FanPost

Scouting the Patriots, and a Game Plan to Beat Them

What are the Eagles Strengths?
On Offense

  1. Runs off Left End and Left Tackle (5.9 ypc)
  2. Passing to Curtis and Westbrook and the Slot Receiver
  3. Runs off Right Tackle (4.7 ypc)
On Defense
  1. Stopping Runs off Left End (3.3 ypc)
  2. Stopping Runs of Left and Right Tackle (3.9 ypc)
  3. Covering Tight Ends
What are the Eagles Weaknesses?
On Offense
  1. Passing to Tight Ends and Reggie Brown
  2. Runs up the Middle (4.1 ypc)
  3. Pass Protection
On Defense
  1. Covering Wide Receivers
  2. Rushing Passers not named Jon Kitna
  3. Runs up the Middle and Off Right End (4.5 ypc)
What are the Patriots Strengths?
On Offense
  1. Passing to Moss and Welker
  2. Runs off Right End (5.3 ypc) and Left Tackle (5.2 ypc).
  3. Passing to Tight Ends in Redzone
On Defense
  1. Rushing the Passer
  2. Covering Slot Receivers
  3. Stopping Runs to Left (3.6 ypc) and Right End (2.1 ypc)
What are the Patriots Weaknesses?
On Offense
  1. Passing to Tight Ends outside the Redzone
  2. Passing to Stallworth
  3. Running off Left End (4.3 ypc)
On Defense
  1. Covering Tight Ends
  2. Covering Running Backs
  3. Runs between the Tackles (4.2-4.4 YPC)
Overall Patriots Drive Note
48 offensive touchdowns
22 punts (avg. return - 1 YARD!!!)
11 field goals
5 interceptions
4 fumbles lost
4 turnovers on downs
1 missed field goal
That would be 5 TD's, 2 punts, 1 FG, 1-2 turnovers per game.  So 2 of ever 3 drives is a scoring drive, while just 1 of 3 drives results in a forced or unforced (punt) turnover.  It doesn't make sense to give the Patriots the ball in any situation where your chance of conversion is over 66% on average.

The Game Plan
Summary - Play a Left Handed Game.  The Eagles Strengths and the Patriots Weaknesses are predominantly on the left side of the field.

Eagles on Offense
Base offense - 2 Wideout, 2 Tight End, 1 Runningback.

  1. Run to the left off Left End and Left Tackle.  Provide a change of pace with runs or cutbacks off Right Tackle.  Avoid runs off Right End.
  2. Passing priority - short timed passes to negate the rush with only the occasional long pass off play action.  Lots of slants, curls, seam routes and posts as well as screens.
-Tight Ends in the triangle between the Inside Linebackers and Harrison.
-Westbrook on screens and isolated on a linebacker.  If the Patriots play base defense against the Eagles base formation, split Westbrook out to the slot to get him isolated on a linebacker on a timing pattern.
-Curtis long on play action.
-Slot Receivers - play Baskett as a second Tight End like Dallas Clark, and work the middle of the field like a Tight End.  Use this to try to force a Nickel or Dime package on the field, then run at it by shifting through motion.
-Brown as a second read.
  1. Don't Punt!!!!  Seriously, punting is no different than throwing an interception since New England scores on almost ever possession.  Punting should be limited to percentage situations where the Eagles conversion chance outweighs the Patriots scoring chance if they get the ball on downs - say over 4th and 12 anywhere beyond the back 40, over 4th and 7 in the back 40.
  2. Tricks.  Kick onsides after scoring or to open a half at least twice.  Use at least two fake punts.  You have to do it twice because once it is done once, the expectation is it won't be done again, so do it again.
  3. Take the points with the field goal inside the 30 instead of trying to convert 4th downs unless trailing by 21 or more.
  4. Protect the football.  Slavishly avoid turnovers.  Better a field goal from the redzone than a turnover.
Eagles on Defense
  1. Funnel runs to the left to Cole, Spikes, and Brown - crash plays from the right with Gocong.
  2. Blitz Gocong and Dawkins very frequently.  If the Patriots go max protect, blitz Gaither as well.  Try to force hurried throws and throwing errors and to get to the ball while in Brady's hands - he will fumble it.
  3. JR Reed playing 20 yards deep shading to Moss.  Keep him useful but out of harms way.
  4. Hit Moss on the line and hit him again with a linebacker in the first 5 yards.  Try to force him out of bounds to make him ineligible.
  5. Hit Brady while passing and Moss while trying to make catches.  Don't jump to block passes - just hit them fullspeed in the gut.  Knock them on the their ass again and again.  Don't play dirty going for the head or knees, but don't worry about penalties either.  Both these guys are babies when it comes to getting hit clean and hard.
  6. Play the ball in passing.  Don't be concerned that the Patriots might get a big play out of it - its not as though the Eagles are going to stop them from scoring very often without turnovers.
  7. All out blitz on any Patriots punt to try to block it and leave Mahe to simply try to fair catch the ball.  Don't worry about field position - its not like the Eagles ever get good field position anyway.
The Eagles need a good game from the Corners, LJ Smith, Kearse/Thomas/Abiamiri to make a real pass rush, Westbrook, and the Offensive Line.  If they play well according to a plan like the one above, things can come together for a win.
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