Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can the Eagles shut down Turner?

The last time the Eagles faced a red hot running game when coming off a bye week was 2005. LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers came to The Linc. Jim Johnson had his guys ready and they played great. LT finished the game with 17 carries for 7 yards. And he had to get hot to get up to that total.

Honestly, I'm still not sure how JJ and the boys pulled that off.

The run defense was outstanding the first few weeks this year. They got gashed by Washington and San Francisco. Right now the D is 7th overall and 9th against the run. That's pretty good. The question is how they'll fare against the Falcons and the #2 running game in the NFL.

The real key isn't playing 8 in the box or doing anything special. The DL has to get off blocks and the LBs need to tackle well. Do that and you'll control Turner. Dawk and Q need to help out by coming up quickly at times to outnumber the Falcons blockers.

Turner is more of a speed guy than a bruiser. Portis and Gore ran through a lot of our tackle attempts. Turner won't be as good at that. He's more of a threat to go all the way, but will be easier to bring down.

The Falcons have one really good WR, Roddy White. Their TEs have only caught 6 passes all year. There is no excuse for JJ and the defense to not be able to control Turner. He might have some early success as we adjust to playing against a faster guy, but we should be able to keep him under control for the most part.

We need to put this game in the hands of rookie QB Matt Ryan. He's not a typical rookie, but is a rookie nonetheless. Ryan has played 2 good defenses (TB and CAR). He struggled against both, totaling 316 yards and 2 INTs and not leading the Falcons to a TD in either game.

I expect Jim Johnson to come up with a good gameplan for shutting down Atlanta's running game and I think the guys will play with an edge. They have to be embarrassed a bit by the porous run defense of the last two weeks. Time to come out and make a statement with a dominant showing.

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