Three Things the Eagles Must Do To Win a Championship

Paul DowdsContributor IJune 11, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with the George Halas NFC Championship trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 27-10 in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 23, 2005 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

For some fans, the Eagles offense has seemed lackluster in the past few years. It's not an outrageous claim—the Eagles offense seemed much more spectacular in Donovan McNabb's younger (and more athletic) days.

For others, the offense has seemed to improve. The concept of reliability and stability outweighs the importance of explosiveness and the ability to score at any given moment.

But just about every Eagles fan will agree on one thing.

There is room for improvement, and the Eagles' offensive unit has not necessarily lived up to its potential in the past few years.

Andy Reid is a big believer in speed: speed receivers, speed running backs, and even speedy quarterbacks. The fact that Kevin Curtis is potentially the slowest starting wide receiver on the team is a testament to this.

Stretch the Field

Philadelphia must utilize their speed and attack the defense. Often.

Not only will taking the defense deep present the threat of the long ball, it will also open up the short receiving game for rookie standout Cornelius Ingram, potential starter Brent Celek, and veteran superstar Brian Westbrook.

It wasn't until later on in the year that playmaker DeSean Jackson became effective at striking the defense on the long ball. First-year wideout Jeremy Maclin may also face this issue. But one way or the other, Maclin will be integrated into the passing game in such a way that the Eagles' offensive will be producing.

While Maclin may not necessarily produce early on in the year, his deep threat ability will draw the attention of the defense. Screens will be a much more viable option this year.

With a year of NFL experience under his belt, D-Jax may find himself running deep more often. The Jackson-Curtis tandem could very well become a nightmare for defensive coordinators, mainly because they both have the ability to strike the defense on the long ball at any given time.

Utilize the Running Game

Not only do running backs Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy have the potential to make a broken play into a big play, running the ball will also increase the effectiveness of the Eagles' offense.

It was a statistic that was glamorized last season—when the Eagles run the ball as much as they pass the ball, they win. It was a vital key in Andy Reid's game planning going into the offseason last year.

Andy Reid needs to have faith in the running game. Not only will running the ball be effective in stabilizing the Eagles' offense, it will also allow veteran Brian Westbrook (whose statistics had declined noticeably last year) an opportunity to show why he is considered by many to be the best elusive back in the league, as well as allow the Eagles to strike the defense in the passing game when they really need it.

Trust in the Quarterback

Donovan McNabb has proven that he can carry the offense. He did it for the better part of his career.

The Eagles' organization needs to let McNabb be McNabb. It's no secret that McNabb has lost some of his elusiveness and scrambling ability in the past few seasons.

Or has he?

Under the coaching of Andy Reid, McNabb has settled down as a quarterback—he second guesses himself before escaping the pocket or running for the first down. There's not a doubt in my mind that McNabb is as effective a scrambler now as he was ten years ago.

McNabb has to make his own decisions and lead his own team. If McNabb isn't being himself, the Eagles won't win games. It's that simple.


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