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.
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.
Hurts INT wasn't great. 3 level stretch, Pascal should be free but he stares it down which enables the flat defender to read it and he also takes too long to release it. The throw is possibly on (not an easy throw with LB underneath though) but the ball just has to be earlier. pic.twitter.com/kSVJtJpsYn— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Not going to criticize Hurts here because he may have made the decision presnap to go to Sanders but coverage bust left Goedert totally wide open... I would assume he's reading Hi-Lo so maybe should stay on him a bit longer but it's a really good play by Sanders after the catch. pic.twitter.com/tgiiIbORGq— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Wasn't a fan of the drop back passing game. Rainy I know, but a lot of isolation stuff & Hurts wasn't decisive. Hurts looks left here and he could maybe hit AJ Brown who is 1on1 but there's not a great deal there. Watkins wins the slot fade but Hurts isn't really looking. pic.twitter.com/PivA40GAo6— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Speak if you've heard this before, Jags show blitz v empty and bring 5. Eagles don't have a hot to the side of the blitz and Hurts has to bail out leading to an incompletion. This is becoming a theme... pic.twitter.com/O0nPjXqdPl— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Still a little (yes, I know it was raining) concerned about some of the 3rd down drop back game. Hurts doesn't look comfortable and there's no obvious answer to 5 man pressure again. A lot of isolation routes where no one is winning and not an easy decision for the QB. pic.twitter.com/JAy3WY3J9E— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Eagles all22 offense thread vs. Jags. Nice new look with 4x1 out of empty early on. This will put teams in a bind as it's hard to leave AJ Brown alone out there 1on1 and you also want to keep an extra guy in the box in case Hurts takes off. I expect we will see this more! pic.twitter.com/uMhbsDmf02— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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 where the passing game excelled on a Sunday. Run-action with Hurts on the move. Watch 33 freeze as he watches Hurts (he will have nightmares of this one) and a perfect throw on the run to AJ Brown. pic.twitter.com/Uo5jHMqZvj— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Hurts is absolutely money on these throws over the middle to AJB currently. This is a beauty. He's much more decisive on these 1 read type throws still and the Eagles did used AJB effectively on these short glance/slant routes a couple of times. pic.twitter.com/YHocZPQjPZ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
RPO glance, another absolute dime by Hurts. He loves throwing this route and AJB loves running it! Once again Jags 33 looks a little lost out there but this is not an easy throw. Hurts accuracy is really good on these 1 read throws where he hits his back foot and is decisive. pic.twitter.com/8p8DGsKeQP— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
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.
This play is just IZ but look at the impact Hurts has! Jags 33 had no idea. Fantastic blocks by Dickerson and Kelce but playing OL must be fun when defenses respect Hurts as a runner as much as they do. The spread run game was massive this week and Hurts was a huge part. pic.twitter.com/E3RGbopCCo— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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 team had the identity of the 2021 Eagles and they loved it. I LOVE watching DeVonta Smith celebrate a rushing TD like this. Again, the impact Hurts has is crazy and Kelce is still absolutely elite in space. Great job to seal by Seumalo too. pic.twitter.com/66Qao9V260— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Look at the push Kelce/Dickerson get on the Jags DT... My word. Seumalo again excellent. This is the downhill no hesitation Miles Sanders that we want to see more of! He had an excellent game and was really decisive unlike last week. pic.twitter.com/3xFMwZzaMR— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
At one point do you start feeling sorry for Devin Lloyd? (number 33)
Jags 33 will still be having nightmares. Hurts basically takes a defender out the play on nearly every run. It's a huge schematic advantage. Excellent job by Sanders pressing the hole to get the LB to commit and then bouncing it outside of Kelce. Really good stuff all around. pic.twitter.com/I2u66LIBI5— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Let's end with a fun one. Unbalanced line, fantastic block by Goedert and really good vision by Sanders once again. This is heavy 13 personnel football! pic.twitter.com/vKBoTOdpqq— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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!
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.
It's impossible to know who's at fault, but bad things seemed to happen around Josiah Scott when the Eagles were in zone coverage. He held up really well in man but seemed lost in zone on a few occasions. pic.twitter.com/46qtLlMzsp— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Interesting one here. Easy to point blame at Scott but it might just be the perfect route concepts for this coverage. Epps takes the cross, McPherson takes the comeback. I am guessing Scott should follow the slot WR deep but as I don't know the exact call it's hard to guess! pic.twitter.com/tKh8r8MZcQ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Final one for now, not Scott's best moment on the touchdown here. Overall I thought he did OK but another injury to Maddox would be a cause for concern. Eagles coverage overall was still largely excellent but they had allowed a few more big plays than normal. pic.twitter.com/hGBInMAHDf— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
I've credited Epps a lot but he also got beat here and should have been more conservative. Fantastic double move and it's a bad miss by T-Law. Zech McPherson had a good game overall but also was beaten pretty badly here. pic.twitter.com/9tHW8eLovV— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
From my Bradberry film review this off-season pic.twitter.com/e2ishpDqtl— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 2, 2022
Eagles bring a heavy blitz here but it's a bit of a disaster and if T-Law checks it down it's probably a TD. Instead he tries to hit the wheel on a post/wheel concept but Bradberry's depth and route recognition is perfect and he makes a huge play. This is big time. pic.twitter.com/f3wp4mnim0— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Eagles seemed to once again play a lot of single-high man coverage. Scott looked better in man and he had some good reps v. Kirk. Also, check out Cox flat out destroy the right guard here pic.twitter.com/aWGyPfvGn3— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
It's not bad when you can play man coverage and your starting safety (Epps) can win one on one against one of the highest paid receivers (Kirk). Interesting little post-snap disguise with Scott dropping as a safety. pic.twitter.com/UbvAv85zFC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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's first huge sack fumble. Great example of coverage/rush being successful together. Eagles coverage is excellent and forces T-Law to hold onto the ball too long which enables Reddick to get home. Reddick made plays as a run defender, pass rusher and in coverage this game. pic.twitter.com/WI88OJFZfU— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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!
TJ Edwards had another really good game. The broadcast mentioned he has lost weight and is quicker and he certainly moves better laterally now. I don't want him dropping much, but Reddick looked really smooth in coverage here and had good instincts and depth on this play. pic.twitter.com/OdHBrxYCoK— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Eagles try to get creative here with pressure but unlike Reddick, Sweat doesn't really look comfortable dropping into zone at all. pic.twitter.com/B2y7Zjlo1w— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Eagles all22 defense thread vs. Jags. Jags motioned the TE into the box (which we've seen teams do to the Eagles all year) but just look at Epps come down into the box and find the back. This play simply didn't happen week 1 with both safeties really deep. Really good sign pic.twitter.com/n1zZfumGlX— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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.
Hot take: Jordan Davis might be good at football. pic.twitter.com/EBnNayWwCQ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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?
How many nose tackles can make this play? This is pretty ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/NDkmPPf0rT— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
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!