The 1st TD scored against the Eagles on Sunday may have been the worst example of defense from them we've seen all season.
We've already had a few great postmortems on the site yesterday really picking apart everything that went wrong during Sunday's blowout loss to the Falcons. So in our weekly game in gifs recap, we're going to focus in a few specific plays and kind of look at them in a bubble.
First, and this was the absolute most absurd play of the game, was the first touchdown. It was caught by some guy named Drew Davis, not Roddy White or Julio Jones or Tony Gonzalez... Drew Davis. And how did Drew Davis manage to catch a TD against the Eagles? Easy, just run forward and catch a pass while standing by himself. Literally could not have been easier for him.
As you'll see there, we've highlighted 4 different Eagles defenders (Boykin, DRC, Ryans & Coleman) that bit on the Matt Ryan fake to the guy standing in the flat. Now, if one guy bit on that, fine. It is a guy standing there open and someone should react... But all 4? All 4 felt that guy was their responsibility?
To me, that looks like these guys just don't know what they're doing. Certainly you put a lot of that on them, but the preparation has to take a hit as well. Certainly some of that is on Bowles, but really, this kind of total breakdown can't just come from one week of preparation. This is a problem in the way these guys were prepared from the start.
That and Kurt Coleman will just bite on any fake period. To me, he's almost the worst offender here. Ryans was never going to be able to cover Davis running a corner route, so whether he bites or not probably doesn't change things a lot. Coleman has literally no excuse. He's a safety, its his job to be helping over the top and especially so on a red zone play.
The corners are where things really get hard to understand. Boykin at first moves with Davis as if he's going to cover him. DRC backpedals as if he's going to play a deeper route, but when the fake happens, both guys bite and Davis is left alone for the TD. Did DRC think Boykin was going to cover Davis the whole way? Was Boykin supposed to play underneath and pass off a deeper route to DRC? Hard to say, but it was Boykins man, but he ran to DRC's spot. Both guys come out looking pretty bad here.
Frankly, the giant amount of cushion DRC gives here leads me to believe he was supposed to covering whichever guy went deep.
Plus, of course, we can't ignore the lack of pressure from the defensive line here either. You'll see at the top Jason Babin going wide and just getting ridden right out of the play. That leaves Ryan a big, fat throwing lane to see exactly where his wide open guy is. Interestingly, all 3 other rushers get double teamed here. Trent Cole didn't really look like he was going to get pressure anyway, but he was chipped by the RB. Meanwhile, both interior Eagles rushers are double teamed.
Really, the play should not have worked. The Falcons were in max protect with 6 guys on the line and the RB helping out with blocking as well. On the left side it was 2 WRs vs 4 Eagles defenders. This situation really should have been advantage Eagles, but it turned out to be probably the easiest 6 points anyone has scored against them this year.