What We're Watching

Posted: September 18, 2009

Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week's game:

1. Kevin Kolb's ball security: The young Eagles quarterback has not done a very good job of protecting the ball in the few playing opportunities he's had. He threw four picks in 34 attempts last season, including that memorable one vs. Baltimore that Ed Reed took coast-to-coast for a touchdown. He needs to make good decisions and keep the turnovers to a minimum.

2. Production from the wideouts: DeSean Jackson had a team-high 62 catches as a rookie, but just two TDs. He now has as many career punt returns for TDs as he does TD receptions. In the Eagles' last 20 games, the wideouts have just 12 TD catches. They need to start finding the end zone.

3. Brees' third-down magic: The Saints had the second-best third-down offense in the league last year, converting 48.5 percent of their opportunities. Continued that last week, converting nine of 13 third-down tries vs. the Lions. The reason they're so good on third down: Drew Brees. He was the league's best third-down passer last season, with an unbelievable 117.8 passer rating on third down, including a .667 completion percentage and a 9.72 yards-per-attempt average.

4. How the Eagles tackle: Against an offense as lethal as the Saints, the Eagles can't afford the kind of sloppy tackling they displayed at times in their Week 1 win over the Panthers. They must wrap up the Saints' receivers and running backs and limit their yards-after-contact. That means you, too, Asante.

5. Run, baby, run: If Donovan McNabb were able to play, I'd have no problem with the Eagles throwing it 40-plus times. But having Kevin Kolb, who is making his first career start, put it up that many times would be suicide. The Eagles need to come out with a balanced offensive game plan and give the running backs plenty of carries.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|