This was a fun one with loads of good stuff to get into. This is a short week with the Monday night game and Thanksgiving so I will try to be as concise as I can. Let’s do it. (Previously: Offensive takeaways)
The Eagles were aggressive in this matchup. I’m pretty sure the numbers say you shouldn’t blitz Patrick Mahomes, but Sean Desai did not care. He got after Mahomes in this game. On the 2nd play of the game, the Eagles made their intentions clear and sent 6 after Mahomes. Haason Reddick has a great rush and hits Mahomes hard. I absolutely loved this play because good defenses try to set the tone early and it felt like the Eagles set the tone for the rest of the game on this play early on.
Eagles Defense All22 vs. Chiefs. 1) How about this for a play on the first drive by Reddick! The Eagles brought pressure numerous times, and they bring 6 here on 2nd down. Reddick defeats the TE chip and bends the edge perfectly. He really hits Mahomes hard here. pic.twitter.com/ARkROh1vfd— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
I went a little bit insane and had a real moan about the Eagles' use of personnel against the Cowboys. I was incredibly happy with this game because it was clear that Sean Desai and the coaching staff looked at this issue in the bye week and corrected it. The Eagles came out in Dime on the first 3rd down of the game. It was complete madness having 2 linebackers on the field in obvious passing situations as they did against the Cowboys, and they made sure they didn’t make the same mistake again. Not only did the Eagles have 6 defensive backs on the field in obvious passing situations, they also played with 3 EDGE defenders (Josh Sweat, Reddick, and Brandon Graham) and only 1 defensive tackle on a number of different occasions in this game.
2) The Eagles had a huge issue with personnel before their bye week, and they corrected it! Here on 3rd down that play Dime and don't have 2 linebackers needlessly on the field in obvious passing situations. They played a lot of Dime and even had 3 EDGE rushers and 1 DT on some… pic.twitter.com/uP4Szx1Ekk— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
The Eagles have had a really good run defense this year because their gap discipline has been outstanding. I have no idea what happened in this game. The Eagles just continually gave up the edge, and I don't really know what Redidck and Sweat were doing on a few occasions. I remember hearing someone say on a podcast (I can’t remember who!) that it was because the Eagles were getting up the field too early as they were prioritizing rushing Patrick Mahomes, but I just don’t think that’s true. The Eagles’ EDGE defenders kept jumping inside, as Reddick did on this play, and giving up the edge. It was weird because it happened more than once, and it felt like something that should be a simple fix. Hopefully, this issue was just a one-off issue and not something that becomes a problem.
3) The Eagles' run defense had a huge issue this week. They were caught out multiple times on the edge, which makes me wonder if there was confusion at times over who was setting the edge. I assume this one is on Reddick but this was a major issue all through the game. pic.twitter.com/abEbM7WqwA— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
I don’t really have anything to add here, because it’s obvious that the Eagles have an issue passing off routes in the red zone, but we keep seeing it happen. I don’t really want to speculate on who is at fault here but I would guess Byard, who had a really good game overall. The Eagles need to sort it out or start simplifying the coverages in the red zone (although when they went to man, they also gave up a touchdown later on to Travis Kelce).
4) The inability to deal with crossing routes and pass them off in the red zone is now a common issue with this defense. I would guess this is on Byard but I really don't know. I know this secondary has added some new pieces during the season but they really have to sort it out… pic.twitter.com/4qS4qngLSd— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
No defender stood out more than Milton Williams did in this game. I always talk about Williams, because I feel like he goes under the radar and the other defensive tackles steal the spotlight. However, this week was different, and the broadcast had no choice but to talk about Williams because he had a few incredible reps. This is just elite defensive line play.
5) Weekly reminder that Milton Williams is a star. He wrecked some runs in this game. Look at him shed this block and make a play on the ball carrier! This is big time. pic.twitter.com/MHg6Hfq7Aq— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
As well as playing different personnel packages, I thought the Eagles did a good job mixing up coverages too and taking away Travis Kelce. They played a few snaps of 1 double where they had Kevin Byard and Reed Blankenship double Kelce and it worked pretty much every time. I thought Byard had a really good time and his playing style obviously enjoys the matchup with Kelce.
6) I really enjoyed how the Eagles mixed up their coverages in this one. Here they play 1 double and have Byard and Blankenship on Kelce. Byard did an excellent job all game on Kelce. Another snap of Dime here and Carter does a great job taking down Mahomes pic.twitter.com/gIPrvnYFOb— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
Here’s another run where the Eagles allowed the Chiefs to get outside. This one is on Sweat unless there’s some funky run-fit stuff going on here that I’m not seeing. It seems pretty clear to me that the Eagles’ edge defenders were just bad at setting the edge at times in this one.
