Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NFC Championship Preview.

The Eagles have been able to do the unthinkable in a very short amount of time. After the horrible performance versus the Bengals and then the Ravens McNabb debacle, Nostradomus himself couldn't have predicted what the Eagles were able to do in the last two months.

The Eagles now have a serious shot at going to the Super Bowl, and possibly winning the Super Bowl. I know, slow down. One game at a time. With that I truly believe that the Eagles are the only team that can beat the Eagles this week. The recipe is pretty simple to beat Arizona, put pressure on Kurt Warner and you might as well put an Eagles jersey on him. It's that simple. The popular thing to say this week is that Larry Fitzgerald is going to be the key and he can't be stopped. Again its simple. You can stop Larry Fitzgerald, by putting pressure on Warner. If Warner isn't given the time, you could have my grandmother covering Fitzgerald, it won't matter. I'm going to go more in depth about what needs to be done exactly to get the win, but my main point will be, put pressure on Warner and he will hand you the win gift wrapped. With that, lets get into some more things that will make the Eagles day a little easier.

1) Control the clock: Slow the game down.

The one thing you absolutely can not do with the Cardinals, is let them get out to a fast start. What the Cardinals do a lot is stretch the field quickly and score quickly. When they do that, they sometimes force you to get away from your game plan. If they are up 14-0 or 17-0 in the second quarter, you might start to press a little and start getting away from what you do best. When this happens, mistakes are made, which leads to my next point.

2) Do not turn the ball over.

This is the biggest key to the Cardinals recent success. In the Panther first 7 possessions, they scored a TD, they punted 3 times, and they had 3 turnovers. If any team has that bad of a start, you will never stand a chance to win that game. The Cardinals scored 17 points in the first half off of turnovers. That's the game right there. You either have to be Tom Brady or a miracle worker to come back from that. And Jake Delhomme is far from being either of those two. Now with the score being so lopsided, instead of running the ball which they do well, they had to rely on Jake Delhomme to get into a shootout with Kurt Warner. Ten times out of ten Delhomme loses that battle. So either credit the Cardinals defense for stopping the run and forcing turnovers or give credit to the Panthers for making it easy for the Cardinals. In the first half, the Panthers ran 25 plays in 7 possessions, 8 were runs. The first 2 possessions of the game each had 3 running plays. One of the possessions led to a TD. So for the next 5 possessions they ran the ball just 2 times. They deserved to lose.

3) You can't play a zone, and only rush four men against Kurt Warner.

I don't have to worry about this with Jim Johnson being defesive cordinator. He's going to have guys on Warner all day. I just got done watching the replay of the Panthers/Cardinals game on NFL Replay. And you could see why Warner was carving up the Panthers defense. They were rushing their defensive linemen and thats it pretty much the whole game. They had the occasonal blitz but for the most part Kurt Warner could have been bagging groceries and he still would have had time throw against that defense. It was pathetic. The Panthers sacked Warner 1 time last Saturday, thats it. Again, you deserved to lose. Moral of the story, if get pressure on Warner you will win the game, end of story.

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