The Eagles have a huge match-up with the Titans tomorrow and heading into the bye at 5-2 would be much better then going in 4-3. However, the Titans would like to improve their record to 5-2 just as much as the Eagles would.
I do like the match-up for the Eagles and here are five reasons I think they'll come away with a win.
Whether or not you think Michael Vick should be the starter after the bye week, you have to be impressed with the way Kevin Kolb has played in his last two games, especially last week. After looking a little shaky in his earlier games, Kolb has changed the momentum and put the offense on his back.
When Kolb started the game against the 49ers, I was worried about his confidence. However, he took the team down the field for a touchdown on their first offensive touchdown and never looked back. He's making all the throws right now and will continue to do so.
I don't think there's much of an argument against this. I've been using this stat all week but I'm going to bring it up one more time. The Titans are 4-0 when Chris Johnson rushes for over 100 yards and 0-2 when he doesn't. If the Titans don't run the ball successfully, they don't win. It's that simple.
Vince Young hasn't thrown for over 175 yards in a single game this year. We may not see him tomorrow, but the point is that the Titans are built on running the ball, not throwing.
When you face a team like that, you have one objective. You have to stop the run. Sean McDermott and the entire Eagles defense know it, so that will be the goal on Sunday.
Is Johnson better then Frank Gore and Michael Turner? Yes, but those two aren't slouches. Johnson is on an entirely different level, but the Eagles have gotten two pretty good warm-ups the last two weeks with Gore and Turner. They have been successful stopping the run and understand they have to do it again.
Johnson has an element of break away speed and can make sharp cut backs to go the other way. However, we've always considered our linebackers to be smaller but faster. This is the perfect scenario for a back like Johnson. He's not going to run anyone over, but he will run past you in the blink of an eye. The linebackers need to use their speed to their advantage this weekend against Johnson.
Maybe garbage is a mean thing to say, but they're definitely not very good. Currently, their defense ranks 23rd in the league against the pass. That's pretty bad considering they lead the league in sacks. How can you get to the quarterback that often but still give up so many yards? They also had a game where they gave up just 43 yards passing to the Steelers. That should improve your ranking, right? Guess not.
If we had DeSean Jackson for this game, you would think things could get down right ugly. However, I still think the Eagles will have a ton of success through the air. After the week Maclin had against the Falcons, he's going to have a close eye on him. I don't think he'll get shut down, but I look for Jason Avant and Brent Celek to step up tomorrow.
Also, with how talented the Titans defensive line is. I could see the Eagles running a lot of short stuff to LeSean McCoy and Chad Hall. The Titans defensive line is very aggressive so the screen game should be wide open tomorrow.
The home team is supposed to have the advantage, right? Well, the Titans are 1-2 this year at home with their only win coming Week One against the Raiders. The Eagles are 1-2 at home as well, but they are 3-0 on the road. In fact, it's kind of strange that both teams have the same home and away record. Think the Titans asked the Eagles if they wanted to play this one in Philly instead?
Maybe I'm reading into those numbers too much, but they are what the are.