The Cardinals blitz more than any other NFL team. And it’s been a winning strategy, as Arizona has an 11-2 record. But surprisingly, they have just 24 sacks on the year, seven less than the Eagles and 20 less than the NFL leading Broncos.
Nonetheless, it’s something the Eagles’ offense needs to worry about.
“I think they are right at about 50 percent,” Chip Kelly said.”So one out of every two snaps, somebody is coming, and they bring them from all different areas.
“So they have continued what Todd[Bowles] was doing there and actually are doing it a little bit more. So it’s something, we had a high blitz number going into the Bills game and really had to prepare for that. You always have to prepare for blitz, but these last two opponents, the Bills and the Cardinals, are teams that are really going to come after you. A big part of our preparation this week is trying to handle those blitzes and how we’re going to be able to pick them up.”
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Sam Bradford knows it will take full cooperation and coordination offensively to make sure they keep the Cardinals blitz, which often includes safety Tyrann Mathieu, in check.
“I think the communication between me and [center Jason]Kelce, between our tackles and running backs, to have everybody properly identified will be key to handling the blitzes,” Bradford said.
But the Eagles have a secret weapon to counteract the blitz, one that helped the Birds creep by the Bills 23-20 in Week 14 and withstand their potent defense.
“When you play fast, they can’t continue to mix up things,” Jordan Matthews said.”The same time they are trying to get those blitzes in, they have to get those calls from the sidelines.”
“We played a big blitzingteam in the Bills, but over time they had to get to [get away from it], we ran out plays quick.”
See, there’s a reason Kelly runs his face-paced offense.