By all accounts, a 3-3 record seems like the start of an 8-8 season.
The preseason ultimatum that an 8-8 record would not secure the Philadelphia future of Andy Reid was a shot fired over the bow of Reid’s ship. So, a near midseason 3-3 record has to sound a lot the gun being cocked.
In the face of the pressure to win, what can fans expect when the Eagles face the undefeated Atlanta Falcons at home in Philadelphia this Sunday?
From the heart of the offense, quarterback Michael Vick, taking a page from the book of McNabb, threatens to play angry. If he doesn’t, he has an entire stadium and nation of fans who could do it for him. So, will an aggravated, fumble-free Vick be enough to bring down the 6-0 Falcons? Given Vick’s comeback history, the Falcons could very well return to Georgia with their first loss of the season. To accomplish it, Vick will have to release the ball faster and hold his turnovers to zero.
On the line of the offense, King Dunlap should be back at left tackle. If Dunlap can help the rest of the line close the glaring gaps, the team could give Vick time to produce much-needed red zone results. Still struggling center Dallas Reynolds cannot afford any more botched snaps, a la Detroit Lions’ game. Among the skills Reynolds exhibits or lacks, snaps should be an easy one to improve.
Defensively, new coordinator Todd Bowles will be eager to display his handiwork and prove that the Eagles’ defense can make the plays that make the difference in the game. Among things Bowles and fans will want to see in the defense display against Atlanta: Sacks and extended pass and run protection. An interception or two won’t hurt either.
Battling back from a stunning home loss to Detroit in Week 6, the Eagles need heroes on all fronts in this game. If they fail to make the necessary, winning changes in Game 7, the jobs of Andy Reid and Michael Vick will be in the crosshairs when Lurie fires.