Yesterday, we all got blown away when seemingly out of nowhere the Philadelphia Eagles swooped in and signed the biggest free agent of the year in Nnamdi Asomugha. At this point, this makes the Eagles the most dynamic team that will be available to players in Madden NFL 12 in my personal opinion. They have a lot of weapons but they are not without their weaknesses and I’m going to tell you how to compensate for them if they are your team and exploit them if you have to face them. Let’s break this down.
At QB, the Eagles are set with Mike Vick and Vince Young who I can see folks giving people nightmares out of the pocket, I would suggest using a lot of QB spy when you play the Eagles this year. With Both Vick and VY, a spy will be necessary no matter which one is in the game.
At RB, the Eagles currently have a gang of guys but you figure it will be McCoy, Noel Devine and Derrick Locke. Of those guys, none of them is a power guy with McCoy being the biggest of them. If Devine and Locke make the team they will definitely give the Eagles some burners out of the backfield but I’m still concerned that they don’t have a bruiser that can get them the short yardage and would like to see them do something there.
At WR, honestly I’m concerned. The only star receiver they have is Desean Jackson and he’s holding out, though with the new rules I thinks he reports on time. Even if he reports I don’t know how he performs if he is upset about his contract. Jeremy Maclin is there and he’s a great speed guy, gives them a solid choice at the slot but he’s complimentary at best and without Jackson to open the field up he couldn’t be as effective. They have Riley Cooper but he is more of a possession receiver and Sinorice Rice just hasn’t done anything else of note in the NFL. There are a lot of free agent WR’s out there and I would definitely like to see them go after a few of them such as Malcolm Floyd, Braylon Edwards or even Plaxico Burress. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them possibly leverage Asante to maybe pull of a trade and improve at this spot too. All else fails Vick can always dump it off to Celek when he’s under pressure and don’t sleep on Ingram out of Florida. Bottom line is that if the Eagles don’t add another legitimate WR I would play a lot of press coverage against them and double Jackson. Nobody else is going to burn you.
At DE, the Eagles added Jason Babin to pair up with Trent Cole and that should mean nightmares for opposing QB’s. They also have Ricky Sapp and hopefully Brandon Graham can get healthy (PUP) they should have a solid pass rush on every down. With guys like Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson they shouldn’t be vulnerable up the middle either.
At LB, this is where the Eagles are vulnerable. They really need to get Ernie Sims resigned as a top priority. They did draft Clay Matthews younger brother Casey, but it remains to be seen if he has even half the talent on an NFL level that his brother has. After those two, it’s really a bunch of guys you have never heard of. If they don’t perhaps use Samuel to acquire some help at LB, I would definitely be looking to run a lot of slant and crossing routes against the Eagles to expose those LBs. They will also be vulnerable to quick passes out of the backfield to the RBs and as well as any running plays that press the edges and force LBs to come and make a play.
At CB, this is of course whether the Eagles are going to be really tough. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) and Asomugha will make it difficult to get a solid passing game going and it will be difficult to beat either one of them over the top. If you have to go at one, it’s definitely DRC but I think he plays well in this defense and perhaps returns to Pro Bowl form. If they keep Samuel then he makes them tough in the slot too, but it doesn’t look likely that Samuel sticks around. With or without him the Eagles won’t have a lot of holes in secondary though there may be some room to exploit a weak safety core so perhaps signing a veteran safety like Deon Grant or Donte Whitner could be in order. It’s tough to give any good tips here as there aren’t a lot of weaknesses. I’ll say this though, focus on routes that have built-in spacing such as outs and quick slants. I wouldn’t recommend comebacks and deep slants which will give a lot of opportunity for Nnamdi and DRC to use their unique speed to close on the ball and if they do that then they could be intercepting the ball and going the other way for six in no time.