Throughout training camp, Philadelphia’s two biggest weaknesses appeared to be the offensive line and the linebacker group.
Both problem areas showed up against the Rams in Week One. The rest of the Eagles team, however, played so well that it didn’t matter.
Heading into Atlanta this Sunday night, the Eagles know they have to improve against the run. They gave up 104 yards in the first quarter to Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams. The Rams gained 154 for the game, which would have risen higher if St. Louis wasn’t playing catch up in the second half.
Look for the Falcons to run Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, and Jacquizz Rodgers plenty on Sunday. Heck, even the Eagles linebackers recommend it.
“I would probably run at our linebackers if I was them,” Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney said Wednesday to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Rams seemed to target starting middle linebacker Casey Matthews with good results. Philly’s defensive line approach can be susceptible to runs up the middle. Matthews knows he’s facing a running back that can be tough to take down.
“[Turner’s] got thick legs, and he knows how to use them. We just need to gang-tackle and everyone rally to the ball,” Matthews said.
Philadelphia has the talent to cover up their weaknesses. But we fully expect the Falcons to try to hammer at the Eagles rush defense in the Georgia Dome, where Atlanta’s offensive plays much better than on the road.