Inside The Birds: “Major Advantage On The Inside”
The regular season has arrived, and the Eagles will be Atlanta-bound for their season opener on Sunday against the Falcons.
On the latest Inside The Birds, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan give their game preview and predictions for the Week 1 matchup. They also discuss the latest injuries and transactions.
Adam Caplan: “[McCain] was on Denver’s practice squad. He’s now the Eagles’ 53, which would tell me that they clearly had either a draftable grade on him or somebody liked him. I understand he’s got good size, he’s around 6 feet. He’s a small-school kid from North Carolina A&T, he put together some decent tape. Denver liked him so much that they gave him a partial guarantee in his contract. So he obviously has some things that they like and he’s on the 53 so technically he could play this week. I don’t know if he’ll dress, and you hope that he doesn’t have to play.”
Geoff Mosher: “They right now [are] a stronger team in the trenches. Offensive line is where it starts for them, the defensive line for the Falcons is in transition, they’ve got a new defensive coordinator. They’ve got one really good pass rusher. If you can block him up you should be able to make some plays.”
Caplan: “It’s the first time in several years they’ve got a lot of speed at receiver, and [Dallas] Goedert is an athlete at tight end. Use it. That’s the job of these coaches – trust them. [Quez] Watkins can flat-out fly, [Jalen] Reagor can fly, DeVonta Smith can fly. Let’s go.”
Mosher: “You look at the [Falcons] secondary – A.J. Terrell, second-year corner, Fabian Moreau. That shouldn’t strike fear anybody.”
Caplan: “The Eagles’ secondary is really thin as we know. They’ve got names but they don’t have a lot of depth and they’re going to be tested. They can not afford any kind of let down here and [Avonte] Maddox now is securely back in the slot, he’s got to play well, this is his contract year. [Steven] Nelson’s on a 1-year deal, he’ll be tested. He’s physical, tough, smart, but the Eagles – I believe it’ll be more of a zone team because that’s what they play in Minnesota. [They’ve run zone] historically under Mike Zimmer and that’s the way I see it here. I’m so interested to see how they cover Calvin Ridley, too, how do they slow him down. That’ll be fascinating.”
Caplan: “The Eagles have a major advantage on the inside. That’s to me where this game is going to be won – pressure on the inside. Matt Ryan does not move well and he’s not an athlete at all. If you make him move off the spot, he’s in major trouble. He’s got snowshoes on. They’re going to win this battle, I really believe that the Eagles will win on the inside.”
Mosher: “I definitely think they will – if they can stop the run. But you mentioned all those reasons and that the Eagles have good defensive linemen. That’s why God invented zone blocking. You get these guys going right and then you get them going left, you pound them with the run and it doesn’t become a 1-on-1 matchup. It just becomes [a question of] are you able to horizontally stretch the field with your running game and get your running back into that second level through wide zones, splits zones, things like that?’”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com.
Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here:
Or watch on YouTube: