3 Keys to a Philadelphia Eagles win versus Cleveland in Week 11

Rodney McLeod (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Rodney McLeod (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1. The Philadelphia Eagles have to start fast.

Let’s start with some numbers. Through nine games, the ‘Birds’ have struggled to get off to a hot start. They are averaging five points in the first quarter which ranks 19th in the league. In the 2019 regular season, Philly ranked 20th in that category averaging 4.1 points in the first quarter and in 2018, they ranked 31st averaging 3.2 points. This year, they are averaging 9.8 points in the first half which is 26th in the league. In addition, their defense hasn’t been able to start strong either. In the first quarter, their defense gives up an average of 6.6 points which ranks 26th.

Last week, the Giants scored touchdowns on each of their first two drives. Meanwhile, Pederson’s put up a field goal and three punts in the first half. It feels like Philly is always trying to come from behind. Even versus a Dallas Cowboys team led by Ben DiNucci, they trailed 9-7 at halftime. It took a rally with five minutes left in the fourth quarter to beat the Giants in Week 7. Wentz had to rally the troops and eat away at big deficits in back to back weeks against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Fans are tired of it.

Mark Bergin from BrownsNation.com made a great point in a recent game preview. Stefanski loves the run game. The Browns are a run-first team with Nick Chubb and Kareem. They’re led by a potent offensive line including the likes of Wyatt Teller, J.C. Tretter, and Joel Bitonio. It’s going to be difficult for the Eagles’ run defense to get stops. One way Philly can combat that run game is by starting fast. If Pederson’s squad can take a big lead early one it will force the Browns to go away from their run game. They won’t be able to just chew the clock and wear down the Eagles defense. If it’s another slow start for this Eagles team, this game is likely over.