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How the Eagles can attack the Seahawks’ defense

The Kist & Solak Show #149!

Philadelphia Eagles v Seattle Seahawk Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The sputtering Philadelphia Eagles’ offense is finally getting a break after three straight games against tough defenses, which included a historically great one last week in the New England Patriots. It’s hard to imagine it looking any easier for the Eagles though as a good deal of their starters are either banged up or under performing.

The good news is that the Seattle Seahawks’ defense has struggled this year. They’re 23rd in points allowed per game (25.4) and rank 21st in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA metric. We talked about how the Eagles can attack them on The Kist & Solak Show #149.

Here’s a loose transcript of my discussion with Benjamin Solak with some interjections to provide examples:

When you look at the Seahawks defense, we know their coverage, it’s cover 3 and the variations therein, it’s not only the country cover 3 basic type you see so much from Schwartz, that said they haven’t been particularly complex especially when you compare it to what they were doing late in the year last year but this is something that typically ramps up for them.

I want to be careful when saying a defense isn’t complex. Even their “basic” concepts include a high level of detail.

Looking at it, after the bye, you could see, along with Reno, Skate, Mable, these different more aggressive match coverages that they already do, you could see more wrinkles. They’ve thrown in brackets before...

You’re going to of base from this team, three linebackers, they’re a heavy base team. Now they’re going to do some different alignments from that, you’ve got your more traditional 4-3 looks, they’re going to do some 5-2, and especially against the Eagles I think you’ll see them add Mychal Kendricks to the line and go with a 6-1 where you’re going to get staggered hook zones to prevent against RPOs.

From the Eagles, from their 3x1 sets, the Seahawks are going to lean that post safety, that deep safety, to the trips side. The Seahawks have had issues covering backside posts because it slides their safety away from that.

It’s something the Eagles need to test. They need to scheme up vertical concepts that will test this defense. Forget about the personnel; you already know the personnel is underperforming. That’s where scheme has to save you in these cases...

When the Eagles are in 2x1, I want to see them either jet motion or motion Miles Sanders out from a split back look and run post-wheel combinations. The Eagles had issues getting Sanders open with wheels out of the backfield last week. They need a new trick. There has to be variety and we talked about the possibility for the Patriots to run switch vertical post-wheel concepts against the Eagles last week. The Eagles should take a page out of their book and bust that out this week and try to manufacture some shots.

The Cleveland Browns went to this well successfully in their Week 6 tilt. In this version, they bring a crosser that converts into a wheel with the post clearing out. These types of longer developing concepts are difficult for defenses to handle.

From 2x2 the Seahawks are really good at covering the seams, they have checks for that, I don’t really expect that to be a thing for the Eagles. They’re going to have to find a different way. And the other thing I’ll note is that if the receivers are having issues, and they will, beating man coverage, and the Seahawks are content just manning them up, you have to get them out of it with the RPO game.

The reality is it’s on Groh, it’s on Doug, to make up for their deficiencies by out-scheming the Seahawks and finding shot plays to revitalize the offense... Carson has to see it and throw it. The receivers have to complete the catch. No question. But the coaching staff also has to put them in the position to succeed to get to that point and in a game that could turn into a track meet, they have to keep pace. Not every drive can be 16-plays, they need to scheme it up because so far we haven’t seen it with any kind of consistency.

You can hear the rest of that conversation on The Kist & Solak Show #149! Listen on the media player below or click here if player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!

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