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Eagles All-22 Film Review: Takeaways from the win over the Jaguars

On the running game resurgence, Philadelphia’s defensive success, and more.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

I could get used to breaking down a Philadelphia Eagles win every week! The weather made this Jacksonville Jaguars matchup an unusual game and I think you have to take it into consideration when looking at every play. I won’t constantly mention the weather, but just keep it in mind at all times.


Passing Game

Let’s start as always, with the passing game. The Eagles ‘traditional’ drop-back passing game was pretty shaky this week. I didn’t think Jalen Hurts was very decisive and seemed a little lost in the pocket at times. The interception highlighted indecisiveness. The route from Zach Pascal should become open against this coverage, but he holds it too long and stares it down for far too long, resulting in the Jags flat defender dropping back and helping to break it up. This is one of those he will want back.

I don’t want to criticize Hurts here as I hate criticizing quarterbacks when we don’t know how they are coached in reading specific plays. However, I would assume Dallas Goedert is an option here and I think he makes his mind up early to check it down and doesn’t stay on Goedert for long enough, as he becomes wide open due to a coverage bust. Regardless, the throw is fine and it’s a great play by Miles Sanders.

This one is an interesting one. Pre-snap it’s single high so I think Hurts can go to AJ Brown on a go route with one on one coverage or look to his right and look at Quez Watkins on a slot fade. I think he could make either throw considering it’s 4th down and both players are one-on-one but he seems to look both ways without being clear where to go. He then ends up drifting to his left and we know by now that this never ends well. I don’t know what he’s supposed to do here but with the safety edging towards AJ Brown I’m surprised he doesn’t hit Quez Watkins here.

We also saw some struggles against the blitz, yet again. I remain slightly confused by the offensive design against pressure and I do not think you can just blame Hurts. When you go empty, you have to expect pressure. The Jags line up with 7 on the line against 5 blockers, so you have to have a hot route somewhere. Hurts sees the rusher immediately from the left who is unblocked, so you might expect the Eagles to have a built-in hot route from the side where pressure is coming. Hurts looks that way but there is nothing there and he once again just has to scramble. The plan clearly seems to be to let Hurts try and beat a free rusher and then the potential for an explosive play is there. I do get the idea, but it isn’t really working.

I do blame Hurts more for this one and he clearly bails from the pocket when he shouldn’t. He should hit Kenneth Gainwell on the route out the backfield but he bails too early and Gainwell also takes too long to get out to the flat after attempting to chip the defensive end.

Onto some positive notes with the passing game. The screen game was really good once again and I love this love. I expect to see this exact look more as defenses are going to hate it. If you move your safety to the side with 4, which makes sense, you are leaving AJ Brown one-on-one. If you try to play 2-high against it, Hurts will run it against a very light box. Keep an eye out for this one.

The passing game did have successes on Sunday, but they came out of RPOs/packaged plays and with Hurts on the move rather than a ‘traditional’ drop-back passing game. The Eagles running game and Hurts mobility made everything else work. Hurts is really good on the move and is really good at throwing these 1-read RPO-style plays where he just hits his back foot and lets it go.

This is another really nice throw, AJ Brown also excels at these slant/glance routes over the middle where his big body is really helpful.

Another similar play. The Eagles passing game was very ‘college’ like and I do absolutely think the drop-back passing game will need to improve but when the running game is very good, you can live off throws like this against most teams in the NFL.

Overall, as a straight-up passer, it wasn’t Hurts best game but it's stupid to evaluate Hurts purely on this. I thought the offensive line was very good once again but Jack Driscoll had a few poor pass protection reps, especially against Josh Allen. He still held his own and had a good game overall despite this.

Running Game

I really want to talk about the running game this week. The Eagles offensive line was so, SO good. I also credit the Eagles offensive coaching staff for committing to the run game. A lot of modern coaches see the running game as a small part of an offense (or a less important part than the passing game) but I think if you really want to run the ball well you have to commit to it and do it over and over again in order to wear down the defense. The Eagles absolutely wore down the Jaguars defense and the Eagles realized that they had to win this game in a different way than in previous games.

The Eagles running game was really simple in many ways. It was a shotgun, zone run game with Hurts at the center it. And it was really, really good. It wasn’t particularly successful early on but they stuck with it, even when they fell behind, and it paid off in the end.

In all of these clips, just watch the impact that Hurts has on the defense. In particular, watch the impact on number 33 who he was reading it all game. It was absolutely insane how much respect the Jaguars gave Hurts as a runner. You may as well have had 2 running backs in the backfield.

As well as watching the impact of Hurts, just watch Kelce, Dickerson and Johnson on some of these runs. Dickerson was unbelievable in this game. Some people may think this doesn’t matter, but I love how DeVonta Smith celebrates when they score. To be a really good running offense everyone has to buy in.

This was Sanders most decisive game in a while too. I was not impressed last week but I thought he was excellent this week. Having 20+ carries is not easy and not all running backs can sustain their play when having that many carries but Sanders absolutely could this week.

