We won a game! I get to break down a win! Yes, this is against a winless Lions who were bad but there was a lot of interesting film this week on both sides of the ball. I got a bit carried away and filmed quite a lot of videos this week so buckle up...
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.
I am going to break down the offense followed by the defense each week and I will post the plays in order so you can see how the game played out. Sometimes I might focus on a specific area, I will see how each game plays out. I am simply choosing the most important plays and highlighting some players that stood out to me. As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments and I look forward to discussing the game with you all. Let’s get to the film!
Apologies for starting with a negative but can we just bin this play please? Doug Pederson ran it far too often so we can stop now please, I’m bored of watching it.
Eagles All22 Offense thread v. Lions. Doing this in chronological order as always so apologies to start with a negative but how many times have we seen all curls on 3rd down end up like this the past couple of years?! It's such a boring play! Surely we can do more on 3rd medium? pic.twitter.com/iYaCogz56G— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
The Eagles decided it was legal to use motion in the run game this week which was exciting!
It is truly amazing what motion can do to some defenders in the run game. Look at 34 literally freeze here! Previous play they faked a handoff to Watkins and ran a screen to the TE too, good to see some more creativity creeping in. pic.twitter.com/fLfpnoKpkM— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
I haven’t seen a lot of good sequencing this year but we saw it on this drive. They used Reagor as a decoy a few times then started to hand the ball to him and you could see the Lions defense were lost a couple of times. This is good! More of this please.
Hey, look at the Eagles starting to sequence some plays together?! The very next play, Eagles decide to hand it to Reagor and he picks up a nice gain. Look how slow the left DE is to react after seeing the previous two plays include the WR in motion used as a decoy only. pic.twitter.com/VdGAVQjgVD— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
This is becoming the Eagles number 1 staple concept in the pass game right now. It is clear that Jalen Hurts is calm in the pocket when they call flood and he seems to throw the intermediate route with good accuracy consistently. The Eagles ran it successfully a few times last week and this week. It is nice to see a staple concept being used more than once (and run from different formations/personnel) because the Eagles offense has been a bit random this year .
It is really good to see the Eagles running Flood 2 weeks in a row consistently and Hurts looks really comfortable running this play. Last week it was Goedert as the intermediate route but here they use Watkins from across the formation. Pass protection is perfect here too. pic.twitter.com/r5Dbed080y— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
No analysis needed!
My new favourite thing is Landon Dickerson when the defense jumps early pic.twitter.com/5p5OJOMETh— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
The Eagles are now a run first team from under center. This was the case last week too (as I mentioned in the article) but it is clear that they see this as the best way to win football games right now. I agree. We know Hurts is limited is a passer and we know the Eagles have some elite run blockers on the offensive line. It is a shame it took so long to become a run first offense but I am glad to see the Eagles finally commit to it.
This is not a joke... the Eagles ran under center 4 times in a row from 13 personnel!! This is tough, aggressive downhill ball. Howard still has power. Kelce/Dickerson were awesome on nearly every run on this drive. Quite a lot of split zone used but also mixed it up with OZ. pic.twitter.com/bpPXxtbC9z— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
One reason why they have to be a run first offense... Hurts is still struggling with processing. I can only assume the late safety movement confuses him here but I just don’t know why you aren’t throwing this football. This is exactly the coverage you want with this concept and the WR is open. Throw the ball!
This is at least the 3rd time I've highlighted Hurts not throwing an out/corner against C2 Zone when a WR is wide open. He's staring right at Smith, gotta throw this thing, especially on 3rd down! Led to a FG. Should have been converted. Late safety rotation must confuse him here pic.twitter.com/hL0c1v0Erw— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
Nothing fancy here, I just like to see this from your number 1 receiver even when he isn’t producing big numbers.
Eagles offense ran strong side a lot early on, so good to see them mix it up and go weak side too. Running the ball consistently takes effort from all 11 men - which is why it's awesome to see your 1st round WR getting involved even when he's not getting any volume right now! pic.twitter.com/yMmzODvaiC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
There were about 3 or 4 plays this week where Hurts looked an elite athlete. He is going to stick around in this league whatever his role because there is always a place for someone this athletic.
Most of you are probably aware by now I'm never been 'into' Hurts as a long-term Franchise QB but there is always a place in an offense for guys this athletic. He's such an effortless runner. Number 53 won't like watching this in the film room this week!! pic.twitter.com/hKkPdfQ7Yw— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
Wow! This is basically a 4 man flood concept, I remember reading about it recently (link here) and it was referred to as ‘4 strong’. I am 90% sure I listened to a podcast recently where it was brought up as something that teams are beginning to run more frequently this year. It’s nice to see Sirianni looking at what some others are doing and adding some plays to the playbook!
Also, thanks to @denizselman33 on Twitter who mentioned this wasn’t the only time the Eagles ran this.
It wasn’t even the only one. This earlier play also is a three level stretch with two guys deep (4 guys total). 31 carries Stoll to clear space for Goedert’s route, so I guess whatever works. pic.twitter.com/AWUszVCiSm— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) November 3, 2021
I don’t really need to analyse this play as you can all see how bad it is... he just needs to get better. I don’t know if he ever will. But you can’t be this frantic in the pocket especially when your offensive lineman is dominating.
