Philadelphia Eagles News

On The Weather, WR Curtis And More

Yes, the weather is a factor this weekend in Philadelphia. Hundreds of workers are at it around the clock cleaning out Lincoln Financial Field for Sunday's 4:15 p.m. start (this is the official starting time, changed early in the afternoon on Saturday) and, well, doesn't this conjure memories of the NFC Championship Game against Atlanta in the 2004 season? Anyway, we need to talk about some ins and outs of this game, what all of this snow means (12 inches or more are expected in Philadelphia) for the Eagles game against San Francisco ...

 First of all, the 49ers landed in Philadelphia on Friday. They planned to have a walkthrough at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, but I can't imagine that happened. Will the 49ers be affected by the weather? It remains to be seen. They played on Monday night and then took Tuesday and Wednesday off and have practiced only on Thursday and briefly on Friday before traveling here.

* Perhaps the most important piece of weather information to watch for Sunday's game is going to be the wind. The field is covered and it will be in great shape -- the length of the field from hash mark to hash mark as well as the end zones have been re-sodded since the Army-Navy game -- and the snow is expected to be finished by mid-morning on Sunday. But it's also supposed to be "blustery" and for a passing team like the Eagles, well, you wonder. The coaches have always said that cold weather doesn't affect the passing game and rain really doesn't affect the passing game. But wind has an impact, so if there is too much wind, how will the game plans change both for the passing game and for special teams? * Kevin Curtis had another week of practice and says he feels good and that he is looking forward to playing in this game. In retrospect, it worked out for the Eagles to keep Curtis on the active roster rather than put him on Injured Reserve as he worked his way through his knee injury. Well, so far it has worked out in the sense that the Eagles really need someone to help with Jeremy Maclin injured and it's great to have a talented, experienced player like Curtis ready to go. My guess would be that Curtis will play a limited role, just to get his feet wet. Then, if all goes well, Curtis will have his role increased against Denver next week. Good luck to Kevin. Great guy who has worked hard to get healthy. After that 77-catch season in 2007, Curtis has had such a hard time staying healthy. * I had a nice chat with right tackle Winston Justice on Friday. Now, this is a different kind of week for the offensive line, because San Francisco plays a 3-4 defense and the Eagles haven't seen a 3-4 since the San Diego game. So the Eagles have to alter their blocking schemes and make the right adjustments. "The pass rushers are much wider, so you have to prepare for that, and in the running game you are blocking bigger linemen, not the ends you see in a 4-3. We're ready for them. They are really fast and had a great game against the Cardinals. It was impressive that they were so successful against Arizona, so we know what we have in store on Sunday. Good defense. We have to play well, and make sure we are all on the same page." * Yeah, with all of this expected wind and the certain cold, Sav Rocca and David Akers will be on the spot. Rocca did not handle the wind in Cincinnati very well last season, but he has come a long way since then. Akers has been blessed with good weather all season. He knew it would only last so long. * Good matchup against rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree. He has done an excellent job after missing all of training camp and some of the regular season and is such a talented, physical kid. What do the Eagles do to account for Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis? We'll see what Sean McDermott has in mind. * Doesn't this just feel like an Eldra Buckley kind of game? I don't think I ever expected to write that line. But if the weather is bad, the Eagles are going to need Buckley and his rugged north-south running style in this game. And young LeSean McCoy needs to wrap up that football in a big way. The 49ers were outstanding on Monday night forcing fumbles in their win over Arizona. * Jeremiah Trotter has to be outstanding against running back Frank Gore. Gore is a physical back who gets it done between the tackles. Trotter, in a remarkable story, is such a key part of this defense. * Trent Cole gets Joe Staley in their one-on-one matchup. Staley returns from injury and is the 49ers' best lineman. Cole continues to be a force every week, and he is due for a couple of sacks to get into double figures.

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