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Five Good Questions with Bleeding Green Nation

This week's game will see Brad Childress' former employers, the Philadelphia Eagles, visit the Metrodome to take on the Beloved Purple.  As usual, I've exchanged five questions with Jason, the head blogger at SBNation's outstanding site dedicated to the Eagles, Bleeding Green Nation.  These were his responses.

Update [2007-10-27 6:54:32 by Gonzo]:

You can see the answers I supplied to Jason's questions right here.

1)  Welcome to NFL Suckville, where pre-season optimism goes to die.  I didn't expect to see your team move into the neighborhood this season.  What's happened to cause the Eagles to go from pre-season NFC East favorites to being 2-4 after 6 games?

I think we're all wondering that... On my site this past week I eventually came to the conclusion that the team just isn't that good. They had a great turnaround last year to win the division and make the playoffs and the front office took that to mean that the team was good enough as is to compete this year. I think that was a mistake. We did very little in free agency and traded down in the draft for a long term project player as our top pick. That's what teams who are good enough to win the superbowl do, not teams with holes. Part of it has been due to McNabb trying to work back from injury, part of it has been some bad luck, part of it has been injuries to other guys, part of it has been an inability to adjust in game... Basically a little bit of a lot of things. I think it's been the typical situation where teams that aren't quite good enough find ways to lose.

2)  Your head coach, Andy Reid, has had a lot of off-field issues to deal with over the past few months.  What sort of effect, if any, do you think that it's had on the Eagles?  Has it contributed to their slow start?

I really don't think it's had any effect. There have been some playcalling & adjustment issues I've had with Reid, but frankly he's not even calling the plays these days. Plus, it's not like the issues I've had this year with him are any different than in past years... He has his way of doing things and I haven't noticed any real difference in any of that this year. Bottom line is that his two kids that keep getting in trouble are in their 20s... hardly kids anymore. There's not much more he can do and it appears that's the attitude he's taken. There are some real issues surrounding this team that worry me, but I happen to think the Andy's kids thing is the most overblown.

3)  Let's fast-forward a bit. . .it's Opening Day of the 2008 season.  Who's lined up behind center for the Eagles in the season opener. . .Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb?

Provided McNabb finishes this year healthy he'll be the 2008 starter. People have to remember that he's less than a year removed from major knee surgery. By all accounts from doctors he's made huge strides just to be able to be where is right now. Curing the offseaosn were were being told he probably couldn't even play until week 4, but he was back playing in preseason. He's clearly already moving better than he was early in the season and should only continue to get closer to 100%. Now, he still has got a long way to get back to the McNabb of old and it remains to be seen whether he can ever get there... but the fact is that the guy is fairly young for a QB and ought to have several more productive years in front of him. If he stays healthy this year(which is a big if) he should be back to 100% by the time 2008 rolls around and definitely be starting.

4)  What do you think is the key for the Eagles this Sunday if they're going to come out of Minnesota with a victory?

Number one it's going to be to protect the football. The Vikings have a pretty good turnover difference(+6 I think?), but the Eagles have done a nice job protecting the ball. We don't get many takeaways, but we also don't turn it over very much. I don't think this will be a blowout either way(more on that next) so turnovers could play a big part. On offense the Eagles pass attack is going to have to find it's rhythm.  As I'm sure you know the Vikes are pretty damn good against the run, but no so much against the pass. McNabb has struggled with accuracy and seeing the field at times this year while our receivers have dropped some key balls at times. They can't do that and win on Sunday.

On defense, it's all about stopping that Vikings rushing attack. So far, the Eagles defense has been pretty stout against the run(4th best in the NFC) so that should be a really good strength v strength match up to watch.

5)  How do you see Sunday's game unfolding?

To be honest the Eagles have not inspired much confidence in me this year... I see this as a game with a lot of field goals and mostly a defensive struggle. I think Peterson will get his fair share, but I don't think he'll run totally amok on this Eagles defense. The one matchup that I think will decide this game is the Vikings' NFL worst pass defense vs the Eagles pass attack. The Eagles have struggled throwing the ball this year, but they're such a pass happy team that I have to think at some point one will go for a big play. That said, nothing would surprise me from this team. I have it Eagles 17, Vikings 13.