Anatomy of an INT (Why We're Losing Recipes)

Very lengthy analysis of the 2nd INT of the game vs. BUF... or what I saw during 4 seconds of video posted on

I don't have the time or patience to break down the entire game. But I thought I'd zoom in on some of the pivotal plays (lowlights), so you could see what I see. Numerous folks have broken down the pick 6 (Peter KING, for goodness sakes!, and Jason B). I have a few more observations on that, but I'll start with the 2nd INT where Vick got blindsided as he threw. Its useful to point out some things that are endemic to our offense, and illustrate why most of the folks saying 'get rid of the ball more quickly' are wrong.

More after the jump...

2nd INT (blindside hit on attempt to celek)

Philadelphia - 7:57
    1st-10, PHI21 7:57 L. McCoy rushed to the right for 11 yard gain
    1st-10, PHI32 7:17 D. Jackson rushed to the left for 4 yard loss
    2nd-14, PHI28 6:38 M. Vick incomplete pass down the middle
    3rd-14, PHI28 6:33 M. Vick passed to J. Avant down the middle for 21 yard gain
    1st-10, PHI49 5:54 D. Lewis rushed to the left for 2 yard gain
    2nd-8, BUF49 5:20 L. McCoy rushed to the right for 3 yard loss
    3rd-11, PHI48 4:30 G. Wilson intercepted M. Vick for 1 yard

Alright. Lets take a look at this INT.

I'm gonna reference this video from / NFLN to start with, so you can see what i'm talking about:

    3rd-11, PHI48 4:30 G. Wilson intercepted M. Vick for 1 yard

Freeze the video at 0:08, the start of the play and this is what I see:

302 (3 WRs, 0 RB, 2TE) - gun split 'backs' (both TEs are aligned in the backfield, flanking vick, as blockers). Twins left, maclin wide, avant in a tight slot, djax wide on the right.

BUF has 5 guys on the L.O.S. and two ILBs at 3yds depth. If you count the guy covering avant, that's pretty much 8 in the box. CB on djax is playing off, outside leverage, at 8yds. Can't see the corner on jmac but you'd have to assume the same. That leaves what we can infer to be a single high safety.

Pre-snap read -- The eagles have 7 blockers (the 5 OL, plus 2 TEs aligned as backs) to block 7, unless #8 comes (the nickel, i'm assuming, on Avant). Quick slant to djax would be lovely here, if he ran quick slants.

Video: let it cook till 0:09 secs. vick takes a 5 step drop. even though we have sucky tv angles that tells you a couple things. Its NOT a quick slant or quick out. Those are 1 step or 3 step routes. The eagles are going deep (keep in mind they need 11 yards). The success of the play will have to be dependent upon the protection.

Vick is now 8yds deep. All 3 Wrs have taken off on vertical stems. Again, there is no 'quick / hot' option here. BUF has sent at least 5 at this point. The Eagles, via this max protect look, have the personnel to block 7. BUF is overloading the right side of the line.

Herremans and Harbor are blocking two guys on the right. Man on man. They are engaged, but are also 4yds deep in the backfield while vick is still in his drop. the 3 interior guys and dunlap are holding up much better, although the rushers on the right appear to have delayed.

video: at 0:10 secs, vick is at the top of his drop, a full 10yds deep. Harbor has taken his man to the ground, but this knocks Herremans off his block. Vick is looking downfield. 2 seconds into the play and a guy who looked like he was handily blocked a second ago is now completely free and bearing down on the QB from his blindside. There is also pressure leaking up the middle. Again, there is no hot read. These are long routes. I can't see the ILBs and whether they have dropped or are spying at 3yds.

Celek, who was lined up as an RB in the gun on the left is now releasing on a delayed out on the left sideline. Apparently there is nothing downfield or perhaps vick feels pressure because celek is who he will try to dump the ball to.

Video: let it roll to 0:11 secs, disaster is imminent. Celek, who is vick's safety valve, has not turned and looked over his shoulder. Vick has just stepped into his throw (you know, plant, throw, all that good 'real QB' stuff he's always getting ripped for by people who don't watch the tape). Still at 0:11 and vick gets smashed, ball flutters. Note that there are no other receivers in sight. at 0:12, the play is over.

OBSERVATIONS: There's nothing ANY QB could have done on that play.

A) The proximate cause here is on Herremans and Harbor (getting blown back off the line and falling off). By the time the QB was at the top of a 5 step drop (from SHOTGUN!!!) he had an LB bearing down on him with a dead bird shot. The Eagles had the personnel and the scheme to pick up the blockers. They did not, catastrophically.

B) There are no opportunities to 'get rid of the ball quickly'. One can argue that the Eagles' play designs assume basic execution (ie, we're in max protect with TWO extra blockers, nobody should be hitting the QB). But I would counter argue that this is a foolish assumption when you are starting a rookie Center, rookie RG, an RT who just moved to the position a couple of games ago, a backup LT and an LG you got off the street for cheap.

C) This is not an aberration with the Eagles, but a theme.
Even if there was a 'hot' option, the nature of this play is that the QB would not have seen the defender coming and probably would have gotten strip-sacked or otherwise blown up. We become accustomed to seeing Vick, on a weekly basis, escaping from a completely free blitzer and making a play but forget that we can't count on him to do that all the time. Andy and Marty would be better served protecting him with the routes in addition to the line.

for what I mean by that, refer to my previous post:


Passing Plays we SHOULD be running

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