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

Touching on offensive line dominance, Jalen Hurts encouragement, and more.

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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.

OFFENSE

Passing Game

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

Running Game

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

DEFENSE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

Until next week... Merry Christmas Eagles fans!