Hurts... you can't be successful long term if you are this frantic in the pocket. Just calm down & trust the projection! The OL are playing great! Literally no need to run out of this pocket. pic.twitter.com/2p7TDpa1G9— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
And then the very next play he does this! Isn’t evaluating players fun?
To he fair to Hurts... next play is an absolute beauty. Check the route by Smith too! Hurts does a great job not staring this down too. pic.twitter.com/Es8XEP8DZY— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
That’s all for the offense, I thought it was a great performance by Nick Sirianni and the offensive lineman absolutely dominated! I think this has to be the Eagles identity moving forward, long may it continue.
It was very clear early on, that this was not going to be the standard Eagles defense (2High, zone coverage, lack of late movement). I also wanted to give Marcus Epps a mention as I thought he had a really good game which was nice to see!
Eagles All22 defense thread v. Lions. Look at the first drive, Eagles lining up 2high then bringing a safety down into the box! Great timing by Epps too. Eagles linebackers also more aggressive early on I thought at getting downhill (check 52 here). pic.twitter.com/s7Qsmr4vo2— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
Josh Sweat had a few plays where he looked like the best athlete on the field. He has the ability to make some serious ‘wow’ plays.
Sweat has that 'jump off the screen athleticism' that just stands out every so often, phew this is a rush! pic.twitter.com/RHnFBdjTOO— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
TJ Edwards had a really, really good game. The whole defense was SO much more aggressive this week after I criticized them last week for being passive. This week was the opposite. They blitzed. Played man coverage. But more importantly, they got downhill fast and tried to prevent short gains and not just try and stop big plays.
TJ Edwards & Maddox.. take a bow. This is so so much more aggressive than we saw last week! Look at Edwards FLY towards the ball here... pic.twitter.com/Fuvg9Fr3gf— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
I don’t have the numbers but I feel pretty certain that this is the most single high and man coverage that the Eagles have run this year on defense.
1) This was cover1... man! On 3rd and long!! 2) Sweat... oh my goodness. This is insane. The burst and power off the line of scrimmage is crazy. pic.twitter.com/IrMGj4crfg— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 2, 2021
Breaking: The Eagles are disguising overages and using movement right before the snap to confuse the quarterback! Is this Jonathan Gannon’s defense still? This is the opposite to last week!
Pass is completed... but it sure is nice seeing the Eagles show 2High and then rotate a safety down and play man coverage across the board! pic.twitter.com/RgyO8MttDD— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 3, 2021
The Eagles actually had good linebacker play last week. I can’t remember the last time I typed that sentence. When we had Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham?!
We saw more Edwards/Singleton together with Eric Wilson being out and this is without a doubt my favourite LB combo at the moment. Taylor has athleticism but these two both have pretty solid instincts. Edwards has a real knack for getting off blocks. Both of them had good games. pic.twitter.com/xtP4RU66zw— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 3, 2021
Now this ... this is interesting. The Eagles’ coverages have been so vanilla this week but it definitely got a bit more spicy this week! This is also exactly what you want to do against Jared Goff as he struggles when the picture post snap isn’t clear. I was really happy to see the Eagles defense evolve into a much more interesting unit this week. I am excited to see what we do this week against Herbert who is really good if the pre-snap picture is clear. I hope we continue to run some more interesting coverages and don’t just sit in cover 4 zone in order to prevent big plays. More of this please...
Interesting...Eagles starting to run some more complicated looks on defense! Looks to be a bit of man match here... with Singleton/Nelson in man as they are 2v2 on the left whereas the right side is playing zone as they outnumber the WRs. Just nice to see some different looks! pic.twitter.com/cw3g5LLuBj— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 3, 2021
Very next play looks basically the same and I think you can see Goff is not comfortable at all with what he is looking at. That's why it's so important to mix up your coverages! pic.twitter.com/EJ0mbMdtPq— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 3, 2021
This is purely speculation... but I really think Goff here thinks Slay is playing as a Cover 4 defender and not as the curl/flat defender in Cover 3. If Slay is a little bit quicker to react this had pick 6 potential. The Eagles FINALLY really started to mix up their coverages and disguise them to try and confuse the opposing quarterback. Maybe Jonathan Gannon is reading all our tweets?!
Goff completes this (just) but I reckon this look has confused him and he thinks Slay is dropping deep. Look at this for a coverage disguise! Maddox/Epps sprint back early and it looke like C3 with Slay/Nelson playing the curl/flat defender role. pic.twitter.com/SGvzpZF0XM— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 3, 2021
I could have gone into way more detail on Milton Williams this week but there was too much to highlight! I am so happy that Williams is playing inside in this Eagles defense though. I liked his college tape a lot but did not see him as having the traits to play as an EDGE defender so I am really happy to see him playing inside. Power was seen as a weakness of his too so this is great to see.
Quick shoutout to Milton Williams who had his most productive game by far. The rookie is coming along nicely! Look at the power on display here. pic.twitter.com/VfhYtwcoii— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 3, 2021
That was a long one. I thought it might be a slightly boring game to break down in truth but I was pleasantly surprised! Let’s hope it continues. Until next week!