February 6, 2023

Minshew Mania — Eagles @ Cowboys Week 16 Preview

Photo by Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Holidays everyone! It is Dallas week!

Normally that sentence alone is enough to get a Eagles fan fired up, but this week is a little different. On Monday, we learned that Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts suffered a shoulder sprain in last Sundays win against the Bears.

On Thursday morning Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni announced that Gardner Minshew will be the teams starting QB on Christmas Eve. The fact that there will be a back up at QB for the Birds along with the fact that they have 3 tries to win the division and secure the #1 seed has taken some of the edge off this classic rivalry.

Minshew Gets the Call

With MVP candidate Jalen Hurts sidelined this weekend the Eagles will turn the keys to the offense over to Gardner Minshew. The 26-year-old QB has played in 30 games over his 4 years in the NFL. Ever since Nick Foles stepped in and won the Super Bowl the Eagles have made it a priority to make sure that they have a capable backup in case their starter goes down, and Minshew is just that.

Over his 4 year career, Minshew has thrown for 6,003 yards while also throwing 41 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions. The Eagles so far this season have done a great job of limiting turnovers on offense and Minshew should be able to continue that. With Minshew at the helm, the offense will certainly look different.

The Eagles run a lot of RPO or run-pass option plays where Hurts can, hand to the running back, pass to a receiver, or run it himself all based on what a certain player on the defense does. While they still may run this style of offense some, the threat of Minshew taking off and running for a first down will not be there. They will probably run a more traditional type of offense then they run with Hurts. Minshew could easily be a starter on multiple teams right now and it wouldn’t surprise me at all, with all the weapons we have on offense if he comes out and plays well.

Limiting Micah Parsons

There is no question that Micah Parsons is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. But he is not unstoppable, and if the Eagles want to win this game they will have to take him out of the game. In the first matchup, the Eagles were able to limit his impact in the first half of the game by running at him and making him make decisions in space. They would attack him with a rollout while having a receiver follow behind and when he committed to the QB Hurts tossed a few passes and a touchdown to Aj Brown.

The game plan for Parsons is going to have to be a little different this week with Minshew at the helm. He is more of the typical “pocket passer” so they won’t be able to have to make Parsons cover in space as much as they did in the first matchup. Another big factor is Lane Johnson. The Pro Bowl tackle was dominating Parsons in the first half until he left the game with a concussion. Hopefully, Johnson can stay healthy throughout the whole game and will be able to contain Parsons in the passing game.

The Cowboys listed Parsons as questionable on the final injury report with an illness.

Creating Turnovers

One of the biggest reasons that the Cowboys lost last week was because QB Dak Prescott threw 2 interceptions including the game-losing pick 6.

Prescott has thrown 11 interceptions in just 9 games so far this season. He is averaging over one interception a game with only 2 games where he has not thrown one.

If the Eagles wanna secure a home-field advantage for the playoffs they will have to take advantage of Dak’s carelessness with the ball. While the team leader in interceptions CJ Gardner-Johnson will be out looking for one of Slay or Bradberry to come down with one.

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