Another win! It’s always more fun to analyse a win. This was a strange one, the score was relatively close but it wasn’t really a competition. The Eagles dominated Washington who clearly, were not all full strength but you can only play who is in front of you on the day! Let’s get to the film.
Overall, I thought this was another positive game for Jalen Hurts and there was some good progress made in a few areas. I thought he started poorly and got a lot more confident as the game progressed.
My favorite throw of his actually came on the very first drive of the game. A pretty standard hi-lo concept with Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith but he does a fantastic job reading it and I love the composure in the pocket here. You will often hear quarterback analysts talk about how a quarterback eyes must work in rhythm with their feet. This throw is a fantastic example of that. Check the very slight adjustment in footwork to make sure he is looking exactly where he wants to throw the ball. Good stuff!
One of my favorite Hurts throws. Hi/lo concept, perfect throw over the LB. Love how his eyes/feet are matched up here. Beautiful throw over the middle of the field too!! pic.twitter.com/WdfxQDbfZL— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
This is a really interesting play to analyse too. I think in the film room, Hurts will be kicking himself for not taking a vertical shot downfield to Smith. Now, I don’t know how they coach this and its possible that Hurts has already eliminated Smith from this play when he sees the corner run with him at the start so I could be wrong. Anyway, this is a classic cover4 beater, with Goedert running the deep over and Smith running the vertical route. The cornerback jumps on Goedert’s in breaking route really early which leaves Smith one on one with a safety who is not really tracking Smith much at all. For whatever reason, Hurts decides not to risk the throw and moves to his right. He makes a superb throw and Smith makes an even better catch on the sideline.
Hard to know whether he has already come off Smith here due to CB dropping but I think Hurts will be annoyed he doesn't take shot here to Smith. He is open when CB plays the over route by Goedert. Hell of a catch by Smith in the end though! pic.twitter.com/Db7b2fp9nF— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
This is probably Hurts worst play of the night. The Eagles are running a levels on the right side (2 receivers running in routes combined with a comeback from the slot and on the left side there is a skinny post being run by Tyree Jackson (actually on 2nd look - it might be Goedert). Hurts struggles with throws in the redzone as he doesn’t anticipate or have a great arm. Washington is showing 2 high here but end up blitzing from the slot and transitioning into cover 3. I think Hurts then makes the correct read to look at the TE on the skinny post but he just doesn’t pull the trigger. Whether he doesn’t trust his arm or thinks the safety can make a play on the ball, I don’t know, but he doesn’t throw it. In the redzone, this is open and if the ball comes out on time this is a touchdown. He is then too slow to get backside and ends up panicking, running into someone, getting sacked and fumbling. This is a really bad play and a theme of Hurts all year has been is inability to throw with timing in the redzone.
Easily one of Hurts worst plays. Levels concept to right but he looks at 90 instead who is open! Windows are smaller in the redzone and Hurts either sees it too late or doesn't trust his arm. This ball should be rifled to 90, instead Hurts panics and ends up being sacked/fumbling pic.twitter.com/tno5RU6Jum— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
While we are on the theme of Hurts’ struggles in the redzone, here is another. There is absolutely no way Smith is ever open on this out route. He is basically double teamed immediately. This is an example of Hurts not reading the defense and just throwing it to the guy he wants to, based on the pre-snap look, in the redzone. If Hurts is seeing man coverage pre-snap I can see why he will think Smith is the right read here. However, it isn’t man coverage and if Hurts gets to his second read he would have seen Gainwell wide open right on the goal line. This should have been a touchdown.
Another bad example of Hurts in the redzone struggling to throw thr ball. This throw is predetermined to go to Smith based on man coverage. When there isn't man, rather than eliminate Smith from the progression, he just forces it to him even though he is doubled covered. pic.twitter.com/kRGbUQ8rfo— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
We saw a new wrinkle to the Eagles offense that I do not believe we have seen very often before with 2 running backs in the backfield together. The Eagles had success throwing and running from this formation and this is a really hard play to defend as a defense. You are focusing on the running game and Hurts’ mobility which makes it easy to forget about Sanders slipping out of the backfield. Really nice design and play call by Nick Sirianni here.
