After the awesome Barwin play,
1st and 10, PHI 40.
Avant motions in again to block on the left side. Kelce, Herremans, and Johnson go right, while Mathis, Peters, and Celek go left. The blocking scheme calls for Peters to help Celek keep his guy outside before moving to the MLB.
Credit Hollomans for shooting straight for the gap. Peters can’t get off and over quickly enough and Shady is bottled up. No gain.
2nd and 10, PHI 40.
Riley Cooper is tired of hungover jackasses who diagram plays saying that he only runs the deep in when the play isn’t going to him. Riley is just going to beat his guy, Foles has time, and we complete for 19.
The MLB has come around the right side, and once again Peters has switched his guy to Mathis and gotten back to block the LB. Now if only Johnson/Herremans were as good at it on the other side. Shady slid across and helped out Johnson. Great stuff. Note the CB underlined in red. I love it when we have no routes to that side and he’s just standing there collecting his paycheck.
1st and 10, DAL 41.
Another unbalanced line. Herremans and Celek to the right of Kelce, and Mathis, Johnson, and Peters to the left. I’m not sure why their LBs are over to the right. Celek will chip his DE, Kelce takes one DT, Johnson the other, and Peters the DE. Mathis and Herremans are pulling. We also have Casey off frame to the left.
Not a pleasant experience for Bruce Carter. Casey has come from the left and plowed into his side while Herremans is the other half of the sandwich. They are right below the red arrow which indicates the CB on Casey whose momentum is still carrying him to the right. Gain of 8, and almost a big one as Hollomans is just able to get over and stop shady (Mathis blocks the CB who gets his act together and heads back towards the play).
2nd and 2, DAL 33.
We have the TE stack again, on the left side. Avant is back in his usual role of extra offensive lineman. Mathis and Peters are both going to get upfield. Peters is going to let the DT through on his way.
The guy right behind Foles who is about to crash into the DT? Jason Avant. McCoy has to make a choice and goes right, but Kelce can’t keep Hayden occupied. Otherwise this one is going for a long time.
Gain of 1.
3rd and 1, DAL 32.
Avant is going to peel back across again to stop the pursuit down the line. One of the great parts about this is that the CB who was on the left side of the field covering Avant is actually going to follow him across the formation and end up on the right. How many times this game have we done that. That’s him behind DeMarcus Ware. Mathis and Kelce (coming off the double team) get on their guys but can’t stop them from sliding to play left, but gain of 2 and first down.
1 and 10, DAL 30.
Nice play. You can see the CB on Avant in the slot start backing up as we’re getting ready to snap. Foles and Avant must both see this or have planned for it, because Avant is going to run a little curl.
And the ball is in the air as Avant is curling. Nice easy play to set up 2nd and 4. Notice McCoy down there. I’d also take my chances on a quick pass to the flat when McCoy has that much space in front of him. But then again, we haven’t thrown to an open guy in the flat all game.
2nd and 4, DAL 25.
Same unbalanced line with Johnson and Peters both out left. Mathis and Herremans are going to pull again as well. That’s Casey on the far left, he’s going to come across yet again and take an LB.
Casey gets his LB, but just below that where the red arrow is, Kelce is getting pushed back by 69, DT Corey Irvin. Brown is going to run left and dodge the CB but Irvin is the guy pursuing the play who will make the tackle. I should also note that both of our pulling guards are jammed up in the middle, no one got around. Anyhow, gain of 4.
1st and 10, DAL 19.
Two tight ends on the left, Avant coming in motion to be another blocker – eight on the line.
Notice the CB still tracking Avant in the wrong direction. Looks great, except Lane Johnson just can’t keep his block on DeMarcus Ware who makes the tackle for a gain of 3.
2nd and 7, DAL 16.
This time we have Celek on the left and Ertz on the right.
Everyone does their job. The safety will make the play and it’s a gain of 6.
3rd and 1, DAL 10.
This time Ertz on the left and Celek on the right. Ertz is going to run a route again and that leaves DE Everette Brown, 71, as the read for Foles. Foles will give to McCoy but the option freezes Brown long enough for Shady to get up the middle. Holloway doesn’t make a great read and gets caught by Herremans.
That’s DT Frank Kearse, 70, who along with the pursuing DE Brown will make the play. Kelce got great leverage to open the hole but Kearse jumped back, now Kelce is falling and Kearse gets off the block. Gain of 4, 1st down.
1st and goal, Dal 6.
Of course we’re going to run it. Why stop now? Familiar formation? Johnson is back out left with Peters, Celek on the right. Celek is going to chip his DE again, the only thing different this time is that instead of pulling Herremans, we’re pulling our center Kelce.
