Pip pip cheerio! If ya ‘aven’t ‘eard, the Birds fly across the pond to take on the Jaguars of Jacksonville in this week’s match. With both clubs sitting at 3-4, this is certainly a must win game for each team. In case the announcers are British, here are some words that you may hear on the telly (TV) that are different in the UK.
Holiday = Vacation: Whichever team wins on Sunday still has a pulse in the playoff race, the other would be wise to start planning a holiday for early January
Crisp = Chip: No coach in NFL history has a destroyed a team faster that Crisp Kelly with the Eagles.
Action Replay = Instant Replay: Let’s hope Doug doesn’t waste a timeout challenging something so obvious you don’t need to see the action replay to know the zebras made the correct call.
Loo = Bathroom: Do you think Jim Scwartz’s defensive scheme will be different this week, or will it continue to resemble something I’ve smelled in the loo?
Pitch = Field: The Jaguars always seem to play well in London, maybe it has something to do with the pitch?
Pissed = Drunk: If the Eagles blow another 4th quarter lead, the fans from Philadelphia will most likely get really pissed. (This one actually works in both British and American English)
Rubbish = Garbage: Both of these teams made it to the semifinals last year? And the Eagles won the Super Bowl? The NFL must be turning to rubbish!
Pants = Underwear: Doug’s really taking some chances today; I hope the Eagles fans remembered a second pair of pants.
Collywobbles = Queasiness: “Boy, these Eagles games have been hard to watch recently.” “I know, I get the collywobbles every week when I wake up on Sunday morning just thinking about them.”
Bob’s your Uncle = You’re all set: Read over this list a few times and, Bob’s your uncle, you’re ready to listen to the Eagles in London!
What to Watch For
Jaguars QB Situation: Last week against the Texans, Blake Bortles was replaced by Cody Kessler after a dismal start. Cody was able to get a touchdown and, for the fourth year in a row, it seems like Blake may be on his way out of Jacksonville. Blake should have a very short leash this week. Look for a spark on offense if Kessler comes into the game.
Jaguars Running Backs: Jags star running back Leonard Fournette has missed the last 3 games with a hamstring injury. If he is healthy, he is a game-changing back. If Fournette cannot play, watch Carlos Hyde. If he plays well, the restless Eagles fans may start to turn on Eagles’ GM Howie Roseman. Many fans wanted to trade for Hyde, and when the Jaguars traded a 5th round pick for him earlier this week, many fans were already grumbling that we should have traded for him. Look for the Eagles fans to grumble even louder if Hyde has a good game on Sunday.
Can the Eagles Hold a Lead: The Eagles inexcusably blew a 17 point lead, in the 4th quarter, last Sunday – their second 17 point blown lead of the season (see: Titans, Tennessee). Look for how the players respond if the Eagles somehow get a big lead. Last week, they were dancing at the beginning of the fourth quarter, if anyone is dancing this week, hopefully a team captain will tell them to save the dancing until after the game. Look for no dancing until the clock strikes 0:00.
Doug’s Run/Pass play call percentage: The closer to 50% that the Eagles’ run/pass play calling is, the higher chance of winning. Doug’s team ran the ball only once out of 14 plays during the 4th quarter meltdown last week. Doug’s excuse was to blame Carson, saying that he called RPO’s (Run/Pass Option) and Carson chose to throw it. Doug needs to call designed runs, not RPOs, if his quarterback refuses to hand the ball off on his own, especially if the Eagles have the lead late. Look for vanilla handoffs during the 4th quarter if the Eagles have the lead.
Keys to Victory
- Run the Ball: It cannot be overstated how important it is to keep a defense honest, and the way to do that is by running the ball.
- Stop the Run: Jacksonville’s quarterbacks are a huge weakness for them at the moment, so they will rely heavily on the run. The Eagles need to shut down their running game early and keep it shut down all game.
- Play with heart: It’s unfortunate to have to say this, but there hasn’t been much heart from this team this year. Last year, the guys had more heart than the Grinch after his heart grew three sizes at the end of the story. This year, it seems like they are going through the motions. If the Eagles want to do anything worth mentioning this season, they need to find their heart and find it quickly.
Look for the Eagles to come out hungry and get a lead early. The Jags will not find their magical power in London. The Eagles finally put together their second complete game of the season (See: Giants, New York). Their faint playoff pulse will get a little bit stronger heading into the second half of the season.
Eagles 31 – Jaguars 16