SEATTLE -- The injury list is going to play a factor today. No doubt about it. The Seahawks are minus star defensive end Patrick Kerney and standout linebacker Lofa Tatupu -- the Eagles killer -- and if the Eagles offense doesn't have its way today, then, well, let's not consider that option. The Eagles have to go after it today in what is more of a "home" game than you think.
There are huge, huge groups of Eagles fans at Qwest Field for this game. I've met fans from Portland, from Idaho, from Vancouver, from Philadelphia and the area back home. It's been said before and it bears a repeat mention: Eagles fans love this team and travel as well as any team in the NFL.
That said, the Eagles have to go after it agianst Seattle right away. Don't give a team that is without so much firepower even a chance to stay in the game and feel some life. The Eagles must play aggressive, confident football. Withotu Tatupu, Seattle loses some speed in coverage and on some of those stretch plays that Brian Westbrook runs so well. Without Kerney, the Sehawks are without one of the best pass rushers in the league.
And without quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle has some real question marks in the passing game.
It adds up to an Eagles win. A big Eagles win. But, well, you know how it has been on the way to 4-3 ...
No Avant, So Watch The Slot
As expected, Jason Avant is inactive for the game, which means the Eagles have to look in another direction for the slot receiver position. Who fills the roll?
Andy Reid said he has confidence in Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, etc. All of that sounds fine, and Curtis certainly has the experience there. But it isn't as easy as simply lining somebody in the slot and letting him go. That position requires a feel for coverage and a good rapport wth Donovan McNabb as well as a good sense of how to get to the sticks for a first down.
I'll be watching to see who gets the majority of the reps inside.
Crazy NFL, So Beware
As the time winds down before kickoff, I'm watching Jacksonville lose to Cincinnati and Tampa Bay lose to Kansas City and Detroit giving Chicago all it can handle and ... isn't this a crazy, crazy league?
It makes you understand why today is nothing close to a given. The Eagles better bring their game today.
Testing The Run Defense
OK, so you don't expect Seattle to come out throwing the football with Seneca Wallace. He is an inexperienced player, isn't real accurate and has trouble seeing over those big offensive linemen and defensive hands in his face. Seattle could very well pound the football, which means the Eagles are going to have to play well against big, strong running backs like T.J. Duckett and Leonard Weaver (fullback) and the niftiness of Julius Jones.
Can't wait to see what Jim Johnson orders for the defense. I want to see eight or nine men in the box on every play.
The Weather Is ...
Beautiful with one hour to go until kickoff, but the rain clouds look to be building in the near distance. There is a swirling wind as well.
McNabb: Wearing A Visor
McNabb is wearing a clear visor to protect his left eye, which was poked last week against Atlanta. McNabb practiced with the visor during the week. If it rains, well, we shall see how the Eagles keep McNabb's vision clear.