Another Eagles win! I could get used to breaking down good football. More of this please!
The usual disclaimer - I will be breaking down film on my Twitter account and then uploading the tweets with some more analysis in this piece. I obviously cannot post everything so I will focus on certain things each week that stand out to me. I might see something a few times on film but only upload one example as you don’t need to see everything, so you will have to take my word if I say that I have seen something multiple times.
First big 3rd down conversion was a beauty. Eagles run these deep outs really well (although - the Saints took them away later on) and this a perfect throw by Jalen Hurts and a great route by Dallas Goedert. I think it’s interesting looking at the Saints pass rush too, it highlights the benefit of a really mobile QB. They are very concerned about him breaking contain like he did last week so they don’t really go all out to get him.
Eagles All22 offense thread v Saints. First big 3rd down completion is a dime to Goedert on an out. Love the acceleration out the break from Goedert and perfect ball placement from Hurts. Great read and throw. Check the Saints rush out too... clearly focused on containing Hurts pic.twitter.com/vxMCoe62fB— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
What can you say about the Eagles run game right now? It is truly unbelievable. The offensive line is playing so well it’s almost absurd. They are so well coached and ran so many different concepts effectively this week. Game planning for this run game must be an absolute nightmare. There were so many different examples of successful run plays I could have pulled for this article but I have tried to keep it to just a few to show you some of the different concepts.
This block by Kelce is too good not to share again. My goodness. What a great play overall by the OL though. Pin/Pull run, Stoll, Goedert & Maliata all outstanding to create a seam. Hurts mobility & thread completely takes 56 out of the play. Good vision by Sanders too. pic.twitter.com/kbSpPmMdum— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
The very next play - same formation and concept. This time 56 takes the RB so Hurts pulls it. WRs aren't open though so he keeps it and picks up a 5 yard gain on essentially a broken play. This is where mobility is so helpful and keeping your offense on schedule. pic.twitter.com/TwvJCpBMnE— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Jordan Howard contract extension just because of this in my opinion...
Best play of the day in my opinion pic.twitter.com/TsylkI1tZB— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
I think Nick Siranni noticed how the Saints always move a defender out of the box to deal with motion and took advantage of it this week. Look at the size of this hole? What more can you say about the execution and design of the run game this week? The Eagles have used the shotgun more in the run game the past couple of weeks to take advantage of Hurts mobility more but they still had under center snaps where they pounded it with 3 TE’s on the field. Some teams see the run game as an ‘accessory’ that is needed to keep the defense honest but the Eagles are building the offense around the run game and it is working right now.
Eagles run game was SO multiple. So many different runs were well executed. Eagles use of motion was effective as the Saints were moving a defender out the box to cover it (5 here). Credit Sirianni using this tendency to the Eagles advantage. Some of these holes are huge! pic.twitter.com/iIcPuTbICk— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Oh yeah, the Eagles can still just line up and run inside zone well too. Give Jeff Stoutland a pay raise or whatever he wants because this offensive line is playing out of its mind right now. Remember - this was against the number 1 run defense!
Sometimes nothing wrong with some good old inside zone. Great double by Kelce/Driscoll. Fantastic blocks by Maliata and Dickerson. Howard does what he does and bursts through a small hole. Nothing fancy - just well coached, well executed football. This was domination upfront. pic.twitter.com/XsbJ9euu45— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
I didn’t actually think the passing game was great on Sunday. Hurts was a touch late a couple of times and missed a few throws I would like him to make. This play is a fantastic example of Hurts slight limitations with arm strength and lack of anticipation. Some QBs make this throw by throwing it earlier, others with elite arm strength and velocity. Hurts is just a touch below par in both areas but I am glad he is making the throw and reading the defense correctly, I just want him to speed it up ever so slightly.
The windows can be so small. Hurts is about half a second late here and it allows the Saints safety to break it up. To take the passing game to the next level, would love to see him start throwing with more anticipation. Post snap tendency shows zone so he can throw this earlier pic.twitter.com/EXH6OwlPqj— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
I felt sorry for the Saints defensive ends at times this game. When you line up against the Eagles in the shotgun, there is absolutely no way you can ask a defensive end to play Jalen Hurts in the run game unless he is an unbelievable athlete. Hurts is one of the top athletes on the field each week and defensive ends cannot be expected to contain him like this.
Good luck trying to stop Hurts keep it with a defensive end lol. Cam Jordan doesn't even play the RB, stays square as you are taught and Hurts just runs around him. He requires a serious athlete on defense to prevent him from keeping it. pic.twitter.com/upVdX2xF8v— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Another minor example of an area I would like to see progress from Hurts. Hurts is exceptional at not taking negative plays or making back breaking mistakes. However, on 3rd and long, risking a sack by stepping up in the pocket is worth it occasionally. I think there was an opportunity for him to step up here and complete the ball downfield but he chose to roll to his right as he often does.
Work to be done with Hurts as a dropback passer still. Thought the passing game was slightly off this game (but it didn't matter!). Would love to see him try and step up here to his left rather than bail and have to throw out of bounds - especially on 3rd down. pic.twitter.com/cgRQk5TrMB— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
I really have been so impressed with Sirianni’s game planning and play calling the past few weeks. I thought he had a great understanding for what the Saints wanted to do on defense and was very successful sequencing his plays in a way that confused the defense. This is just a very clever play call based on what the Eagles were doing on offense earlier on in the game.
