The stats for this game are fascinating. This is a really interesting one. As always, using Sports Info Solutions. Here we go!
No major changes here but the Eagles did use more 11 personnel and less 13 personnel which is good news!
Once again, this looks relatively similar. But there has been a massive change in the past 3 weeks in a certain category...
The Eagles are now average in stacked boxes which feels remarkable compared to the start of the season.
This was the Eagles from weeks 1-8. They ranked 23rd in stacked box % and played a light box at the 7th-highest rate.
In the past 3 weeks, the Eagles are now 28th in lightbox % and 6th in stacked box %! That is a dramatic change. Anyone who criticizes Gannon for not attempting to stop the run is showing their bias. As I said in my film review this week, I think the Eagles are having to compromise their pass defense in order to stop the run. These numbers sort of back that up!
The Titans' offense and defense are both so predictable. The Titans love to run from heavy personnel, especially 13 personnel, which is really going to test the Eagles' commitment to running a 51 or 52 front. Could we see a front 3 of Suh-Joseph-Davis? I think we might...
This is a very old-school offense. The Titans want to go under-center, slow the game down, and run the ball.
The Titans do not care if you stack the box. They are running it regardless.
This defense is the most fascinating I have looked at this year. Every tendency points to a team who will be great against the pass but bad against the run. But they are the exact opposite! Here you can see just how frequently they play nickel and dime and they rarely run their base 3-4-4.
These numbers are fascinating. The Titans have an elite run defense but you would never expect it looking at these numbers. The Titans live in a light box and never stack it. I think the Eagles will look at this and think they can run. I don’t care how good your run defense is, the Eagles have +1 in the run game because of Jalen Hurts and I will be really surprised if the Titans think they can stop the Eagles spread run game with only 6 in the box. If they can, then credit to them, and the Eagles' offense may struggle.
The Titans' defense doesn’t stack the box and they rarely blitz. I find it incredible that they have such a good run defense when looking at this. In any other week, I would be looking at this and expecting the Eagles to run all over them (as I did when looking at the Packers). This game will be fascinating.
Eagles Offense vs. Titans Defense
The Titans’ defense is very good but not elite. You can throw the ball on them, despite the fact they always play 2-high and have a light box! Despite playing a pass-first style of defense, they allow the 31st-highest amount of passing yards. The run defense is elite but I still think the Eagles will try on run on them if they live in a light box. I’m excited to see what the Eagles do.
Eagles Defense vs. Titans Offense
The Titans’ offense really isn’t that good but they match up well with the Eagles' defense. The Eagles struggle to stop short gains on 1st/2nd down and the Titans live in this world. They will keep running into stacked boxes and Derrick Henry will just keep chugging away. The Titans don’t turn the ball over and the Eagles will have to get some stops on early downs in order to stop the Titans from keeping the ball for a long time.
Titans 1st down run vs 7+ in the box
No surprises here, but a huge matchup for the Eagles' defense will be stopping the Titans' 1st down-run game. The Titans are not scared by stacked boxes. Running into stacked boxes (7+ men in the box) on 1st down, the Titans have 154 attempts (3rd) for 644 yards (5th) with 429 of them coming after contact (4th). This may only be 4.3 yards per carry, but if a team is trying to stop you running and you are still picking up 4 yards a carry, that can really wear a defense down and set you up with a lot of 3rd and shorts.
With 13 personnel, the Titans are not as effective but they still love to do it. They have 44 attempts on 1st down (1st - by 8 carries) for 146 yards. This is only 3.3 yards per carry but I expect them to do it a lot against the Eagles and test the Eagles' defense. I hope Jordan Davis is healthy, because he may be needed in this one.
Time to throw first?
As I mentioned earlier, teams love to throw on 1st down against the Titans because they can’t run. The good news is, teams have had quite a lot of success when throwing against the Titans as their cornerbacks are not great. Teams have had 165 attempts (3rd), with 112 completions (5th) for 1214 yards (5th) when throwing on 1st down. This is an average of 7.4 yards per attempt which is pretty healthy overall. The Eagles may want to run the ball against a light box, and I personally still think they should try to, but the data suggests they should throw the ball early against the defense.
The Eagles have also been really effective throwing on 1st down this season. Although they run more on 1st down, they have 135 attempts (22nd) with 90 completions (20th) for 1160 yards (9th). This is a very healthy 8.6 yards per attempt.
As you can probably tell, I am absolutely fascinated to see how this game turns out. You can hear me on the BGN instant reaction show this week, hopefully, I am in good spirits after a big win!