Wow... this game took a while to watch and break down! But it was a fun one. Buckle up.
I didn’t like the opening game script for the Eagles in this game. The Bills came out playing a lot of light boxes and two high coverages and did a really good job matching the Eagles’ routes down the field. I think the Eagles could have run the ball early on to try and get the Bills to play more single-high but they tried to throw it down the field and nothing was open. The Eagles’ offense is fantastic when they fall behind, but for the offense to get to the next level, they need to have a better opening game script.
Eagles Offense All22 thread vs. Bills. 1) Eagles just felt a little out of sync early on and they didn't call anything easy to get going. They ran this exact concept twice in the first 2 drives and it never worked. I'd like to have seen some 'easy buttons' early on to get going. pic.twitter.com/NP9AcuSKw1— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
I can’t say enough about Jason Kelce in this game. He is playing as well as I’ve ever seen him. Some of his plays in this game were out of this world. I’ll talk about this in more detail later, but the Bills left him uncovered a lot and he took advantage of it by pulling. On this play, the Bills actually do have a defensive tackle over him, which means he can’t pull. On split-zone, he obviously wants to get to the 2nd level but he has to get off the double team. Rather than double-team the defensive tackle, he just decides to shoulder-barge the defensive tackle before flying to the 2nd level. This is not a technique that a normal human will use.
2) Jason Kelce... Oh my goodness. Kelce was unreal in this game. He's playing as good as ever right now. This is just a ridiculous way to get to the 2nd level on split-zone, and Gainwell does a good job running through the DT and beating the safety. pic.twitter.com/a3NCm5nydG— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
I didn’t think Hurts was seeing things clearly in the first half. I’m not entirely sure, but he made some strange decisions. I thought there were times that he should have handed it off but he kept it and this is another example of that. This is not the first interception this year that has looked like this, and it’s an area that Hurts needs to improve. I don’t want the Eagles to take RPOs out of the playbook because it’s such a good fit for this offense, but it is something they need to work on.
3) It's a little unlucky, but I absolutely count this as a mistake by Hurts. He had some weird reads on RPOs, and I don't know why he's not handing this off? It's not the first time he's tried to flow the flat with a defender in his face and it's just too risky. pic.twitter.com/NDxT6KMyfC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
This was my favorite call of the night! You may remember last week I posted about Swift running a jet sweep from under center. This is what I said about the play...
This is a new look and I hope they can build on this look and run some fakes in future weeks.
Well, it only took a week for the Eagles to build on this and they ran a fake jet sweep! I know that the Bills defensive staff spent a lot of time this week talking about D’Andre Swift because they were obsessed with him in this game. His motion created a lot of space a few times in this game.
4) Last week the Eagles went under-center and ran a reverse to Swift. This week, they go under-center and fake a reverse to Swift and run it with Scott instead. Look at the impact Swift has on the defense! That's excellent game planning. Use pony package more!! pic.twitter.com/P6hiKXOs85— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
As I said earlier, I think Hurts was a bit out of sync with these RPOs. This is about as easy as it gets, it’s a slant-flat against man coverage. Both the receivers are open but I am guessing Hurts has the earlier interception on his mind because for some reason he doesn’t pull the trigger. This should be easy money.
5) Hurts was weirdly out of sync on some of these earlier RPOs. This is just standard slant/flat against man coverage and AJ Brown is open but he gets off the read way too quickly and takes a bad sack in 1st down. I can only assume he's scared about it being tipped again so he… pic.twitter.com/YWQ3ano7f6— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
There’s nothing more I love than pin/pull outside zone. This is as good as it gets. Look at the position of the defensive tackle because this is the perfect front for the Eagles to run against. As Jason Kelce has nobody on his right shoulder, he has the freedom to pull on this play. His block here is as good as it gets. Watch the strength of Cam Jurgens too. He moves the linebacker like he weighs nothing! This is so good.
6) If you love run game like me... This is BEAUTIFUL! You cannot run pin/pull outside zone better than this. Just watch every single lineman (including Still) do an absolutely fantastic job. Kelce and Jurgens are an absolute joy to watch at times. Just look at the two of them!! pic.twitter.com/aZ2Ov9qDzU— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
I said this online and I’m not joking...
