49ers, Seahawks, Saints & Panthers Are Standing In Eagles Path To Super BowlBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Monday, January 13th, 2014
This weekend we got a good look at the lay of the land, when it comes to the Eagles winning a Super Bowl title. We saw what Chip Kelly and his ball club will be facing when they try to get that Lombardi trophy again next year.
From what I saw this weekend, for the next three years the Birds are going to need to beat the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints or the Carolina Panthers if they want to advance out of the NFC to the Super Bowl. All of these teams are Super Bowl caliber, when they’re healthy. All four of these teams have good to outstanding defenses with strong running games and they are led by talented quarterbacks.
Drew Brees is the only veteran quarterback of the group, but the entire trio of young quarterbacks, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton are extremely talented.
To make it plain, the Birds have their work cut out for them. Right now the NFC is clearly the better conference. Of the four teams still in the running for this year’s Super Bowl, I think both San Francisco and Seattle are better football teams than either the Broncos or the Patriots. I might even favor New Orleans over them if the Saints had made it.
Seattle is very physical on both sides of the ball and their secondary is probably the best in the league. It’s not going to be easy for anybody in the league to go to Seattle and win for the next four or five years. If the Eagles play Seattle in the playoffs during that time, they want to play them here in Philly.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Seahawks have Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch, who runs like a modern day Earl Campbell. The Seahawks offensive line is physical, but Lynch is more physical than his offensive line. He pounded the New Orleans defense on Saturday until it broke. Lynch ran for 140 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns.
Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis needs to think about putting a front seven and safeties that can handle “Beastmode”.
Remember that the same Saints defense held LeSean McCoy to 77 yards on 21 carries. New Orleans has gotten much better defensively and they kept the Saints in the game for most of Saturday afternoon, but they eventually broke under the pressure of the Seattle pounding. Remember, the Eagles weren’t able to run the ball on the Saints, but the Seahawks got the job done.
The Saints offensive line which played so well against the Eagles did a good but not great job in their battle upfront against Seattle. The Saints had run for 185 yards against the Birds, but they only ran for 108 yards against the Seahawks. I thought the New Orleans offensive line held their own on Saturday, but they didn’t get enough help from Drew Brees and the Saints receivers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Saints-Seahawks battle and expect to see both teams in the middle of the Super Bowl chase for the next few years.
Yesterday, we saw the San Francisco 49ers defense hold the Carolina Panthers to only 10 points as the Niners advanced to the NFC Championship game with a 23-10 win over the Panthers. Again, the defenses of both of these teams are outstanding. I thought Kaepernick showed his experience yesterday and played a great game. He utilized his legs, arm and decision-making to make plays against a very good Carolina defense.
Niners running back Frank Gore pounded that Panther defense until the succumbed.
I think the Panthers offense needs to draft or sign some talented wide receivers to give Newton some targets. They have the defense to play with anybody, but their offense isn’t on the level to beat the Saints, Niners or Seahawks.
Chip Kelly and his coaching staff and Howie Roseman and the Eagles scouts will need to be brutally honest. They’ve got to ask some tough questions.
What kind of receivers are going to be able to get open against Richard Sherman and that tough Seahawks secondary? Can our defense stop Frank Gore and the Niners from running the ball down our throats?
Could Nick Foles throw the ball in that Seattle wind? Can Shady McCoy and our offensive line run the ball against the Seattle, San Francisco and Carolina defensive fronts?
Not only do the Eagles brain trust need to ask these questions, but the players must ask themselves questions and challenge themselves. If our offensive line can’t open up holes against the Saints, how do they expect to open holes against better defenses like the Seahawks, Niners and Panthers.
For the entire offseason, we here on GCobb.com are going to be talking about what the Eagles need to do to beat the Niners, Seahawks, Saints and Panthers. We’re going to talk about every facet of the football team in the decision-making and building process.
You can throw some of your ideas out there right now. What do the Eagles need to do to move up to the level of those four teams? Or what do the Birds need to do to become the best team in the NFC?
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