poetx playbook... caution -- LONG post. what happened on offense

If I have time, I'll break down all the offensive snaps from the game, explaining what happened on each play, why a play worked, and why it failed. I'll note, for each play (starting with the official game log, that shows the down and distance, as well as play result), the personnel, formation (roughly), pre-snap and post snap look of the defense, as well as observations of what play was run, what the play design was, and why it played out like it did.

If I had access to the game replay online it would be a lot easier. If not, I'll have to wait till off hrs when I can rewatch the game on Tivo and who knows when I'll get to that.


Example/1st play, with explanations:

    1st-10, PHI21 14:47 M. Vick passed to D. Jackson to the left for 11 yard gain

    311 (3 WRs, 1 RB, 1TE) - gun left, avant in tight flex, celek in slot, dj and mac wide.

    (so if I later write 220, that would be 2WRs, 2TEs, 0RBs. The Eagles are in a Shotgun formation with the single back to the left of the QB. By Tight Flex, Celek in Slot, I mean that Avant is standing up, on the Line of Scrimmage, about 3yds to the left of the LT, and Celek is lined up off the L.o.S., in between Avant and Peters. Since I said there are 3 WRs, that leaves 2 more, and DeSean and Maclin are Split. Maclin is the X receiver, so he is the Split End to the right, and Djax is the Z, and is Split left, and off the L.o.S.)

    4 man front, SLB head up on TE. cb's off @ 7yds. LB shifts to outside avant. 9yd stop to dj, who makes a defender miss to pick up 11. celek protects, ja on inside route, maclin out of picture (vertical stem -- tight camera angle after completion). protection is good. pocket holds up well on 3 step drop. no pressure. shady chips abraham w/ herremans.

( The above is largely shorthand. There's a 4 man defensive front (Falcons run a 4-3, so this is generally the case), the Strong/Sam LB is 'covering' Celek (meaning aligned over him, not necessarily from a pass responsibility perspective). I note the CBs alignments, and they are playing over the split receivers, at approximately 7yds cushion, or distance between them and the receivers). Pre-snap, the Sam moves to outside shade on Avant, basically, just getting wide, by one player. A stop or hitch is running upfield, on a vertical stem (the part of the route that comes before the break), and then you just stop (as opposed to coming back, or breaking in or out -- truth in advertising on the name of this route). Celek blocks, from his slot/wing position. Avant takes off on an inside breaking route before the cameraman decides he's no longer important. Maclin runs a vertical stem). I describe what happened, and the depth of the drop that the QB took, which was a leisurely 3 steps. Shady helps double John Abraham who was lined up on the right side).

eagles v falcons breakdown, 1st 3 drives:

(this is quick and dirty. don't have a lot of time to play with formatting, etc. when its all done, i'll probably spiffy it up. )

Atlanta - 14:54
    Atlanta kicked off, D. Lewis returned kickoff for 20 yards

Philadelphia - 14:47
    1st-10, PHI21 14:47 M. Vick passed to D. Jackson to the left for 11 yard gain
    311 (3 WRs, 1 RB, 1TE) - gun left, avant in tight flex, celek in slot, dj and mac wide.
    4 man front, SLB head up on TE. cb's off @ 7yds. LB shifts to outside avant. 9yd stop to dj, who makes a defender miss to pick up 11.  celek protects, ja on inside route, maclin out of picture (vertical stem -- tight camera angle after completion). protection is good.  pocket holds up well on 3 step drop. no pressure. shady chips abraham w/ herremans.

    1st-10, PHI32 14:09 M. Vick rushed to the right for 7 yard gain
    222 (2 TEs, 2RB, 2 WRs) - wildcat (ugh). jm in gun, shady split left. vick and dj in twins rt. schmitt in RB spot.
    shady in zap motion (toward middle of field) pre-snap.
    4-3, shifted left, pre-snap. both corners off-7.
    direct snap to mccoy, flowing right. toss to vick heading left, about 8yds deep. #91 completely unblocked and heading straight for him.  vick plants, steps up, sprints up middle and spins right for 7 yds. jax never even turned around. double covered. i didn't see any other receiving option on that. thinking this was really a planned run (lots of risk and trickery for essentially running a QB draw out of the slot off a direct snap and then a toss from a RB. 2 opportunities to lose the ball there.

