Witness to a Car Wreck
I wanted to send a friendly "heads-up" to the Raider Nation who plan to tune in to the game this Sunday vs. Philadelphia. Be prepared to crane your neck to view a ghastly car wreck collision.
Last week the Eagles blitzed the Bucs on 60% of their offensive snaps (45 blitzes on 75 snaps). This is not a typo. New Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott has taken a page from former DC Jim Johnson's (RIP) playbook. The Eagles blitzed more in this 1 game than the Raiders will blitz for the entire 2009 season but that is another blog entry for another day.
Why did the Eagles blitz so much vs. the Bucs? Quite simply, DC McDermott realized that his Eagles defense was facing an inexperienced QB in Josh Johnson. When is a blitz effective? When you've got a QB who is indecisive with his reads, holds on to the ball to long, runs an unsophisticated offense, and has a leaky OLine. Sound familiar?
I hate to say it after such an embarrassing dismantling last week vs. the Giants but this upcoming game is where the wheels really fall completely off the vehicle. McDermott dials up a very diverse set of blitz packages in every conceivable game situation. It doesn't matter if it is 1st down, 2nd down, or 3rd down. It can be a red zone blitz, run blitz, all out blitz. If the opponent isn't able to handle and capitalize on the blitz pressure then he serves up even more blitzes.
Factor in a QB whose confidence is reeling, a team struggling to churn out 200 yards of offensive production, 2 rookie WRs who are not reliable to read and react, and you've got yourself a seat to a full on, no holds bar gore fest. The over/under on total sacks, interceptions, and QB fumbles has to be close to a +/- 12. Are these what Cable would call "explosive" defensive plays? Can you say "Dynamite, Tom!"
I would like to think that Cable is doing everything humanly possible as the Head Coach to prepare the offensive unit for the inevitable onslaught of a "Super Sunday Blitzkrieg" in terms of scheme, personnel groupings, play calling, and group prayers to get ready for Sunday.
I would love to see the the entire team to play with a sense of pride, purpose, aggression, and conviction.
Being a realistic optimist (hoping for the best outcome but grounded in reality), my view is that this is the type of match-up that is no better than bringing a parka jacket to hell.