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Eagles defense vs. Jaguars offense preview by the numbers

Jacksonville Jaguars v Washington Commanders Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After looking at the offense now, let's get to the Eagles defense vs. the Jags defense! As always, the aim of these posts is to search through a lot of data, just like NFL teams will be doing, in order to try and predict what we might see and give you a bit more knowledge and things to look out for when watching the game. I will be using Sports Info Solutions as always.

Eagles Tendencies

There are a few surprises after a few weeks but the Eagles use of personnel is not surprising. They very rarely play with 3 off-ball linebackers or base personnel.

They also continue to largely be a two-high shell defense, which we know Gannon wants to do.

But, what is surprising, is how much man coverage the Eagles have played so far. I hope this continues because the cornerbacks have played so well this year (although we will be without Maddox this week so maybe we see some more zone).

Finally, the Eagles have actually blitzed at a decent amount this year. I think the Eagles tendencies so far through 3 weeks look very varied which is good for keeping an offense guessing.

Jags Offense Basic Stats

  • 28 points per game (7th)
  • 5.5 yards per play (12th)
  • 123 rushing yards per game (10th)
  • 4.1 yards per rush (22nd)
  • 7.0 yards per attempt (17th)
  • 0.13 EPA per play (7th)
  • 0.288 EPA per pass (5th)
  • -0.081 EPA per rush (17th)

The basic numbers show a good offense that throws the ball better than they run it.

Passing Game

1st down passing

The Jags like to run the ball on early downs and only have 38 total dropbacks (24th) on 1st down this year. However, they have been really efficient on 1st down when throwing the football. They are 27/37 (72%) for 373 yards (5th). Being 5th highest in yards despite only being 24th in dropbacks is pretty impressive. They have also allowed no sacks on early downs.

A lot of teams have thrown on early downs against the Eagles because they have been behind in games, but the Eagles have been good against the pass on early downs. They have allowed 299 yards (15th) despite facing 56 dropbacks and 33 completions.

Time for Pressure

The Jaguars do have a clear weakness when you look at the stats and its pressure. They have the highest amount of throws (39) under pressure this season and Trevor Lawrence has not handled it well. When under pressure, Lawrence is 19/39 (48%) for 239 yards, 0 TDs. It’s pretty clear that the weakness of their passing game is pressure.

Without pressure, Trevor Lawrence is 49/77 (63) for 569 yards (17th), 5 TDs and 2 INTs. It’s pretty clear that at this point in his career, Lawrence is a different player when he is kept clean in the pocket.

The good news for Eagles fans is that the Eagles have been getting a lot of pressure recently. The Eagles have 55 pressures (5th) and 12 sacks (2nd). If the Eagles can get pressure it could be a tough day for Trevor Lawrence.

3rd and Long

If the Eagles can stop the run early and force the Jags into 3rd and long situations, they should be really confident they can stop this offense.

Unlike the Eagles can Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence has been pretty awful on 3rd and long. Just have a look...

That is 2 completions on 6 attempts for 18 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Trevor Lawrence is not good enough currently to handle 3rd and long and if the Eagles can win on early downs they have a good chance of stopping this offense.

On the other side, the Eagles 3rd and long pass defense has been exceptional this year. They have allowed 3 completions on 8 attempts for 24 yards. That’s good.

Running Game


The Jags use motion a lot this year under Doug Pederson.

I looked up the stats for motion in the passing game and it didn’t really help Trevor Lawrence. It hasn’t really helped them in the running game hugely so far but they still do it. A lot. They have 58 rushing attempts with motion (4th highest) for 220 yards (8th highest). That is less than 4 yards per carry but they continue to do it. The Eagles will have to be prepared.

The Eagles run defense has struggled a little bit with motion this year too. They have faced 42 carries with motion and given up 234 yards (8th highest). That is 5.5 yards per carry. So expect the Jags to try and use motion a lot to confuse the Eagles in run defense.

Heavy Personnel

This Jags team likes to line up with tight ends and run the football. They have used 12/13 personnel a lot this year.

When they do line up in 12 personnel, they like to run the football too!

The Jags really want to run the ball behind 2 tight ends (35 carries, 2nd highest) but they haven’t had huge success (91 yards). However, they do it on early downs a lot because they don’t want to get into 3rd and long situations. They also use Evan Engram out wide a lot and he isn’t your ‘traditional’ tight end. I am expecting the Eagles to stay in nickel against the Jags 12 personnel, which could lead to them running the ball a lot. The Eagles haven’t faced much 12 personnal from a run defense perspective, but when they have they have been average, giving up 70 yards on 15 carries.

Early downs

As I’ve mentioned throughout, the Jags running game isn’t particularly good but they stick with it to help out their quarterback. On 1st down, the Jags have 53 rushing attempts (4th highest) for 194 yards (11th highest). If the Eagles come out and sit in 2-high coverages and a light box, I expect the Jags to run it often to try and set up manageable 3rd downs and keep the pressure of their young quarterback.

This is going to be a fun matchup, I’m excited!

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