Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sack Pack Must Emerge Vs. Cowboys

There are many keys to the Eagles' chances of beating the visiting Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, but the biggest indicator will be the uniform of Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe. In the Cowboys' earlier 33-10 win over the Eagles, Bledsoe's uniform was virtually spotless after he torched the Eagles by completing 24 of 35 passes for 289 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bledsoe wasn't sacked once in the game and he barely faced even minimal pressure while back in the pocket. The few times he did, Bledsoe ran, gaining 14 yards on three carries, or two more yards than Brian Westbrook.
Anyway, if Bledsoe is allowed to stay virtually untouched, then he still has the ability to carve an opposing secondary. That's why getting to Bledsoe should be priority No. 1, 2 and 3 for the Eagles.
"We have to do a better job getting to the quarterback," defensive end Jevon Kearse said, stating the obvious.
Kearse has been double-teamed all season, but lately he has been making some big plays. He leads the Eagles with four sacks, but desperately needs help. Having the linebackers chipping in for some pass rush duty wouldn't be a bad idea.
This season the Eagles have one sack from a linebacker - Jeremiah Trotter. True, Dhani Jones and Keith Adams play in mostly running situations, but the two are on the field for their share of passing attempts. And Mark Simoneau, who enters in nickel situations, could be sent in on Bledsoe.
The Eagles have 5.5 sacks from their defensive backs, but as everybody knows, it's always risky blitzing somebody from the secondary because that usually means single coverage. Teams this season have done well when the Eagles have been put in that predicament.
No matter who sacks Bledsoe, somebody has to do it on Monday night. He isn't the fleetest of foot, but in the first game against the Eagles, Bledsoe was standing too comfortable in the pocket. The Eagles have to take that comfort zone away or else it will be their season that will be sacked on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field.