It was the comeback that saved the season… for now. How did it happen? Yes, you could point the the New York Giants’ shelving their best weapon in the second half. You could also point to adjustments made by the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles’ defense. Both played roles. But there’s more to it, as is so often the case.
The Eagles’ offense adjusted too. Having been challenged to integrate Golden Tate into the plan, the Eagles found a much better balance in the second half. Step one was giving Tate and Nelson Agholor tighter alignments, providing them with multi-directional route options from “outside” alignments.
Against the Giants the Eagles utilized "Naked Slot" on 26% of dropbacks. NFL average last year was 12%, Eagles at 10%.— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 26, 2018
Gives Tate/Agholor the opportunity to both work from reduced splits. Not all "outside" reps are created equal. https://t.co/xHpsE9Urcg
Step two was going back to what worked for them not just this year, but last year as well. The Eagles have operated best with multiple tight end sets, something that got lost in the rush to include Tate into the offense. It paid off.
They listened/adjusted...#FlyEaglesFly Personnel Frequency:— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 26, 2018
11 (48%) - 4.85 yards per play, 39% success rate
12 (43%) - 6.76 yards per play, 52% success rate
13 (9%) - 7.40 yards per play, 80% success rate
1st half = 36% two/three TE sets
2nd half = 61% two/three TE sets https://t.co/wq5UWF2Pyx
Step three was letting their offensive line punch people in the mouth. They responded by dominating the line of scrimmage as the Giants’ defense wore down. Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson were particularly stellar, including Johnson busting out an old school and little used technique to help create lanes for Josh Adams.
Lane Johnson boxing out like a free throw.. Eagles offensive line took over this drive. pic.twitter.com/tHVCQ9MiAG— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 26, 2018
For what it’s worth, the chess match with Giants’ defensive coordinator James Bettcher was quite enjoyable to watch. He proved creative in his blitz packages and had some timely coverage deployments that slowed down the Eagles’ attack. It’s a shame it’s being wasted on a unit that is lacking the necessary talent to make his scheme shine. Well, for Giants’ fans that is, not for us on this here website.
Beyond all that there was plenty that went wrong for the Eagles; you don’t go down 19-3 to the Giants without poor stretches of play. All of that and the turnaround that came after are broken down on the newest Kist & Solak Show.
Stream it on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load, FLY EAGLES FLY!