If the opposing defense plays a 4 down front on 1st/2nd and 10 and leaves Jason Kelce uncovered I'm running pin/pull outside zone every single if I'm Brian Johnson. I'm not even kidding— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
The good news is that the Eagles’ offense got into a really nice flow as the game went on. This play is so good in short yardage and it feels like I bring it up every week, but I can’t help it! It’s just such a hard play to stop and the Eagles’ staff do a really good job getting to the same play in different ways every week. Here they use Kenny Gainwell as a lead blocker and as they ran split-zone earlier on in the game, the defense is focusing on Jack Stoll as a blocker rather than a receiver.
7) The offense got into a really good flow later on. This split-zone RPO feels pretty much unstoppable, but the Eagles dress it up differently this week by shifting Stoll before the snap, and lining up in Pony personnel with Gainwell playing as a lead blocker. I love this… pic.twitter.com/vjocM8SyEY— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
Just two plays later, they run the same play from a different look. This time the Bills play it perfectly and they cover the tight end running across the formation. However, the Eagles know that this is likely, so they leak out AJ Brown and throw it to him in the end zone. This is just a fantastic job of sequencing plays by Brian Johnson and it’s really hard to stop. I was really impressed by the play-calling in the second half and the Eagles’ offense got into a really good flow.
8) 2 plays later, split-zone RPO again. The Bills correctly key on the TE so the Eagles throw it over their heads to AJ Brown. This is really good sequencing of plays and game planning. When the Eagles get into a rhythm they are so tough to stop. pic.twitter.com/CGRIyeYfrC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
Speaking of sequencing plays, I wonder if the Eagles called a wide receiver screen to Julio Jones on 3rd and 14 earlier on in the game just to set up this play. If they really thought a 3rd and 14 screen to Julio would work, then I’m a little concerned. But I can forgive Brian Johnson if they ran that play in order to set up this one. If that was the case, then it’s fantastic sequencing once again. This throw looked easy and wide open, but I do think Hurts has really good touch on this throw to get it over the linebacker. I don't think this is as easy a throw as it looked live.
9) If you want to moan about the screens to Julio (I get it, I shouted at the TV too), I would have to assume that they are running them to set up this fake screen later. If so - it worked! I love the short motion by Smith to try and confuse the defense and it's a really good… pic.twitter.com/U5IqqGvhXi— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
Sometimes, you don’t need any analysis from me. What do you want me to say about this one? It’s just a ridiculous throw and catch. MVP...
10) What else do I need to say? Sometimes you can sum up a play in just 3 letters... MVP! (Although this is also a hell of a play by Zaccheaus who deserves huge credit for making this catch). pic.twitter.com/W4DIAXfTyp— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
The last drive was a masterclass by the Eagles’ offense. They used what they had learned previously in the game to call a number of outstanding plays that seemed to pick up yards with ease. The Eagles had struggled all game with the QB draw from empty, so they decided to run it with Swift as a leader blocker and it worked perfectly. The defensive alignment is once again perfect for Kelce as he can pull because he has no one on his left shoulder, and he makes the perfect block in space.
11) The last drive was beautiful. QB draw was struggling from empty, so the Eagles mixed it up and ran it with Swift as a lead blocker and Kelce pulling due to defensive alignment. Look at how quickly Cam Jurgens gets off the snap here! I thought Jurgens had some fantastic reps… pic.twitter.com/ESmiGrhoTN— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
I still find Swift a little frustrating at times because he can try to create a big play a little too much. However, there is absolutely no doubt he is incredibly good in space. This is one of those plays that only running backs who can create in space can make. He notices the space is available on the cutback and finds it perfectly. He seems to create a big play or two every single game right now, and he impacted this game even when he didn’t get the ball.
12) I'm probably a little critical of Swift bouncing it occasionally, but I think you have to live with the boom/bust nature of his game because he can do things like this, where he just cuts it all the way back on outside zone and makes a play like this. Phew. pic.twitter.com/87k0KA0LKn— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
As I said, Swift impacted this game even when he didn’t get the ball. The Eagles motion Swift out to create a 4-strong look and it totally messes with the Bills’ coverage rules. Once they run with Swift, it’s obvious that his play is only going to end up with a touchdown. You know the drill by now, because the alignment of the defensive tackle Hurts is able to pull and he’s like a cheat code in space right now.
13) Gotta end here... Look at the impact that Swift has on the defense! The motion to 4-strong seems to totally confuse the Bills' coverage rules, and it's easy for the offensive line and Hurts after that. Once again, Kelce is uncovered so he can pull and it's just beautiful.… pic.twitter.com/jyO9e9PR16— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 27, 2023
This wasn’t the perfect Eagles game, but there were some beautiful plays to break down. I hope you thought so too!