7) This one looks like it's on Sweat and not Reddick, but it's another big run to the outside. I get that the Eagles wanted to get upfield and after Patrick Mahomes, but there were some sloppy reps against the run in this game. This is an area the Eagles have been strong all… pic.twitter.com/N4WfFR4b9E— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
This is an odd play and it looked weird live. This should be a touchdown but Mahomes for some reason decides to float this pass and he just gets no power or velocity into the throw. Byard deserves huge credit for reading this though and making the interception. I said in my film review that I think Byard is excellent in zone, and he was really good in this one.
8) The INT is a weird play. Byard does a fantastic job to read it and get across, but realistically it should be a TD if Mahomes throws a ball with good velocity and speed. It's an error from Mahomes but Byard still deserves credit for making the play! pic.twitter.com/rBuuje2NEc— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
9) Yet another snap where the Eagles forget to set the edge. Looks like Sweat again. This just hasn't been an issue this year so I'm hoping it was a one off and not something we will see frequently this season. pic.twitter.com/JTyaHRBPD9— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
I really enjoyed how aggressive the Eagles were on defense in this game. Yes, at times they got lucky and the Chiefs dropped some key passes. But I would much rather the defense take some risks and try and make Mahomes uncomfortable rather than just allow him to dink and dunk down the field. The Eagles are built to have an elite offense and they don't need their defense to shut down opposing offenses, but they do need them to make some big plays and put opposing quarterbacks under pressure. I really enjoyed how aggressive the defense was overall, even if it didn't always work.
10) Eagles bring another 6 man pressure here. You can argue they get slightly lucky on the backend, but I'm OK with it! Sometimes being aggressive will cost you, but these shots aren't easy to consistently create. I'd much rather take some shots at Mahomes than allow him to dink… pic.twitter.com/dk07lOIwbp— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
This is a fantastic call for a number of reasons. Byard does a great job on Kelce once again. I really like the Eagles' use of Dime on the obvious passing stations. But the thing I really like is the decision to have only 1 defensive tackle on the play. This allowed Reddick to rush/spy Mahomes from a standing position, and look at his speed here as he chases Mahomes outside the pocket. There is no way anyone other than Reddick could have done that, especially not a defensive tackle, so getting more speed on the defensive line against a mobile quarterback like Mahomes makes a lot of sense. I wonder if we will see this again this weekend against Josh Allen!
11) Love this. Massive 3rd down. Eagles go Dime again, and play 3 EDGE defenders and only 1 DT. This allows Reddick to rush/spy from a standing position and he has the athleticism to catch up with Mahomes outside the pocket. Byard does a good job with Kelce again! pic.twitter.com/EkDBlZ7s0R— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
As I said earlier, when you are aggressive sometimes things will go against you and you get lucky. The Eagles got lucky here. I assume Bradley Roby thinks that he has safety help and that Sydney Brown is supposed to stay deep rather than triple Travis Kelce, but I’m not sure. The Eagles got lucky at times, but they deserved some luck based on how aggressive they were throughout the game.
12) Sometimes, you gotta get lucky. I think there's an error here and Brown is maybe supposed to be the deep safety, rather than triple Kelce. Having no deep safety with under 2 mins left feels odd. Luckily, MVS dropped it and the Eagles got away with one here. (I still think we… pic.twitter.com/kqyvaRlC5D— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
Let's end with this 3rd down play. It’s another really good snap of Dime and 1 double. I thought the Eagles' plan for Travis Kelce was excellent in this game and I was glad to see them adjust after struggling against the opposing team's top weapons this season.
13) Let's end with the huge 3rd down play. It's a great rush by Sweat who absolutely deserves a sack here. It's another snap on Dime and 1 double, with Byard and Blankenship on Kelce. Overall, this was a largely positive performance and I loved some of the tweaks I saw from… pic.twitter.com/O1nhaFxNN8— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2023
Whatever you think of Sean Desai, there is absolutely no doubt that he is willing to try new things every week and will be aggressive. I’d rather a defensive coordinator like that than someone who is stubborn and stuck in their ways.
Biggest takeaway from the defense All22 (thread will be out tomorrow) is that Desai threw a lot of different looks at Mahomes. It was the opposite to the SB. Some stuff worked, some stuff didn't. But they were aggressive.— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 21, 2023