any kind of time to find his wide receivers. Take away any deep plays and put a spy on Keenum at all times.
Both defenses will make some key stops, but this game will be an offensive struggle.
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