At one point do you start feeling sorry for Devin Lloyd? (number 33)

This was a cool design too. The flat route from the tight end and Hurts faking it to the right drags out 2 defenders and also makes it an easier block for the left hand side of the offensive line as a lot of the Jags defenders take a slight step to the right because of Hurts.

Finally, watch Dallas Goedert celebrate in the clip above. What did I say about having everyone buy into the running game? This is perfect.

The Eagles offense is simply so dangerous right now. They have such a good running game and a mobile quarterback that teams basically have to bring extra men into the box. When they do that, the Eagles have a huge advantage as AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith will have one-on-one coverage and how many teams have 2 good enough cornerbacks to handle those two? What made this week even more impressive was that the Jags consistently brought extra men into the box and still could not handle the run. It was an incredibly impressive performance and I think this offense is incredibly difficult to stop right now.


I focused heavily on the passing game this week as the Jags didn’t run the ball much. They only had the ball for 20 minutes to the film was quite short!

Passing Game

The Eagles were probably happy the rain made it harder to throw because without Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox the secondary was light. Overall, they got away with it, but a better team in better conditions could have caused the Eagles quite a few issues this week. Luckily, the pass rush was outstanding.

Josiah Scott had a really good game in man coverage, but trouble seemed to follow him in zone coverage. The Eagles zone/match coverage is normally really, really good and it’s not an easy scheme for a young cornerback to just step in. I will never place the blame on someone because I do not pretend to know how they are coached on each specific play, but I would be shocked if this wasn’t his fault.

Here’s another one where I think Scott is at fault. It’s difficult to know exactly, but I would assume he should follow the slot receiver when he runs vertically. It is a fantastic route combination to take advantage of the Eagles cover 4 from Doug Pederson too.

This one wasn’t great either. I don’t think he had a terrible game, especially for a first start, but I would like Maddox to stay healthy as much as possible, please.

Scott wasn’t the only one, however. Epps had a bad rep here as did Zech McPhearson. The communication in the secondary was certainly impacted without 2 starters. This is something to keep an eye on if players in the secondary continue to miss time.

It wasn’t all bad in zone coverage. James Bradberry was really good once again. This play was a fantastic example of what I wrote about when I watched James Bradberry in the off-season. The Jags run post-wheel and Bradberry plays it perfectly and basically baits Trevor Lawrence into making this throw. This is teach tape of zone coverage.

Because of the issues in zone coverage, we did see quite a lot of single-high man coverage again this week. The Eagles man coverage was really strong overall. I thought McPhearson, Scott and Bradberry all looked good. The Eagles man coverage was better than their zone coverage this week as it simplified things for their younger cornerbacks. Scott had some good reps on Christian Kirk who is not an easy cover from the slot.

Speaking of Kirk, it’s not bad when your starting safety can cover him in man coverage is it? If you are a Jags coach, this is a matchup you would want to take advantage of before the game and you must be frustrated as hell when it doesn’t work. This is really impressive.

The Eagles pass rush was good but it was helped out by the secondary. The Eagles secondary gave the Eagles pass rushers an extra beat to get after the quarterback and they took advantage. Especially Haason Reddick, who easily had his most impressive game as an Eagle.

Reddick had a really good all-around game. He blew up Evan Engram once to make a tackle for loss and he also flashed a little bit in coverage! I have been asking for him to look a bit better in coverage because he will have to do it occasionally and he showed on this play that he can in fact do it! This is also a fantastic play by TJ Edwards who is just a really good player. I have no idea when he got this fast or athletic but he is just good. It’s so nice watching the Eagles get good play from their linebackers!

Sadly, Josh Sweat does still not look very comfortable dropping into coverage. I know we don’t want him doing it very much (or Reddick) but it is important that he can do it occasionally to keep opposing quarterbacks guessing. I am hoping he can improve slightly in this area throughout the year as it will help the Eagles be even more unpredictable. Still, it’s good to see Jonathan Gannon bring some different blitzes at quarterbacks. The week 1 Eagles defense feels a long time ago now.

Run Defense

As I mentioned above, the Eagles run defense was really strong and they only faced 16 carries due to the Jags not having the ball. The Jags had some success early on but the Eagles were pretty excellent after this. One big difference is the aggressiveness of the safeties and in particular Marcus Epps. In Week 1, the Lions kept having chunk runs and the Eagles safeties were simply too deep to make a play. This is not the case anymore and Epps is becoming an outstanding run defender coming downhill. This is not an easy play to make and Epps does a great job preventing an even bigger run.

Another reason the Eagles run defense was better... Jordan Davis! He had a really good game and played a fair few snaps as the Eagles played quite a lot of 5 man fronts in this one. This was one of his best plays of the year and it makes me excited about what is to come.

Let's just finish with this play because the Eagles are 4-0 and everything is good. How many nose tackles can make this play?

This was a weird one due to the weather but after the first few drives, it was another thoroughly enjoyable watch. This Eagles team is legit and nothing they are doing right now is fluky. This team is here to stay, buckle up!

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