    2nd-3, PHI39 13:33 L. McCoy rushed to the left for 2 yard gain
    221 personnel (2wrs, 2tes, 1rb). Twins Left, DBL Tight, Twins Left, single back
    4 man front, shifted right, pre-snap. CBs are off - 4yds cushion, lofton up at 2yds, in the A-gap. backs off to 4yds, b-gap.  kelce and peters pull left. lofton plays it perfectly. SLB goes to the ground, taking out kelce, avant and celek get strung out, and lofton fills. (peters ges up on the safety, who was outside, but inside men make the play. i'd rather peters peel back inside and seal off the interior flow and let shady take the safety on one on one. only 2 yds. shady is patient, but good discipline and solid tackling by falcons.

    3rd-1, PHI41 12:52 L. McCoy rushed to the left for 1 yard loss

    122 pers (1wr, 2TEs, 2 RBs). maclin split left. offset I left (schmitt is the upback), wing rt (harbor in wing behind celek who is tight). ugly play. vick opens left, inside handoff to shady, who starts right, cuts back left. linemen are pulling in both directions it seems.
#94 gets major penetration. i was going to say that schmitt missed his block, but it appears that the play was supposed to go right and shady cut it back. so schmitt had inside leverage on him, which turned out to be the opposite of what he needed. loss of 1, end of series. do we ever run straight at somebody? seems to me we should have been able to handle ATLs d line by just running at them instead of trying to pull and trap, considering that they are a speed front, also. nice play by weatherspoon. they showed another angle on replay. bad cut by desean. he went for a big play but nothing was there. lofton would have been in the playside hole waiting for him, but if he puts his hat in his chest he might pick up a yard on momentum. there was nothing backside. a straight
inside zone play would have worked here, though. eagles got too cute pulling linemen one way and wingback and FB in opposite direction. and wondering why everybody is bunched up in the backfield.

    4th-2, PHI40 12:18 C. Henry punt, no return

drive was over before it started. BUT, 3 out of 4 plays were runs, so that ran counter to typical andy-isms. good punt. #27 was there first, no

chance for runback.

2nd drive:

Philadelphia - 7:47
    1st-10, PHI19 7:47 M. Vick incomplete pass to the left
    320 - 3wrs, 2TEs, empty set, gun.
    falcons showing cover 2 shell, safeties at 12yds, top (right) corner off at 7 on mac, bottom cb off at 7 on dj, with a crowd on inside left WR. double wing (the TEs).
    4 man line w/ 2 LBs walked up in a-gaps. LBs back off at the snap, leaving 4. the nickel (safety?) comes, looks like sprint left. with peters and celek getting out of the box to the left and doubling LDE. i don't see an obvious hot route, as celek seals the edge and vick gets out of contain. lofton is closing, however with weatherspoon over the top. if vick can look right, celek looks to have released (probably just missed his block and peeled off). quick throw to djax who is out of bounds.
    2nd-10, PHI19 7:42 M. Vick passed to B. Celek to the right for 2 yard gain
    212. I left. 4-3 w/ SLB head up (8 technique) on celek, who is tight left. cb's are off - 6-7 yds. safety is 2x5 yds off outside shoulder of TE. he may blitz from this look. yes. de coud comes up to line pre-snap.
    useless play-fake. schmitt takes decoud, leaving shady to step up and take on nicholas (lb blitzing).
    celek runs a drag/cross at 2yds. vick gives ground as shady loses his man inside. the 3 interior OL are fine up front. vick throws the 2yd cross/drag to celek, who has weatherspoon in tight coverage (trail position) and abraham, having dropped into the left flat (zone blitz).

2 things on this play.

1 - ATL dropped abe on the zone dog, but brought decoud (S) and lofton (MLB), for a total of 6 blizers against 8 blockers. eagles should win, but they go 3 on 2 with the interior OL and 4 on 4 with the rest. vick has to throw early and gets it to celek.


2 - its a short pass, but not a hot read. (you don't run a hot w/ a drag to the other side of the play from where the blitz came). a quick out or seam to celek would have been much better as a sight adjust route. good coverage. bad route design. 2 wrs were in their stems at the time the ball had to come out.

    3rd-8, PHI21 6:56 M. Vick incomplete pass to the left
    311 - stack twins left, bunch slot right, gun left.
    short corner again. watch the secondary pressure. zip motion inside by djax. falcons send 6 including a safety (moore). 7 step drop. incomplete to avant. looked like miscommunication on that. BAD THROW. avant was running through zone. if i saw it correctly, he wanted to sit down in the void and vick threw it through the zone. BAD THROW.

