Eagles' Offensive Line Could Decide Game

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, December 20, 2009

Justice must continue to play well against the Niners.

With the field most likely a slush of melted snow and mud, moving the ball is going to be extremely difficult. Games are usually won and lost in the trenches, but these games in poor weather and even worse field conditions astronomically increase the importance of having a good, disciplined offensive line.

Odds are that LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver will not be able to make the cuts that they usually make. They will be forced to head straight up field because doing otherwise will simply result in a slip and a wasted play.

For the straight-ahead running attack to work, the offensive line must be on top of their game at all times today.

The 49ers defense is by no means a powerhouse, but with Mike Singletary as their coach you can place your bets on them being a tough, physical unit. Their front three could very well be the very best in all of football, and their linebackers -- specifically Patrick Willis who may just be the best in the game -- are as fast as they are tough.

Jason Peters has to make sure he's always moving his feet and not getting himself stuck in the mud. If he does, the 49ers' outside linebackers will abuse him all game long. Todd Herremans has got to be able to read this defense and disect any stunts or blitzes. If he gets caught flat-footed, Willis could take McNabb's head off.

It's the same thing for Jamaal Jackson and Nick Cole -- if they keep their heads on a swivel and understand where the pressure is coming from, they should be able to pick it up without a problem. However, if they get caught backpedaling too much they're going to picking themselves up out of the mud.

For Winston Justice it's just about keeping the momentum he's built all season long. I'm not sure I'd say he's been the best guy on the line (that would probably go to Peters), but he has certainly been the most consistent. This 3-4 could give him problems having an end overtop of him and having to break off for blitzing linebackers, but it's something he'll have to do.

If this line can play as well as they've been over the past few weeks, the Eagles should be just fine. They should be able to pick up the win, clinch a playoff berth, and most importantly, stay a game ahead of the Cowboys.
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