I posted a preview "What to expect from the offense vs. WAS" prior to the first game. That one was derailed by injury to #7, but in looking back over it, it was *very* predictive of some of the things we saw on Monday Night. In fact, I think Andy owes me royalties or something for the first play from scrimmage:
...opposing coaches and teams routinely reported that they would spend an ENTIRE DAY of their weekly preparation specifically preparing to face #7.
Despite that, in healthy seasons, he took some truly mediocre rosters to the playoffs. Teams that had terrible lines, bad defense, horrendous receivers and, most glaringly, putrid coaching in the passing game. For all of Andy and Marty's faults, they know a thing or two about the passing game, including route design and creating matchup issues.
Vick is only in his 3rd week of taking 1st string snaps, in his second year with this team. The upside for the Eagles on offense is incredible. Anyway, on to what to expect this week:
The way teams used to have success against Vick in ATL was to stack the box with 8 defenders to try to take away the run (and they still led the league in rushing, perennially), and to play press man on the outside (because they did not fear any Falcon receivers). Hall has the athleticism to play close to the line on receivers, but even with his speed he can't cover DeSean for 5 or 6 seconds with the whole field behind him and limited safety help.
Based upon what Houston did to WAS, expect at least 3 TDs through the air, maybe 4.
Another wrinkle that would be impossible to defend would be to line up in I, fake the stretch right to McCoy, and have Schmitt block left, either chipping the DE's outside shoulder to ensure the corner, or destroying the CB if the defense brings secondary pressure to the backside of run plays, which teams did to Vick a lot in ATL. Then Vick has a run pass option on a bootleg to Schmitt in the flat (assuming no CB blitz), he has the edge due to the chip, and he has the WR on the left going deep, Celek on a deep drag and the (now) backside WR on a deep post.
That's a 20yd gain on the ground at minimum, and 30 yds to a TD depending on if one of the downfield receivers is open."
Not to say I told you so but... oh hell yeah, i'm saying I told you so. I pretty much called 3 or 4 TDs passing and over 150 yds (team) rushing. And the stretch/boot/PA pass was the very first play of the game, with the exception that they kept someone in the wing on the left to chip the end and capture the edge instead of having the FB run backside. And they had an underneath deep drag/cross to occupy the playside safety.
The route that Desean ran was beautiful, but this is also mad scientist stuff. He ran a double move post (he faked to the outside which is why Landry got spun around) against a safety playing 20 YARDS DEEP!!! That takes a lot of confidence in either your line, QB, or play design for a play that takes that long to develop and which takes place that far down the field.You *might* see this kind of route thrown off of a flea-flicker. To be able to do it out of your base offense is sick. Madden-ish.
And Landry had pretty good coverage. There's simply NOTHING he could have done on that play short of tackling jackson and taking a 30 yd penalty.When vick was with the Falcons I always said that their coaches should take advantage of his arm strength to throw backside posts out of play action and half-rolls because these things typically don't have to be covered by defenses.
Andy and Marty are looking at the tape and thinking, "we can get away with THAT???" More importantly, the rest of their opponents coaches are looking at that tape and sh*tting bricks. Keep in mind that Haslett had to see vick twice per year when with the Saints. If *HE* can't figure out how to stop him, this is problematic.
NFL Playbook Breakdown of MNF Highlights (NFL Playbook is the best show on tv for football. Hands down).