This was one of the best offensive line performances I have ever seen. There’s definitely more to talk about in the Eagles running game (as opposed to the passing attack) this week so this will be the focus of this one.
It turns out the offense wasn’t figured out after last week, who knew?
The EPA per-play numbers are exceptional which is no surprise. The rush number is about as good as it gets and there was no prominent area of weakness. This was an elite performance from the Eagles' offense.
I will include Hurts scrambles in the passing section for obvious reasons. This play made me laugh because ‘technically’ you could say that Hurts show throw this to the running back as the linebacker in man coverage leaves his man and charges after Hurts. Hurts makes him miss and then two more defenders miss and picks up a huge first down on third down. When evaluating Hurts' process, while he does bail from pockets too early, it is absurd to ignore how good of a runner he is in these situations. I learned about the position and grew up watching traditional pocket quarterbacks, so it is hard for me to ignore my bias, but you have to embrace what Hurts can do as a runner when really evaluating his play. He’s been so good this year.
Eagles all22 offense thread vs. Packers. Hurts bails from pockets but you cannot ignore the athlete he is. He makes these plays look easy. The Packers linebacker actually comes off his man in coverage so Hurts has an easy throw but he still makes 3 defenders miss for a big gain! pic.twitter.com/ClkdpKWZhZ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Technically you can count this as a running play, but it’s an RPO, and Hurts just takes off. This is so hard to stop because you just don’t have the numbers on defense to account for a mobile quarterback. The only chance you have is the linebacker or deep safety making a really good play and there aren’t many players who are athletic enough to handle Hurts in the open field. He’s too quick!
There's so little you can do to stop this. It's single-high, one-on-one coverage everywhere, and Hurts just runs away from the safety. 5on5 in the box with an elite offensive line is like cheating. This is so simple but it's so difficult to stop. So tough to play man v the Eagles pic.twitter.com/bXXeRBPKk2— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Hurts has clearly been told that if he sees an obvious running late, just take off. I think it’s the right decision. If teams are not going to respect you as a running threat then use your legs. The Packers had some really poor snaps and this was one of them. I have no idea how you let Hurts have this much space.
The Packers defense was abysmal at times at containing Hurts. This is too easy. Hurts doesn't even bother reading the play when he sees a hole he takes off. Hurts is such an effortless mover when he's sprinting. I'm also quite glad he protects himself at the end of these plays. pic.twitter.com/0DcWHrZLDg— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Let’s look at some actual throws and not just Hurts’ scrambles. This is an absolute beauty and what a route from DeVonta Smith. I feel like I say this every week but Hurts was not making these throws his rookie year. The timing and feel he is playing with this year is so good. I think the progress is clear and I know I say it every week but he’s playing like a very good franchise quarterback every single week. This shows he has the arm strength to throw to the opposite hash too. Lovely stuff.
Love this play. Fantastic route by DeVonta Smith on a deep comeback. Hurts makes a far hash throw with great velocity and the ball gets there perfectly on time. Big boy throw and catch. pic.twitter.com/T5mf73lxEe— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
This was quite clearly the throw of the day from Hurts. I saw some people say this was underthrown on Twitter which is nonsense. This is a perfectly thrown ball based on the position of the receiver and coverage from the cornerback. I said last week how well Quez Watkins is playing but he has really stepped up since the Eagles lost Goedert. The Eagles made the right decision to stop playing so much 12 and 13 personnel and really lean into the 3 WR sets this week. It worked!
Quez Watkins has really stepped up since Goedert has gone out. He's been excellent 2 weeks in a row. This is a fantastic throw by Hurts. Puts it perfectly on the back shoulder and the timing from Hurts/Watkins is outstanding. Perfect read and spot throw from Hurts. Love it. pic.twitter.com/gX9GLAXoAJ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
This Eagles offense is a nightmare to stop in the red zone. If you sell out to stop the run, you are guaranteeing one-on-one on the outside. Good luck to cornerbacks with inside leverage stopping AJ Brown on an out route without any help. This is a tough play to stop.
You have to sell out to stop the Eagles run game in the red zone. So just put AJ Brown in a reduced/nasty split which almost guarantees the CB will have inside leverage as the safety will be prioritizing the run. Then just throw a quick out to your elite WR1. Easy money! pic.twitter.com/4fphzJeR91— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Hurts is obviously a massive part of the running game. But the offensive line was the story of this game. My goodness, they were good. Every single one of them had a fantastic game. Sometimes the Packers made it easy for the Eagles (more on that later) but even when they had numbers in the box the linebackers couldn’t handle the Eagles' backfield movement and they frequently couldn’t see who had the ball. Packers rookie #7 Quay Walker had a night to forget. This offense makes it hard on young linebackers.