Brown has the handoff, Mathis has pulled and taken one guy, and Lane Johnson’s guy got some push which caused Kelce to stumble. But the dude is like a cat. A heavily bearded cat. He’ll recover. Play-side we have Casey taking out one guy (yet again) and Peters building up some steam.
Kelce is underlined. First Johnson got pushed back, now Mathis is getting pushed back and Kelce just can’t get around. That leaves an LB with a wide open lane to Bryce Brown. Or at least it would if it weren’t for Casey.
Casey stacks up both the LBs, Peters takes care of the last guy, TD Bryce Brown. Heroic work by Casey.
And he knows it. In fact, a lot of blockers on this play seem pretty happy. Running football is fun. Big Jason Peters is happy, but he’s already headed up the sidelines for some water.
1st and 10, PHI 16.
So what goes wrong here? We have Casey on the left, Celek on the right, and Avant has come in motion from the right again.
That’s DeMarcus Ware making a play. He gets inside Peters and McCoy has to cut left where there isn’t any room. Not that it ends up mattering, but Celek probably doesn’t need to be tucking Avant’s jersey tag in at this particular moment.
2nd and 8, PHI 18.
TE stack to the left with Celek and Casey. Avant again in motion from the right to run block.
So far so good. There isn’t much room but Shady might be able to get through. DeMarcus Ware is going to make another great play on Peters and get off his block to close the hole. McCoy gets his head down and we get 4.
Two great plays by Ware on Peters, have to hand it to him.
3rd and 4, PHI 22.
Here’s the big crappy play. We motion Jackson into a two back set. Shady is going to head into the right flat after the play-fake. DJax is going to drift into the left flat. Cooper and Ertz are going to run crossing routes and try to pick each other’s DBs.
So…Celek gets driven straight back and into McCoy who trips before he can even start his route. He’s underlined as he goes to ground. Orlando Scandrick, 32 for the Cowboys, sees DeSean back there and heads out to cover him. Foles rolls to his right.
Very well executed pick on the crossing route. Ertz is going to slow down Riley’s cover guy, which should leave Cooper wide open.
Oh wait, this is the hold before the cross. Hold on a sec.
No really, here it is a second later after the cross. While you have to give Morris Claiborne credit for maintaining a grip on Riley’s jersey throughout the crossing route, I’m pretty sure it isn’t legal. Thanks zebras. That one was tough to miss.
Not much that we haven't seen before. The one glaring oddity in the offensive gameplan was the refusal to throw it to DJax or Shady open in the flat. Also, maybe not taking advantage of some opportunities for deeper pass plays - Dallas was basically down a safety this whole game, and after we took advantage of him early they switched to keep the rookies back and move Church, 42 into the shallow safety role.
Foles protected the ball well, but missed three or four open plays. He also had some chances to step up into the pocket and avoid pressure but didn't. That cost us a couple of times. Shady also went the wrong way a couple of times, but also did some spectactular running and it's hard to blame a guy with that much talent and success for doing what he does.
The Dallas D-Line is no joke, and they came to play. Ware, Hatcher, Selvie all had strong games and they all beat us at one point or another.. On the other hand, their LB corps is terrible without Sean Lee. The officials were really absent all game, and not in the "we didn't notice them" kind of way. In the "they didn't do their job, which is to call obvious penalties" way.
Avant must have his locker next to the O-line. If Jimmy Graham is really a WR, Avant is really an OL. He was blocking on the side and back of the line all game long, in addition to making some great catches. And not the WR on CB type of blocking; he took on defensive lineman, LBs, S, you name it.
Our blocking schemes overall on running plays are really something. We have unbalanced lines. We stack two tight ends, sometimes they stay at home, sometimes they peel back across, sometimes one of them runs a route, and sometimes Casey takes comes right around the line and blocks a downfield linebacker. Avant comes in motion to block. We can pull guards or centers. With good athletic lineman and all of those extra blockers/wrinkles, it's no wonder we have a great rushing offense.
Pass protection is another story. Lane Johnson missed quite a few plays, sometimes one on one, sometimes when a guy was looping around. That loop only beat Peters/Mathis once, it beat Johnson/Herremans several times. Lane's a rookie though and I have no doubt he will develop into a really solid player. He certainly has the talent. Our RBs do a good job in protection - on at least two plays Shady was exactly where he needed to be, and I really didn't see him or any other RB completely miss an assignment. Of course, the Cowboys weren't bringing any pressure up the middle.
In the passing game we can struggle with standard passing plays. Unless we get a mismatch, our receivers aren't going to beat you one-on-one very often. Riley had a couple, and DeSean is always a threat but he's motioning across the back of the formation fifteen times. The trips bunch is something we really need to exploit more, as we had some chances there. Our favorite/most consistent routes have to be the crossing routes over the middle. We get a lot of catches that way, rubbing defenders into one another.