Not seen the Eagles use 2 RBs very often but love this play design by Sirianni. There's a lot for a defense to handle here with the running game and the read option, Sanders almost sneaks out the backfield unnoticed. pic.twitter.com/aVRGINiDhX— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
I was pretty critical of Hurts early on but he did bounce back and had a really good game once he settled down. This is a lovely touch throw on a deep over. He does a good job keeping his eyes downfield while moving up in the pocket which is something he has struggled with previously. Did you notice how 2 Washington defenders now run with Smith on the vertical route - do you think the defensive staff may have realized that Hurts missed Smith early on in the game like I did? I think they might have!
Hurts started to cook after this play. He really got better as the game grew on. Perfect touch throw here to Reagor on the over and glad to see him keep his eyes downfield and not trying to scramble all the time. pic.twitter.com/uP1eruf570— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
This is a beauty of a throw too and shows excellent pocket management and footwork. It looks like a little pick route at the top of the screen and to be honest, I am not sure why he doesn’t throw it to Jordan Howard but I don’t know if his vision is blocked or something. Anyway, he doesn’t panic, steps to his left to avoid the rush and lines up his feet with his eyes perfectly and delivers an accurate football. The easiest way for a quarterback to be consistently accurate is to have excellent footwork and technique as shown here by Hurts. Also, before we move on, just spend a minute watching Goedert run this deep over. The lean inside and little look back at the quarterback before breaking to the outside is just beautiful. Goedert was exceptional on Tuesday and he is really playing well right now.
This is beautiful too. Hurts has Howard open on the flat but doesn't throw it for some reason. Doesn't panic, resets in pocket, shifts to his left and hits Goedert on the deep over. Just look at Goedert run this route!! The slight lean, look back at QB, is just outstanding. pic.twitter.com/hiR9IXFPxA— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
This has to be one of Hurts best throws of his career, right? It’s a post/wheel combo with Reagor and Ward (Sirianni LOVES a post/wheel combo) and Hurts sees that the defender has his back turned so he just rifles it back shoulder to Ward who makes a lovely catch. This is a huge improvement on Hurts in the redzone early on in the game and maybe Sirianni should get him on the move more in the redzone so he has less to read and can make more plays like this. This is a top throw.
One of Hurts best throws of his career? Another post/wheel combo called and Hurts rifles it to Ward's back shoulder when he sees the defender's back. Great throw and catch. They made this look easier than it is. pic.twitter.com/2brpe41xZa— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
The Eagles absolutely dominated Washington on the ground. To be honest, a lot of what I am posting here almost feels redundant because it is the exact same thing I have been saying for weeks about the Eagles offensive line. They are playing at such a high level right now. I am not going to go into great detail on each play, but just enjoy the Eagles offensive line run blocking. They are an elite unit right now, even with players missing each week it seems!
I started with this one, the first play of the game, to highlight Miles Sanders progression as a runner. I am about 90% sure that rookie year Sanders bounces this is outside rather than hit the hole correctly as he does here. He had another really good game on Tuesday.
Eagles All22 Offense thread v. Washington. The Eagles OL was unbelievable this week. They were as dominant as I've ever seen then. Started with this play as I'm convinced that a rookie year Sanders bounces this outside and doesn't hit the hole. pic.twitter.com/V3alER1Z5X— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Earlier on I mentioned Hurts being poor in the redzone as a passer. The good news is, he is an elite runner. I love everything about this play even though it just isn’t a touchdown. Firstly, the formation is great as it forces the defense to spread out. As a defense, you simply have to leave 4 defenders out the box which means the Eagles are 7on7 in the box. This means that you will always get Hurts one on one with a defender, no matter how the opposition play this. Hurts is such an elite athlete that it’s unlikely many teams will have a defender good enough to keep Hurts from reaching the endzone without any help. This almost feels too easy and the only surprise is that Hurts didn’t actually score on the play!
Love this. The formation forces Wash to only have 7 in the box. The read option means you essentially guarantee Hurts is 1v1 with a defender. Hurts will win that battle 90% of the time... doesn't score here but he very nearly does. Hurts mobility is very helpful in the RZ. pic.twitter.com/edOrayPBen— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Just look at some of the blocking. Lane Johnson was simply unreal on some plays. What do you even call this technique?! He is so athletic and was dominant on so many snaps, as was Jason Kelce which doesn’t surprise anyone.
