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Eagles All-22 Film Review: Observations from the win over the Saints

On Philadelphia’s run game, blitzing, and more!

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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.

OFFENSE

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.

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.

Jordan Howard contract extension just because of this in my opinion...

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

DEFENSE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Overall, a fantastic team win and I am excited to see how this team continues to grow.