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Keys To The Game

If the Eagles are going to beat the Falcons, here are the keys to an Eagles' win Sunday ...

Give McNabb time– There are holes in the Falcons defense, but McNabb must have time to find them. Defensive end John Abraham is a master of the strip-sack. He's got 31 career forced fumbles. I'm sure we'll use bunch formations, chip blocks and tight ends to help control the edges. It would also be wise to run at the Falcons and get them on their heels. Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux leads the team with five sacks. He's very quick off the ball and has a great motor. Our interior blockers must control him.

Tackle well – Atlanta has backups on the field in several spots. We need to make them earn every yard and every point. Don't let White or Norwood catch a short pass and turn that into a long gain. Defenders have to rally to the ball and tackle well.

Run in the red zone – We have a size advantage in this game when our blockers go up against their front seven. Don't make football complicated. Go be bullies and knock the smaller guys off the ball. Brent Celek has blocked well in recent games. Weaver is a solid lead blocker. We need to score touchdowns, and I'd love to see us do it on the ground.

Sack attack – We got off to a great start this year when it came to taking down opposing quarterbacks. Things have slowed down quite a bit in recent games. We recorded just two sacks in the last two games combined. Both came from Trent Cole. He has to feel like the Maytag repairman when he gets pressure. That must change. The base unit needs to get more pressure. Blitzers need to do a better job. Someone else has to step up.

Better linebacker play – Pretty self-explanatory. The last couple of games the linebackers have been very inconsistent. Last year, Chris Gocong played arguably his best game against Atlanta. It would be great to see him have a big game. Jeremiah Trotter and Joe Mays will share the middle linebacker duties. They must eliminate mistakes and it would be great if they'd make a play or two.

For my complete game preview, check out my Fan-Demonium column ...

-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 4:30 p.m., December 5

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