Eagles vs. Falcons: 4 Second-Half Adjustments Philadelphia Must Make
The Eagles are in good position to take control of this game in the second half. Both teams appear to be major contenders in the NFC, and it's showing in the first half. The Falcons have come out with a heavy dose of Michael Turner, while the Eagles have done a little bit of everything on offense.
The Eagles are gradually creating separation from Atlanta in this game. They appear to be the better team early, but it's still anybody's in the second half.
Some minor tweaks and halftime adjustments should put the Eagles in prime position to win this game and win it comfortably.
Keep 8 Men in the Box on First Down
Atlanta loves to run the ball on first down, and it's showing. The Eagles' linebackers don't match up well against the Falcons' power running game. Juan Castillo would be wise to keep either of his safeties in the box.
Atlanta's entire offense is set up from the run. Running back Michael Turner had just 10 carrier last week against the Bears. That won't happen this week. Expect at least 20 or 25 carries for Turner.
The Eagles can afford to keep eight men in the box with three excellent cover cornerbacks in Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
When you can contain the Falcons' running game, you can contain their entire offense.
Get LeSean McCoy the Ball on First Down
The Eagles need to make things easier for Vick in the passing game—get LeSean touches on first down. McCoy is just as dangerous as a runner as he is as a receiver. It doesn't matter if you run a draw, screen, counter, inside run, a toss or just throw it to him out of the flat.
Every defense plans on the speed of the Eagles' receivers. They need to use that to their advantage and get McCoy touches in order to get those safeties closer to the line.
A good indication of how the Eagles' offense is working is how much McCoy is being used in the offense. If he has a good day, the offense has a good day.
Call Run Blitzes on First Down
The best way for the Eagles to stop the Falcons' run defense is to call more run blitzes on first down. It will work on two levels. One, you create opportunities for defenders to make plays in the backfield, thus creating 2nd-and-longs. Two, you are daring the Falcons to pass the ball on first down, which takes them out of their game plan.
Last week, Atlanta was taken out of their game plan early and had to play catchup the entire second half. Attack the backfield with a couple extra defenders and force the Falcons to either face more 2nd-and-3rd-and-longs, or take them out of their power running game plan.
Take Shots Deep with DeSean and Jeremy
The Eagles' offense really gets going when they take their shots deep. It doesn't matter if the pass is completed or not, it's more of a ploy to keep the defense honest.
The Eagles are a great screen offense team, and they run a lot of quick slant routes as well. When you can work the deep ball in their as well, the defense has to cover the entire field.
This will either set up the middle of the field or it will set up more slants for Jackson and Maclin.