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Final Thoughts on Eagles and 49ers Match-Up

Game day is finally upon us and the Eagles will look to clime back above the .500 mark. With that being said, here are some of my final thoughts on the game.

First, I’m still extremely surprised about the fact that LeSean McCoy is going to play tonight. If you read this site regularly, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been writing all week with the assumption that McCoy wouldn’t play. We saw Donovan McNabb miss two games with a rib injury last year, and I figured McCoy’s injury would cause him to miss at least one game. However, we did see him play the entire second half last week with the injury and made some serious plays despite having a cracked rib.

I’d obviously rather have McCoy on the field then sit out. Without him, there is a huge drop off in the backfield. I think that’s pretty clear. However, I just don’t want to see him take a big hit and make the injury more serious and cause him to miss extended time.

Next, Kevin Kolb has a lot to prove tonight. He’s been disappointing for all the hype we gave him throughout the off season. The Redskins didn’t allow him to throw the ball down field and he failed to get DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin involved in the game. You have to hope they change the game plan this week to get those two guys involved early with some short plays so that it can open some things down the field later in the game.

To go along with that, I would like to see the Eagles run the ball early. If they can establish a run game, that should help to open things up in the passing game as well. It’s a tricky situation because you don’t want to see McCoy get pounded, but you still want to see the Eagles effectively run the ball.

Defensively, the Eagles have to stop the run first. The 49ers will try to get Frank Gore going early, and the Eagles have struggled against the run so far this season. With a quarterback like Alex Smith, you want to shut down Gore and force Smith to try and beat you. The front seven has to get some pressure up front and contain Gore. Along with Gore on the ground, you have to watch him out of the backfield. He’s a great pass catching back and leads the team in receptions.

The linebackers will have their hands full today and need to play at a very high level. They will need to shut down Gore rushing and receiving, and will also need to prevent Vernon Davis from having a big game.

Traveling west, the Eagles can’t afford to come out slow today. They’re playing the most desperate team in the league who doesn’t want to fall to 0-5. If the Eagles come out flat, everyone will be quick to watch the Phillies game and forget about the Eagles.

Kevin Kolb


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