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Eagles-Seahawks Film Review: Offensive issues are the same as they have been all season

Philadelphia Eagles v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Well, that sucked. Writing about a loss once again is not particularly fun. Let’s get into it.

Offense

The Eagles’ offense was working perfectly fine early on. I thought the game plan was spot on. The Seahawks played two deep safeties and dared the Eagles to run and throw it short. So that’s what the Eagles did. And it worked! I thought Jalen Hurts looked healthy and strong as a runner, and the Eagles had a lot of success with the QB run game because they had the numbers advantage in the box. it was all going well.

Seriously, look at these run fits by the Seahawks. It was like they didn’t care about the Eagles running game. They just left Jason Kelce uncovered, played two deep safeties, and frequently left themselves outnumbered in the box. It felt too easy early on, and the Eagles did a good job staying patient and just taking what the defense gave them.

The Eagles run a fair number of RPOs, but I thought this one was a little different. It was almost like a short dropback with a run-blocking offensive line. I liked it, and I think it summed up the Eagles’ offense early on. They were very efficient and Hurts looked good as a runner.

I had quite a few issues with some of the Eagles’ spacing in this game. They did not do a good enough job stretching the defense horizontally or vertically. I was happy the Eagles called a lot of short throws, and it was the right decision based on the Seahawks’ defense, but some of these plays are bad and make it harder on the quarterback. The second one below is a great example of that. Hurts throws the ball above AJ Brown’s head on the comeback, and it’s easy to blame the quarterback for a bad throw. But when you see the all22, you can see that the running back drags a defender into the throwing window, which means Hurts has to throw it high. It just makes a simple read more complicated than it needs to be. This is a shame because I thought the Eagles’ offense played well up until the 2nd touchdown.

I see people going mad about these screens every week. But let’s be clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this play call. When you run a lot of RPOs and your QB keeps the ball a lot, your offense should have a lot of these bubble screens built into the offense just in case the defense tries to add another defender to the box post-snap. This play should give the Eagles 5-6 yards at least every single time they run it. The problem is that they suck it at. The coaches need to sort this out because it really shouldn’t be this hard to get a few yards on these plays. They can’t keep failing on these bubble screens where they have the numbers advantage. It’s what this offense is all about!

I don’t want to pick on individuals too much... but this clear-out route by Quez Watkins is a joke. It’s bad.

If we ignore Quez Watkins on this play, I like the play call. And it’s a really good throw and catch by Hurts and DeVonta Smith. This is the type of play that Smith didn’t make last week, so it’s great to see him make a tough catch like this. I’m always in favor of plays that get Hurts moving to his right by design, and the Eagles don’t do it enough in my opinion.

I haven’t posted much about the running game this week, but I thought the Eagles’ running game was good and it was successful because the defense was concerned about the threat of Hurts’ running. We saw a lot of plays like this one last year, but we haven’t seen it that often this year. Hopefully, this is a sign that Hurts is now healthy and he can keep running the ball effectively because this offense needs Hurts to be a good runner for this offense to be at its best.

Both of these things can be true: I don’t like some of the designs of specific plays, but Jalen Hurts has to play better. I still think the spacing is poor and that the Eagles’ coaching staff could make this easier on Hurts by creating bigger throwing windows and spreading the defense out, but Hurts still has to make this throw. I think this game sadly sums up Hurts of late. I think he is getting greedy, and isn’t just taking the easy throw. The Seahawks were focused on preventing the big play in this game and Hurts needed to stay patient and just take the easy throws throughout the game. Sadly, Hurts did the opposite of that, as he wanted to create more explosive plays.

I have so much to say about this play. You can moan about Hurts all you want, but if the coaching staff is telling him to take the shot to AJ Brown when he is one-on-one, then he makes the right decision. I think he should eliminate AJ Brown from the progression when he sees how far off the cornerback is, but at the end of the day, we would love this play if AJ Brown wins his one-on-one matchup. I think you can argue that the throw itself is a bigger issue than the decision, as the throw looks like it’s meant for AJ Brown’s back shoulder. I still think this kind of decision is about more than Jalen Hurts, and it’s about the philosophy coming from the top down, that wants to create explosive plays and believes that explosive plays are the key to winning in this league.

If you don’t believe that this team is focused on explosive plays, just listen to Jason Kelce. I love Jason Kelce, but the lack of explosive plays was not the reason the Eagles lost this game.

I’ve seen some people blame Brian Johnson for calling ‘shot plays’ but all of these deep shots had multiple options that Hurts could have taken. The decision to throw to Quez Watkins here isn’t a terrible decision. The safety is a little late to turn and run, and you are taking a shot on your slot receiver beating their safety. This ball should never get picked off. The problem is that Quez Watkins isn’t good. Nick Sirianni can talk all he wants about Watkins’ speed, but it means nothing when you can’t track the ball or fight for it down the field. This was 1st and 10, when the Eagles were winning by 4, with 8 minutes left. You just don’t need to make this decision. If the Eagles score, everyone goes mad and we almost certainly win. I get it. Explosive plays matter. But in this game, you did not need to create explosive plays. It’s not just on Hurts. It’s on Hurts. It’s on Sirianni. It’s on everyone involved with the offense. It’s just incredibly frustrating.

I think Hurts just totally lost his rhythm at the end of the game and started panicking. In the first half, he was taking the short stuff and the Eagles were winning. He was playing hero ball by the end of the game. Once again, you can blame Brian Johnson all you want, but you can’t do much when your quarterback runs out of a clean pocket before any route even has the chance to come open. I think criticism of Hurts has been outrageously over the top this year, and I’ve seen more than enough the past 2 years that prove he is an outstanding quarterback, but this just wasn’t a good second half. And it cost the Eagles.

Sigh. You just don’t need to take this risk. I am hoping Sirianni is just protecting his quarterback when he said that the Eagles were trying to get pass interference here, but it’s just a dumb decision. The Seahawks spent so long playing two deep safeties, that you can almost see Hurts get excited when he sees rotation to single-high coverage. ‘Single-high let it fly’ is great when it works. But you don’t need to do it all the time. You don’t need to do in this situation. And you don’t need to do it when the Seahawks are deliberately playing their cornerbacks 15 yards off AJ Brown because they know exactly what the Eagles are going to do. Hurts tries to look off the deep safety, but the safety knows exactly what the Eagles want to do. Both the interceptions were fantastic plays, and neither of them were ‘bad’ reads, but they were bad decisions based on the situation. The Eagles and Jalen Hurts in particular, once again got over-aggressive rather than just taking what was there.

The Eagles’ offense has more than enough talent to turn it around and become a great offense again. The talent is there. But the issues are the same as they have been all season and unless they fix something quickly, this offense feels like it is destined to let us down once again.

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