The Philadelphia Eagles enter the bye week with more questions than answers, at least that’s the mood among the fan base and media. They did enough against a top defense while taking care of business against an abysmal offense, but the Eagles 22-14 win over the Chicago Bears hasn’t instilled a ton of confidence in the 5-4 team.
Digging into the film, there’s plenty of positives to take away from the win. The Eagles have had two of their best offensive coaching jobs in the last two weeks. A lot of credit should be given to the offensive line, but also their offensive line coach and run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland.
Full play. This is what they call OL Porn. pic.twitter.com/SKFDjxceVr— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 4, 2019
When you get multiple instances of hash-to-hash holes in a single game, it’s easy to understand why the Eagles would lean on their run game. They’re getting exactly what they hoped for in Jordan Howard, who excels on zone runs with his decisiveness and finishing. Miles Sanders is still struggling with zone concepts, but on gap schemes he had a few runs where he showed the ability to set up his blockers to spring him for chunk gains. That’s a pleasant development given his previous underwhelming performances.
In the passing game there’s good reason for concern. The wide receivers are being severely outplayed by the tight end group and Sanders. Alshon Jeffery had one of his worst games and there’s nobody beyond him showing up. There’s good reason for Carson Wentz not to trust Nelson Agholor to make a play in the air and to not trust Mack Hollins to be at the proper landmarks in key situations.
Perhaps the problem w/the Wentz-to-Agholor deep ball is the fact that Agholor melts vs. contact like butter on a cast iron pan.— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 4, 2019
Where's the "my ball" mentality to high point & make a play? pic.twitter.com/Z2qmp5qvIv
Regardless of the wide receiver play, Wentz had a lower end game for what he’s put on film this year but still played solid overall. Brian Baldinger was particularly critical of one throw in the red zone early in the game. Wentz responded shortly after by doing what he typically does: making a tight window throw on a similar concept needing similar timing and decisiveness.
First play is the one Baldy correctly criticized Wentz for.. this doesn't need to be a sack.— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 6, 2019
Shortly after, similar route/timing/window, Wentz is decisive & connects for a conversion. I'll worry when it's a reoccurring issue that doesn't get corrected. pic.twitter.com/9eO553wwxS
On the defensive side of the ball, I’ll never complain about 14 points allowed, but there were still two splash plays that featured busts in the secondary. One of those was a deep ball from Mitch Trubisky to Taylor Gabriel where the Eagles’ inverted cover 2 coverage yet again faltered.
Ronald Darby continues to be asked to play deep half coverage, and he continues to struggle!— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) November 5, 2019
How the Bears attacked Darby in Inverted Cover 2
Where we've seen this concept before
How Jalen Mills succeeds in the very same role!
Time to retire Darby as a C2 safety, Jim. pic.twitter.com/PledjlKZOj
The Eagles got off light due to the quality of the quarterback they faced, but that’s not to say it’s all bad. The recently acquired Genard Avery picked up his first sack in an Eagles’ uniform on a nicely designed blitz and impressed in his one run snap.
It also looks like Fletcher Cox is back to his old, disruptive self. In the first three plays of the game Cox set a tone that showed that he might finally be back to full health and/or effectiveness. That would be a boon for a defense that can’t seem to find consistent, competent play along side of him along the interior.
Overall, the defense has pressed more in the past two weeks and that has allowed the pass rush to matter. They’ve recorded a 48% or better pressure rate in those two games and that will have to continue with better opposing quarterback play coming on the other side of the bye.
We dig even deeper into the film to give our takeaways on The Kist & Solak Show #143! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!