NOTE: Andy/Marty insist on dialing up crossing routes against a defense that is known to sit in Cover 2. WHY? This is how Djax got blown up last year with Kolb at the helm. This play, on the 2nd drive, is a foreshadowing of what is to come on the later cheap shot by robinson on Maclin. I WOULD HAVE HOPED that this would have been a coaching point in meetings leading up to this game. But we're running the same patterns.


I think it was getting late and I didn't pay much attention to the other routes on this (or the camera angles didn't show them).

    4th-8, PHI21 6:42 C. Henry punt. E. Weems returned punt for 19 yards

3rd drive: Philadelphia - 2:32
    1st-10, PHI16 2:32 M. Vick passed to J. Maclin down the middle for 20 yard gain
    410 personnel. tight rt, double twins. 4-3 w/ apparently off-man coverage, w/ 7yd cushion (except for near slot where safety is at 4yds). presnap, SLB walks out to cover slot and safety shifts over by one man. vick stands tall, hits mac in teh void on a seam route. avant was near wr, also on vertical stem. celek released underneath. GOOD play. spreading the field made the falcons play in space. and they inverted their WRs, and ended up with maclin on a safety instead of a CB.

WHY don't we do more of this? You can still get mismatches without going to the tight bunch formations. And Falcons are an off-coverage team, so its not like you have to stack your WRs to get a free release on the line. I understand needing to hide DJax vs. bump/man/press corners, but you should have been good on this all night.

    1st-10, PHI36 1:56 J. Maclin rushed to the right for 1 yard gain
    221 personnel. tight rt, wing right, double split, single back. zap motion from desean (top of screen), pre-snap. triple option look as vick opens right, gives to desean who gives to maclin (who came from split left). a lot of damn risk for 1 yard. note to eagles. if VICK is running right, a fake that takes the ball back to that side has no element of surprise. they are staying home anyway.
wasted play. too cute.

Stop trying to outsmart everyone. Ball changed hands three times in the backfield that time. QB Snap, handoff to DJ, handoff/pitch to Maclin. Those are two extra opportunities for fumbled exchange, in return for no yardage or credible misdirection.

    2nd-9, PHI37 1:19 R. Brown rushed up the middle for 11 yard gain
    212 personnel (ronnie brown is in at slot right). fake toss, inside handoff to brown. mathis (LG) takes a pass set, which gets the LDT upfield. peters releases upfield, herremans pulls, while kelce and the Devan got a good double on the RDT. great, sneaky play.

i think, unfortunately, we got cute and went back to this later on the play where no one blocked the DT and vick got hit at the mesh and fumbled. Great gadget the first time around.

    1st-10, PHI48 0:47 L. McCoy rushed up the middle for 5 yard gain
    311 - twins left, tight rt, split, single back.
    delay draw to shady. good cut, gets north south quickly and picks up 5.

    2nd-5, ATL47 0:08 M. Vick passed to D. Jackson to the left for 10 yard gain
    311 - twins left, tight left, single.
    4 man front, 3 lbs off (shifted left), dbs at 7yds. LB walks up on right side right at snap to blitz. half hearted playfake (no one there anyway). 94 (peria jerry) comes free up the middle (missed block by kelce, looks like). 5 step drop. vick throws hitch to desean while getting leveled by the unblocked d lineman.

AGAIN: They should have the quick hitch to Jackson or Maclin any time they want because ATLs CBs play off and have to respect the vertical stem. Unblocked DL blasting the QB (who is playing IN THE POCKET, btw) is becoming a theme. Nothing fancy. Just a missed assignment in protection.

2nd Quarter

Philadelphia continued
    1st-10, ATL37 14:55 M. Vick passed to J. Maclin to the right for 6 yard gain
    302, near twins left, I
    abe in wide 9 to the right. nickel backer head up to inside on near twin receiver. cb's at 6 and 7yds off. safeties showing 2 deep.
    playfake 5  step drop. complete to maclin on a hitch to the right. that should be there all day versus the off coverage. they showed replay of vick getting slammed to the ground by jerry (94).

    2nd-4, ATL31 14:17 L. McCoy rushed to the left for 6 yard gain
    221 personnel, with split, double wing, single.
    handoff right, w/ celek pulling across the formation. maclin misses block on robinson. shady shakes the sht out of him, picks up 1st down.

