Ken_Podolak

We head back to The City of Brotherly Love (unless you’re wearing the jersey of the visiting team then there’s no love) because the Tampa Bay Bucs travel to The Linc to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. That means we get a double-dose of our NFC East analyst Ken Podolak.  Enjoy , Bucs fans.

LH:The BIG question.  Can Mark Sanchez step in and run the Philly offense now that it looks like Sam Bradford will be out for a few weeks?

KP:Yes, he has the experience and skill to be successful. It’s up to Chip to put him in a position to succeed by calling appropriate plays that match his high probability of success and stay away from his historical weaknesses like interceptions and decision making.  Chip has to step up and be the smartest guy on the field for Mark.  Having said that I still am not scared of any Philly receivers which makes Chip’s offense pretty predictable.  As a defensive coordinator I would play a lot of man coverage and use the extra body to fill the box.

LH:The Eagles defense spends a huge amount of time on the field yet they don’t give up a great deal of points.  Is it scheme or players that accounts for that?

KP:Neither does it alone so we need both a scheme that fits the players and players that fit the scheme.  If you don’t get buy in from the players then scheme comes up short resulting in breakdowns.

LH:Philadelphia plays almost exclusively press man coverage. If that happens, 6’5″ wide out Mike Evans should have a career day.  How does the Birds secondary keep #13 for the Bucs contained using that coverage scheme or do they have to change?

KP:Their D line is strong enough to permit man under with safety over the top on Evans.  Evans will still have to execute to be successful because being tall alone won’t get it done.

LH:If the Eagles and Redskins both win this week, there’s a three-way tie with the Giants at the top of the NFC East.  Is the NFC East that tough or that bad?

KP:In my opinion it is that bad.  Not only do NFC teams beat each other up but because they are bad teams they find it hard to be consistant and beat quality teams outside the division who they happen to play…it is really NFC LEAST this year.

LH:Following up on the last question, what record will it take to win the Division and can Philadelphia hit that number?

KP:I think that 8-8 could win the division so it comes down to division record and with 2 losses already in the division they pretty much have to win out the remaining division games and get some help from Dallas.  The X factor is how hard Tony Romo plays for Dallas down the streach.  It is hard to rely on the Eagles as they have been really inconsistant so guilty until proven innocent.

LH:Against Miami, was it the players or the coaching decisions that led to the home loss?

KP:I don’t know what the Philly fans did to anger the football Gods but they were angry. They couldn’t have been nicer to the Pope but it didn’t seem that way while I was throwing up on multiple occasions during the game on Sunday.  Definitely players as their execution was really poor.  Yes, coaching at times was weak but by far more player execution failure lost the game. For example – Bradford had more tackles on Murray than the Dallas D line, he also can’t continue to snap the ball when his team is still moving as that has cost two TD’s so far this year, blocked punt by special teams, Jason Kelce continues to long snap at the wrong time, nobody talking on defense to the secondary on the tipped ball, Miles Austin is supposed to be a receiver but looks more like a spectator, and Kelly can’t put Sanchez into situations where he hurts the team. C’mon man.

LH-I’ve got the Eagles winning 31-27 but I wouldn’t bet the house payment on it.  In fact, if 6’5″ receivers Vincent Jackson and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins were playing, I would take the Bucs.  In your opinion, who wins and why?

KP-It’s a home game against a weak team that good teams simply just execute and win.  I understand that the locker room was unusually quiet after the loss to Miami. Heck, Miami can’t believe they beat the Eagles.  Look for more double tight end sets to try to disguise the play.  Not sure the score is that high…remember we are talking Mark Sanchez and the pretty good Eagles defense and both teams are on the wrong end of the 4-5 record.  How about 20-17 for the home team.