Eagles put 7 in a bind this game. Just one false step and Hurts is off. The Packers had numbers in the box (sometimes) but there's no easy way to stop this without an elite run defense. When the Eagles OL plays this well it's near impossible to consistently stop this running game pic.twitter.com/AJKeXN15d4— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
The offensive line was fantastic, but Miles Sanders was every bit as good. This was one of the best games of his career. He has played well this year but I don’t think I’ve seen many games where his contact balance was as good as it was in this one. Contact balance has never been a strength for Sanders but he had some really strong runs in this game. The Eagles ran a ton of trap plays in this game against the Packers' 4-man front which enabled one lineman to get to the 2nd level quickly on every play. Trap runs are so effective against 4 man fronts when your offensive lineman are winning their individual battles too.
Top 10 run of Sanders career? Contact balance on show after a rare poor block from Kelce. Trap block from Lane enables Dickerson to get straight to the 2nd level and he just does enough. Sanders is having a great year. pic.twitter.com/QMSA8Q3lPg— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Even when the trap block failed, Sanders was good enough in this game to create something out of nothing. This is the difference between an average back and a really good back. Sanders played really well and deserves a lot of credit after this game. His short-area quickness really is outstanding.
You know it's a good day when Seumalo is beat badly which ruins the trap block from Mailata and Sanders still makes a ridiculous play. If his contact balance is good he's a top tier back because his quickness and acceleration are outstanding. pic.twitter.com/SI8z2OYuWd— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Here’s another example of trap. It was often Lane Johnson being used as the trap blocker but pretty much all of the Eagles' offensive linemen are athletic enough to be used as the trap blocker. The Eagles are so well coached and can run so many different types of runs depending on who they are facing. It’s such a good running game and it’s fun to watch.
Eagles loved running 'trap' this week with Lane frequently being asked to trap the Packers edge defenders. Once again, 2-high shell means the Packers don't have the numbers against the Eagles in the run game with a 6 man box and the threat of Hurts running. pic.twitter.com/skqloXax36— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Speaking of athletic Eagles offensive linemen... Jason Kelce doesn’t look very old this season does he?
Mailata with the trap block this time. Just watch every offensive lineman completely dominate their rep on this play. My goodness this is teach tape. Look at Kelce finish too, please never retire @JasonKelce pic.twitter.com/EdZ7fjWfFe— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
The Eagles really leaned on the running game in the red zone and it worked. The interior lineman got fantastic push all game (unlike last week) which resulted in some excellent short-yardage runs. We also saw some Cam Jurgens at tight end. Why not! Sign me up for a Cam Jurgens touchdown on play-action in an important game this season. Get ready for it!
Bit of Cam Jurgens at tight end, sign me up!! The interior push the Eagles get at the goal line is outstanding. The Eagles goal line offense has been really good this year and they lean heavily on the run game. pic.twitter.com/OZ8ATgHh2r— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
As good as the Eagles' offensive line was, the Packers made it easy at times. I could not believe how often the Packers lined up with 2-high coverage and had a 6-man box against this offense. The Eagles probably couldn’t believe it either. Playing with 6 in the box against a mobile quarterback like Hurts is a tough ask for any defense. Just watch some of the blocks on these run plays. Where do I sign up for Jeff Stoutland university?
Packers playing 2-high against this team so often was hilarious. With the QB in the run game, they literally don't have the numbers to take care of every gap! Pin/pull concept, watch Packers 7 again get completely lost. Dickerson/Mailata blocks are fantastic to create a gap. pic.twitter.com/r077jLGaMI— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Here’s another fantastic pin/pull run. Jack Stoll was really good as a run blocker in this game too and this was a superb block.
This is so well blocked. Pin/pull again. Jack Stoll does so well helping Lane to pin the 3-tech before getting to the 2nd level. Great job by Seumalo and Kelce too. Every single OL was outstanding at run blocking this game. The unit is so well coached. pic.twitter.com/L4ABzbpMvE— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
Let’s end on my favorite run. I love this play. It’s so well blocked by every single offensive lineman and Dickerson coming across the formation and sending the defensive back flying just looks so satisfying. What a performance from this offensive line and Miles Sanders. I loved it!
My favorite run of the game came right at the end. It's just a perfectly blocked pin/pull run and Dickerson absolutely blows up the edge. Stoll has a fantastic block too and Lane/Seumalo/Kelce have brilliant down blocks. What a fantastic performance from the OL. pic.twitter.com/7OvFga0qXy— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 29, 2022
As I said last week, the Eagles' offense wasn’t ‘found out’ last week, the Colts just had a really good interior run defense and the Eagles couldn’t move them. This week will be a really good test as the Titans have one of the best run defenses in this league. Expect next week’s piece to talk about the passing game a lot more! If you want to hear a lovely preview of that article, I should be on the Eagles-Titans BGN instant reaction show podcast this week too.