    1st-10, ATL25 13:38 M. Vick passed to L. McCoy down the middle for 10 yard gain
    311 -- ok. this is their favorite personnel grouping. 3 WRs, 1 TE and single back, by far.twins rt, tight left, split left, gun left.  4 - 3, cbs at 4yds (cusion is tighter as we're approaching red zone). screeen to shady. nice call. he makes his way to the right, gets upfield and picks up the first. shady hurts his hand.

    1st-10, ATL15 12:58 M. Vick rushed to the left for 7 yard gain
    311 w/ ronnie brown at RB. twins rt, tight rt, gun left. 4-3, LBs shifted half a man left. looks like nickel, with a db covering the slot receiver, avant. robinson is at 3yds. 4yds on dj on bottom. announcer calls it a wild cat. its not. its a zone read. brown runs right, and vick fakes the inside handoff to the heavy side. with a kick-out from peters on the DE. vick keeps and runs off tackle. ok. biermann and 99 were on a twist. so the end rushed inside and the DT looped outside and got way upfield, which gave peters leverage to seal him off, but kept vick from getting off the edge and having the sideline to work. vick makes a nice run through the hole and gets down toward the end when the safeties come around.

    2nd-3, ATL8 12:19 R. Brown rushed up the middle for no gain

    302, with celek lined up in the backfield as an RB. twins rt, split left, split back gun. an lb is walked up on the line in the left c gap. the near flex (avant, the interior receiver in the twins) has a db very close to the line again. dammit. brown missed the cut. had he stayed outside he had a TD. he cuts it back up the middle. behind a crossing block from celek, for 1yd.

    3rd-3, ATL8 11:37 Atlanta committed 4 yard penalty
    211 tight bunch    near twins left, wing left, gun right, short split right. vick rolls left, throws short stop route to desean who drops it. hits him right in the hands. penalty on abraham. the route was double outs, after zip motion from dj to the inside. TD DROPPED BY DESEAN -- NO IMPACT, THOUGH, SINCE WE SCORED ON DRIVE LATER.

    1st-4, ATL4 11:33 R. Brown rushed to the right for 1 yard loss

    221, tight bunch with near slots on both sides. clay harbor (TE on left) gets owned by ray edwards who blows up the play, riding down the line and stopping brown in the backfield. stretch boot might have worked there. why don't we teach cut blocking? no way in hell harbor is powerful enough to engage edwards up top and he caved in that whole side of the play, negating the rest of the line which seemed to have good blocking.

    2nd-5, ATL5 10:54 M. Vick passed to J. Maclin to the right for 5 yard touchdown. A. Henery made PAT

    212, tight right i, zoom motion (djax from right to left side of formation). 6 man front (4 DL in stances, 2 stand up OLBs in 7 techniques (outside shade)). man coverage pre-snap read (grimes follows djax in motion), fake left, deep setup (like 10 yds back). after the motion we end up w/ a trips left bunch, w/ maclin, desean and schmitt, with djax and schmitt running double outs (loose '3's, hi and lo) to the left flat and middle of end zone, with maclin dragging back underneath to the right. robinson and grimes have inside out on jackson, leaving an LB trailing schmitt, who was wide open to the left. vick throws to maclin who was wide open to the right. excellent route design. vick throws off back foot as abraham almost hits him (?) on the release.

this plays off the play that was highlighted from the STL game, where the bunch formation was used to free djax up for the underneath route to the backside. damn. its virtually the same play, except the backs are in I, and we motioned to it, by bringing djax across the formation in zoom, as opposed to having him start out wide left and coming in in zap.

we ran this in the red zone as opposed to out in the field last week. but the results were the same. the two CBs here (robinson and grimes), who were in man coverage, got confused on who had who, and ended up doubling jackson (who was the recipient of the throw versus the rams), leaving maclin by himself on the right side of the field. the play relied on vick's arm strength to throw across his body and get it all the way to the opposite flat, off his back foot, while facing an apparently unblocked rusher. again, he had schmitt who appeared to be wide open playside as the low option, but you don't know, maybe they would have had time to break on him.

great. patient drive. overcame dropped TD by djax. used run effectively, although not straight ahead.

i somehow get the feeling that andy doesn't consider it fun to run the ball with no gadgetry. we have a couple of very good inline blockers, but on far too many plays, we had linemen pulling in two different directions. its great when you hit it, but all that moving around is an opportunity for d linemen to shoot gaps and penetrate, or for folks to crash in the backfield, leading to fumbles. this offense needs to be able to line up and just fire out and get a yard or 3. especially against what was supposed to be a depleted front in ATL.

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