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Stillers @ Iggles -- The Key Mismatch

September 18, 2008 by Still Mill

Stillers @ Iggles -- The Key Mismatch

Stillers @ Iggles -- The Key Mismatch


The Stillers venture to Philly to take on the 1-1 Iggles, who are coming off a high-scoring loss to the Cowpokes on MNF.This promises to be an evenly matched affair between 2 likely playoff participants.


Rarely does a game between two fairly even foes present such a gross mismatch as this one.The key mismatch is, quite obviously, the quickness and receiving ability of the Philly stable of RBs, versus the slowest pair of starting ILBs in the NFL.


Philly enjoys a RB depth chart led by the superb all-around play of Brian Westbrook, backed up by Correll Buckhalter and Lorenzo Booker.


Westbrook is the consummate all-around back, capable and proven in both toting and catching the ball.He enjoyed a tremendous 2007 campaign, rushing for a gaudy 4.8 yards per carry en route to 1,333 yards.More impressively, he hauled in 90 (ninety) passes for another 771 yards, good for 8.6 YPC.Over the course of his career, he�s averaged 9.2 yards per catch.Westy has already grabbed 8 passes this season, 2 of which went for TDs.


West is by far the most dangerous RB threat in the passing game, but his backups ain�t chopped liver.He is very ably complemented by Buckhalter and Booker.Buck has averaged 10 YPC over his career, including a 10.7 YPC in �06.Last season, playing for a moribund Miami club, Booker snared 28 passes at an 8.5 YPC clip.


The Stillers� dilemma is trying to defense against this RB �catching attack� with the slowest pair of starting ILBs in pro football. Larry Foote is at the greatest mismatch here, but don�t be fooled into thinking that James �Taunto� Farrior is immune from abuse.


This gross Stillers flaw was spared any exposure in Week 1, what with Ahman Green too slow to do much and rookie Steve Slaton a bit too green to have a large impact.Plus, the Houston deficit became far too large to make much use out of passes to the RBs.The flaw was, however, hideously exposed last week in Clev, where aging, creaking Jamaal Lewis gave the defense fits out of the backfield, as did backup Jerome Harrison, who ignited the long 4th quarter march with a 23-yard gainer off a dump in the flats.Struggling last week against the likes of Lewis and Harrison was bad; getting abused by West and Co. could be gory and repulsive.

Philly can and will fling the pig downfield.However, facing a blitzing defense with a solid, veteran secondary, even a dullard like Fat Andy Reid will have enough sense to order designed flares and wheels to the RBs, as well as ad hoc dumpoffs in the face of blitz pressure.


Dim-bulbed yinzers will claim that �the Stillers will use 2nd-year LB Larry Timmons on passing downs� in order to defend against the Iggles.The fallacy here is that there is no mandatory �passing down�.I�ve checked the NFL rulebook and even called the NFL headquarters.It is perfectly legal for any offense to throw the ball on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th down.And given the outrageous mismatch of Westbrook on Foote, the Iggles would be absolute fools to not exploit this mismatch at every opportunity.


The lone, simple solution to this mismatch is to get Larry Timmons off the bench and onto the playing field.His speed, instincts, and athleticism cannot be taught, nor can they be replicated by a slowfooted clod like Foote.


None of this is to suggest that the Iggles will handily win the game.Philly�s defense, as seen on MNF, has issues. And special teams could come into play.The point here is simply to identify a grizzly mismatch.Either the Stillers will counter with Timmons, or they�ll be chugging in an uphill battle, with a lot of hope resting on the offense out-scoring the Iggles like the Cryboys did Monday evening.



Still Mill and -- �When it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close�.�


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