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Old 09-07-2006, 04:03 PM   #1
ekravitz
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Default Scouts Inc. preview Part 2

Here is the more in depth preview of the 1st game from Insider. the matchups section right below had graphics so I put P=Adv Philly H=Adv Houston. I apologize as it is not lined up, however, it is in order. the only adv they give to Houston is LB and DB


Philadelphia at Houston Matchups
QB RB WR OL DL LB DB ST Coach Overall

P P P P P H H P P P


Tuesday, our scouts filed their advance scouting report on this week's matchup between the Eagles and Texans. Now they're back with a second look.

Last year the Eagles traveled to Denver at about the midpoint of the season. They lost 49-21. The offensive coordinator for the Broncos was Gary Kubiak, now the head coach of the Texans. The offensive coordinator of the Eagles was Brad Childress, now the head coach of the Vikings. The offense of the Texans is apt to look a lot like the offense did, last year, for the Broncos (just different personnel). The offense of the Eagles is going to look the same (except for no T.O.) as Andy Reid has always been in charge of that area. Now, don't expect the Texans to put up 49 points, as they are a far cry from the Broncos talent-wise.
• Expect Houston to try and run the ball. The Eagles don't have one of the bigger defensive lines in the league and Kubiak is used to having a 1,500-yard rusher from his days in Denver. He thinks he has the type of runner who will fit into the Shanahan style of running with Wali Lundy. So much of the Kubiak (Shanahan) offense is based on the running back trusting his line to open up the hole in the right place. If they are able to establish the run in Houston, QB David Carr could end up having a very good year.

• Jim Johnson, the Eagles' defensive coordinator, likes to throw everything but the kitchen sink at opposing offenses. With the new system and plenty of new offensive linemen starting for Houston, look for lots of blitzes, stunts and games on the defensive front. With rookie Charles Spencer starting at the all-important left tackle spot, there could be lots of confusion. If the Eagles are able to score early and play from a lead it could end up being a long night for Carr and the Texans' offense.



McNabb• Donovan McNabb has become less reliant on his own feet to make plays as the years roll on and has become less of a threat because of that. Teams used to put a spy on him but that has become less of a defensive game plan for opponents. By the same token McNabb has learned to rely on his receivers and running backs to make the plays for him and he should end up healthier at the end of the season.
• With Andre Johnson and Eric Moulds as their No. 1 and 2 wide receivers, Houston's passing game should be improved over last year. The wild card could be the tight end, rookie Owen Daniels. Going into training camp people expected either Jeb Putzier or Mark Bruener to be the starter, but the sixth-round draft choice from Wisconsin opened a lot of eyes. His own eyes may become big when he starts trying to block the likes of Jevon Kearse or Darren Howard if Kubiak decides to keep the tight end in to help in pass protection. Route running and reading the defense will take even longer for the rookie.

• It will be interesting to see how much longer Jeremiah Trotter is effective as a linebacker. He came into the league with a lot of questions about his knees and has proved all the naysayers wrong, so far. This will be his ninth season and he has definitely lost a step. He still packs a wallop when he tackles opponents, though, and Reid has to love his leadership since he brought him back from the Redskins. Being his second tour of action with the Eagles Trotter knows the system and can settle things down or speak up when necessary.



Carr• Entering his fifth season Carr needs to prove that Texans didn't make a mistake by picking him No. 1 in 2002 draft. Not all of Carr's struggles are his own fault. His offensive line has struggled, to say the least, to protect him and he has not had a consistent running attack to take the pressure off. Carr has improved in almost area, raising his completion percentage while lowering the number of interceptions. There is no reason to believe that he can't continue that trend with Kubiak's system.
• Defensively, Houston is going to be relying on two rookies at two very important positions. Mario Williams is going to be counted on to provide the pass rush, but in order to eliminate the criticism that the Texans received for using the first pick on him, he needs to show he can maintain a top level of intensity and concentration over the whole course of a game as well as a season. DeMeco Ryans is starting at middle linebacker, the QB of the defense. He has looked very good in camp but regular-season games move more quicklyr and offenses can game plan for what they perceive to be his weaknesses.

• This game will give us a good indication of just what direction the Eagles are headed. The Texans seem to be started in the right direction, but need a few more years. The Eagles have lost top playmakers and struggled in the last half of last year. They are going to be coming out trying to make a statement and set the tone for this coming year. It won't be in a friendly environment and it will be important to start off on the right foot.

Special Teams
Both Texans kicker Kris Brown and punter Chad Stanley are considered solid. Their returners are safe but not apt to change the momentum in any game. Eagles punter David Akers and kicker Dirk Johnson are both very solid and capable of producing in the clutch. Both return specialists (Reno Mahe on punts and Bruce Perry on kicks) are capable but not game breakers.

Matchups
• Houston DE Mario Williams vs. Philadelphia LOT William Thomas
• Philadelphia WR Donte' Stallworth vs. Houston DC Dunta Robinson
• Philadelphia RB Brian Westbrook vs. Houston MLB DeMeco Ryans
• Houston WR Andre Johnson vs. Philadelphia DC Lito Sheppard
• Philadelphia RDE Darren Howard vs. Houston LOT Charles Spencer

Scouts' Edge
With both of these teams trying to make a statement, this game is going to be hotly contested. The Eagles need to prove that last year was an aberration and the Texans need to prove that they are moving in the right direction. The Eagles were a minus-1 in the turnover ratio last year and the Texans were a minus-8 so don't expect great ball security by either team. Whichever team does a better job of improving in that area has a good chance to win this game.

Neither team is apt to be dominating, defensively, but Philadelphia looks better on paper. Houston needs to make a statement with their running game in order for Carr to be effective in the passing game. The stadium is going to be loud and disruptive so for Philadelphia to quiet the fans down it must score quickly and put Houston on its heels. Look for the Eagles to do just that on their way to a win.

Prediction: Eagles 28, Texans 21
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:34 PM   #2
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Chances of the Eagles giving up 21 points? Zero.

Defense won't give up more than 13 this game, if that.
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