What should good coaches do when they are having success with certain plays? Build other plays off of those! Eagles were killing the Saints with pulling OL all game. Fake the same run you've done plenty of times and then throw a screen to your TE. Easy money! pic.twitter.com/tpln21rS22— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
So, I am not going to go all-in on Jalen Hurts as a franchise QB. The NFL is a strange league and some players play well in spells and poorly in others. Personally, I still have concerns about Hurts’ ability to process quickly and make big throws late in the down when the Eagles have fallen behind in the game.
However, anyone who does not think Hurts is playing himself into a starting role next year is kidding themselves. You cannot evaluate his role in the passing game without also looking at his impact in the run game. He has runs that are absurd. He is not on Lamar Jackson’s level as a runner, but he is not that far away.
Philosophically this is not the type of offense that I would build if I was in charge of a franchise and I do believe you need an elite passing offense to win it all in the NFL. However, the Eagles are showing that they can build a unique offense around Hurts skill set and if he continues to develop as a passer he clearly has earned another season (on a very cheap rookie contract) to see how far he can take the Eagles. Sirianni and Hurts both deserve huge credit for the turn around the past few weeks. I have been impressed with both of them and are really happy with what they are doing at this stage in the season.
I repeat my statement from earlier- good luck stopping Hurts with a defensive end! He plays this perfectly and gets killed. This play is INSANE. Hurts clearly has his flaws but you cannot coach this or do anything as a defense. It is incredible. pic.twitter.com/HYltPto7kJ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
As much fun as I had breaking down the Eagles offense down this week... I found the defense to be even more fun. Gannon was bringing the heat consistently. Yes, they gave up some points (Siemian made some absolutely insane throws late in the game) but I am totally fine with them being an aggressive defense who gives up some plays but also makes a lot of big plays. As I have highlighted the past few weeks, the Eagles have moved away from being a 2 high defense and have started to disguise their coverages far more than at the start of the season. Now they are starting to throw all sorts of blitzes at QBs too. They seemed to run a different blitz or coverage every single 3rd down this game.
Eagles All22 Defense thread v. Saints. Eagles D in DIME on 3rd down, showing 2high, rotating the safety down into man coverage and sending a cover zero blitz. This is literally the opposite to what the defense was doing at the start of the season lol. Gannon is bringing it. pic.twitter.com/O22QnSjYFk— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Every 3rd down the Eagles defense are doing something different or disguising their coverage. Here Eppls lines up infront of Harris then sprints behind him to play single high. QB doesn't read correctly and Harris nearly picks this off. Check the rush by Sweat and Cox too! pic.twitter.com/hhXm43OKyX— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
As you know, I am a bit of an Alex Singleton fan so I didn’t think the Eagles lost too much but it sucks to see Davion Taylor go down with an injury as he was finally starting to play well.
Ugh hadn't seen this before but Davion Taylors injury was so unfortunate and looked rough pic.twitter.com/nvznNTaE7B— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Darius Slay is playing as well as any Eagles cornerback I have watched in a long, long time. His understanding of route concepts, ability to break on the ball and stay in a receivers pocket is elite right now. He is playing exceptionally well right now. I would be willing to bet he is buying into what the defense is doing and grinding the tape hard right now because he seems to have such a good read on what opposing offenses are throwing at him.
Another 'look how well Darius Slay is playing' tweet. The guy is straight up balling every week at the moment! Single high here so has outside leverage and still makes a play on the ball. pic.twitter.com/VWMIl0adsi— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
The pick 6 by Slay is such an awesome play. Eagles in cover 3, so Slay has deep responsibility, meaning Siemian thinks he will have the comeback open. The timing on the throw is fine, Slay just explodes out of the break and beats the WR to the ball. What a play! pic.twitter.com/bi4gqXZK4R— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 24, 2021
I’ve been saying the past few weeks how well he has been playing... well this was his best game all season! He had more than a few snaps where he flat out dominated the guy in front of him.
Another good sign for this season... I thought this was Cox best game in a long time. He had a few insane plays against the run and was pretty dominant throughout which is a good sign! pic.twitter.com/04rEFPwebC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
This right here is my favorite play of the week. The way Maddox/Slay/McLeod communicate so quickly and effectively after the Saints motion tells me that this defense is on the same page right now. It’s a little thing, but it tells me a lot about the way that the Eagles defense is playing right now.
Another 3rd down = another fun blitz. Eagles drop Sweat and send 5 on left side. Great job from Maddox/Slay/McLeod keeping close to their WRs. I love Maddox talking to Slay to ensure they change roles after the TE comes in motion. Great sign that the defense understand what to do pic.twitter.com/BKcBjbSL6Z— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Ending on a slight negative but... I don’t mind this? The Eagles gave up no big plays earlier in the season but were getting killed by short passes and they were too passive. Now they are playing more man coverage, more single high, disguising coverages and all the defenders are getting downhill quicker. The downside is that they will give up plays but I can live with that!
Eagles D gave up some longer plays towards the end. They now play more man cov and more single high. If pressure doesn't get home, you gotta take your lumps. It happens. I'd still rather be aggressive and give up some plays down the field. pic.twitter.com/8ZJb5eKV0w— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2021
Overall, a fantastic team win and I am excited to see how this team continues to grow.