NFL Opening Week Match-Ups: Philadelphia Eagles vs. St. Louis Rams
The road to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis will start this Sunday in St. Louis as the Eagles prepare to take on a much improved Rams team. The Eagles arguably come into this season with the most talented roster in the NFL, lead by their $100 Million quarterback, Michael Vick.
The Vick vs. the Rams defense is just one of the sub plots for this game. There are many other intriguing match-ups to watch come Sunday. The one that has my greatest attention is pro bowl defensive end Chris Long vs. nearly anointed starter at right tackle, Todd Herremans. This will be a stiff test for the veteran Herremans facing one of the best defensive ends in football. Long has quick first step, a powerful burst, and will give Herremans trouble. He will absolutely need to keep Long off of Vick and I believe that Herremans will be able to have some success in run blocking Long.
The next set of match-ups that are worth paying attention to involve the Rams’ cornerback trio of: Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher, and Al Harris vs. the newly instituted greatest show on turf: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper. At the time of this break-down, we are not sure if Steve Smith will go or not for the Eagles. The Rams are clearly over matched here and will need to disguise coverages and bring blitz packages to confuse Vick. If Vick has time, this group of receivers will dominate the Rams’ corners.
If we flip this around and look at the Rams’ receivers of Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon Gibson, and Danny Amendola vs. the all world secondary of Nnamdi Ashomugha, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel, once again the Rams are clearly overmatched. Sam Bradford has come a long way and is a very good quarterback, but he will need to be patient with his receivers. He can’t force the ball and he definitely can’t let Samuel bait him into getting routes jumped. Asante may be the best of the best at this and with two other pro bowl corners out there, he will be free to do even more of it than he’s ever done in his career.Continued on the next page