Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Nnamdi-Fitzgerald Showdown

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.Look at Larry Fitzgerald‘s gaudy stat line from last year’s game against the Eagles — seven grabs, 146 yards, two touchdowns — and it might sound strange to suggest that Nnamdi Asomugha has his number.

Then we remember that this defense was a wreck for much of last year and Asomugha wasn’t always where he should have been. He matched up with Fitzgerald on 20 out of 46 plays in that game. John Skelton attempted just two passes to the stud wideout in those situations, and came away empty both times.

There is history from Asomugha’s days in Oakland as well, as the two matched up in 2010. Fitzgerald managed just two grabs for 26 yards in that game, one for a touchdown. Asomugha said he was locked man-to-man with him most of the time.

“It went pretty well,” said Asomugha. “I’ve had some success with him. He is a great player. I don’t want to trash talk him, but [I’ve done well.]”

With Asante Samuel and his specific style out of the equation, Juan Castillo can have his corners shadow receivers more easily this season if he chooses. Last week against the Ravens, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie followed Torrey Smith all over the field. We may see Asomugha do the same to Fitzgerald Sunday, given his past success against him.

Not that it will be an easy task.

“He’s a big receiver who can play any size he wants. That’s what makes him special,” said Asomugha. “He can play his height. He can play bigger than he is. He can player small — meaning he can cut, be quick and he can go inside. And then he can be physical. That’s what has made him who he is.”

 WHAT YOU MISSED

Sheil flipped the All-22 tape to the offensive side of the ball to break down the key plays from Sunday.

The special teams were pretty lackluster against the Ravens and have a big challenge in store this week.

In my Twitter Mailbag, we look at the offensive line concerns and whether Kevin Kolb is giving the Cardinals an advantage.

Marty Mornhinweg may be even bolder in his play-calling now that he has a solid defense behind him.

The offensive coordinator might just have all of his weapons available to him, as Jeremy Maclin returned to the practice field.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

In a class move by the NFL, the late Steve Sabol will be honored prior to each game this week.

First, it was the Eagles and Ravens accusing one another of dirty play. Now, RGIII is calling out the Rams. From the Washington Times:

“They were doing a lot of dirty things,” Griffin said Wednesday. “I still think they have an extremely good team. That doesn’t take anything away from them. But the game was unprofessional.

“Who am I to talk? I’ve barely been a pro for very long, but from what I experienced against the Saints to that game, it was definitely unprofessional, and it does need to be cleaned up.”

And finally, Philly Mag’s Health and Fitness Editor Emily Leaman worked out with the Eagles cheerleaders and documented her experience. Yes, there are pictures.

COMING UP

The Eagles have practice at 10:30 before boarding a plane for Arizona in the afternoon.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.