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Eagles at Browns: Three storylines to watch

The game starts on Sunday at 1 p.m.

1. Mike Vick’s (insert injured body part here) ...

The fragile Eagles quarterback comes in equipped with a specially-designed Kevlar vest and a promise to slide in the face of danger. The Birds aren’t going very far this season if Vick gets hurt and the Browns can get to the quarterback. They finished 23rd in the NFL last season (32 total sacks), led by Jabaal Sheard’s 8.5 sacks. The second-year man is a straight-up speed end who is coming at you every snap. Vick will have to make quick decisions, either get the ball out, throw it away or take the sack — just don’t stand in the pocket and take unnecessary hits.

2. Pressure Weeden, make the rookie taste the turf.

On the other side of the ball, Jim Washburn’s Wide-9 rotation has to get in the grill of rookie QB Brandon Weeden early and often. The sooner he gets his ‘welcome-to-the-NFL’ moment, the better. If Weeden is allowed to take his time and develop a rhythm, he’ll also gain confidence (the worst thing to give a rookie) and the Eagles could be in for a long day. Get Weeden’s brand new No. 3 jersey dirty, looking at you Jason Babin and Trent Cole. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said as many as nine defensive linemen could see action. “If nine guys suit up [then] we’ll have nine guys who will play,” Castillo said.

3. Break out the fireworks as early as possible.

Some of the Eagles’ biggest victories have been setup by the first offensive play of the game. Remember when Vick hooked up with DeSean Jackson two seasons ago in Washington in that epic, record-breaking rout? Come out swinging here. Just send Jackson on a deep go-route and chuck it up, as long as the pass is on target no one is going to catch No. 10. You’ll grab early momentum and

silence the crowd in one shot.

 
 
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