The Eagles are definitely scary on paper but have yet to prove themselves as a cohesive unit. They may gel as the season goes on but right now they are still finding how it all fits together.
They have a make shift O-line. This group has only played together during the preseason which is not enough time/reps to really get a feel for one another. Not only that, their starting center, Jason Kelce, and right guard, Danny Watkins are both rookies.
This should give the Rams a leg up on getting pressure on QB Michael Vick. Make the left handed Vick run to his right. Watch out if he starts rolling left.
Look for the Rams D-line lead by Chris Long and James Hall to make some big plays in the Eagles backfield. Meanwhile, Rams linebackers James Laurinaitis, Ben Leber, and Brady Poppinga will have to keep an eye on Eagles RB LeSean McCoy if he breaks through the line.
The Rams have to be weary of the scary Eagles secondary comprised of Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Asante Samuels. Eagles head coach, Andy Reid, said today Nnamdi would be covering the slot on Sunday – which is not his usual spot. I’m not sure what the spells for Danny Amendola who is the Rams resident slot receiver.
I can’t say that I have great expectations for the Rams passing game this week. It would be surprising if they launched more than maybe one or two deep passes to stretch the field. The odds are just not in their favor to throw long. But then again, that’s why they kept WR Danario Alexander, right?
With that in mind, the Rams should start out with the ground and pound lead by RB Steven Jackson. But if the running lanes are not there don’t be surprised if SJ gets a few passes thrown his way.
The most surprising thing to me? The Eagles’ new defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, has never called a defensive game before. In fact, he was their offensive line coach! Yeah, I know. I know.
Another little tid bit about the Eagles. Both the punter, Chas Henry, and the place kicker, Alex Henery (yes, it’s spelled with the extra “e”) are also rooks.
Andy Reid is either a freakin’ genius or has a few screws loose. I can’t wait to see how these experiments work.
Did you know some of the Rams have a little bit of Eagle in them?
Former Eagles on the Rams team:
• Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo spent eight seasons as an assistant on Andy Reid’s staff with the Eagles, including stints as a defensive assistant, secondary coach and linebackers coach.
• Rams CB Al Harris spent five seasons (1998-2002) with the Eagles.
• Rams S Quintin Mikell signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2003 and spent the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia.
• Rams WR Danny Amendola spent the 2009 offseason and training camp with the Eagles before the Rams signed him to their active roster.
• Rams QB A.J. Feeley was drafted by the Eagles in 2001 and enjoyed two stints with the club (2001-04, 2006-08).
• Rams WR Brandon Gibson was drafted by the Eagles in 2009 and spent half of his rookie season with Philadelphia before the Rams acquired him in a trade.
• Rams TE Stephen Spach spent his rookie season with the Eagles in 2005.
In fact, the Rams weekly game captains are none other than Danny Amendola, Quintin Mikell, and Brandon Gibson. Talk about an awkward greeting at mid-field to start out the game. Haha!
Of course, we cannot forget about the hometown boy, Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin. Maclin, as many of you know, is a St. Louis native. He played high school football at Kirkwood HS and played his college career at the University of Missouri. So don’t be confused when you see a crowd of fans at the game cheering for the Eagles WR. I hear he has lots of friends and family who are planning to attend.
Seems like the so-called experts are more or less split as to who will win the game. Apparently, Michael Vick is an insurmountable obstacle for the Rams. We shall see.
Vegas has the Rams as underdogs by a five-point spread. I say Vegas will be proven wrong in Week 1.
I will stick to my early prediction having the Rams being victorious over the Eagles, 27-20.
Good luck gentlemen!
I am READY for some football.
*If you’re wondering what it looks like from the other side, check out Philly Sports Muse’s Eagles-Rams game preview by the one and only Brandyn Campbell here.