Time for a bunch of Eagles OL clips... buckle up. This is beautiful. Look at Lane/Kelce in particular here. They were both awesome. pic.twitter.com/LniHSGgZPj— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Here’s another one. Huge shoutout once again to Jack Stoll (89) who is an extremely good run blocker. The Eagles played quite a lot of 12 personnel this game and Stoll deserves his playing time as he shows up on film each and every week. This play has everything. Look at Greg Ward blocking downfield. Look at Jordan Mailata completely stonewall the linebacker who is trying to make a play. I also love the celebrations of the players downfield at the end. This is a team that know they are physically dominating teams upfront and they are clearly loving it.
I LOVE the reactions of the players at the end of this run. They all buy in. Look at Ward/Stoll/Mailata all celebrate. Stoll shows up weekly as an excellent run blocker. Mailata here stonewalls the linebacker. This is dominant. pic.twitter.com/PquTj4QDkO— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
How good is this from Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson? Classic pin-pull concept from the Eagles and just look at the job that Goedert and Stoll do to ‘pin’ the defenders and seal the edge. This is just outstanding blocking by everyone involved. I say this every week but they are just SO well coached!
Final one... pin/pull run executed perfectly. Kelce/Johnson flying outside to make perfect blocks. Goedert/Stoll with excellent blocks to 'pin' the defenders and seal the edge. The OL is simply SO well coached. I don't think I'm overstating just how dominant they were. pic.twitter.com/Q5ZOPXKa7G— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
This feels like a weird game to judge the defense because they were playing a 3rd string quarterback so I have focused on the defensive line this week because I thought they absolutely dominated at times on Tuesday.
First play of the game jumped out to me. I really like TJ Edwards and he’s had an excellent year but every so often the athletic limitations really pop up.
Eagles All22 Defense thread v. Washington. TJ Edwards is outstanding in the box. He's had a good year. But every so often his athletic limitations show up, especially in space, and you remember the Eagles can still upgrade here. pic.twitter.com/KFkIooLwm1— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Pretty much every Eagle defensive lineman stood out this week. Milton William and Hargrave both had excellent games against the run as they showed here.
Eagles DL were dominant against the run and pass this week. Love this play from Milton Williams & Hargrave. They close this hole quickly! Great job disengaging from their blockers to make a play on the back. pic.twitter.com/13xMKUFbiz— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Darius Slay had another awesome game so I am not choosing this clip to show that he was bad, I just wanted to point out that even the best can get beat! Also, I think it is really interesting how much single-high the Eagles play now considering at the start of the year there was a lot of 2-high.
Slay has been exceptional this year, barely ever highlighted him getting beat so it is only fair to show McLaurin beat him once! I also include this as it highlights that the Eagles are still a single-high defense now, which is not what I was expecting after the first few weeks. pic.twitter.com/P7piMHkDFp— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
I know I mention him every single week but every week Avonte Maddox has a play on film where I just can’t help but mention! Here he basically runs the route for the slot WR. He’s had a very solid year and I’m glad he got paid.
I have loved watching Avonte Maddox this year. He's not perfect but he's competitive every single snap and he has some superb coverage snaps. Here he shows off his quickness, ability to change direction & ball skills. pic.twitter.com/S60jF57haN— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Milton Williams also gets mentioned a lot here, doesn’t he? Isn’t it nice to have 3rd round rookies produce on a weekly basis!
The broadcast crew did a great job highlighting Avery's burst here on the edge but check out Milton Williams fly off the ball too! The rookie is already a very good interior run defender. pic.twitter.com/HIgBVk4lFK— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Right, lets end the article by focusing on Fletcher Cox. He has been getting better and better throughout this year and this week he absolutely blew up and looked like prime Fletcher Cox. Some of these clips actually had me laughing out loud and I felt a little bit sorry for the quarterback because he just didn’t have a chance on some of these plays... enjoy!
The Washington QB will not forget this one quickly. The Eagles DL were getting after him! Just look at Fletcher Cox (who was outstanding this game) at defensive end get the pressure! pic.twitter.com/UhCLzK9Xym— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
This was a throwback game for Cox. He just dominated the Washington OL. He looked as good as he ever did on Tuesday and I think he's played better over the 2nd half of the season in general. Getting hot for the playoffs? pic.twitter.com/f08LYHMf0l— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
OK so final one... just look at 77 try and block Cox!! At one point he literally has both feet off the ground! Cox, Sweat & Hargrave do a superb job of crashing the pocket and probably causing the QB nightmares over the next week or so... pic.twitter.com/6jqG3TDbwV— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 23, 2021
Until next week... Merry Christmas Eagles fans!