Well, that sucked. Writing about a loss once again is not particularly fun. Let’s get into it.
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.
Eagles Offense All22 thread vs. Seahawks. 1) It all started so well. The Seahawks had 2 deep safeties and they were non-factors in the run game. The Eagles went back to basics and the shotgun run game was very effective. Hurts had a good day as a runner. pic.twitter.com/erswUBz4ss— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
2) I mean look at the deep safeties. They were basically daring the Eagles to run, and they actually did it! The Seahawks left Kelce uncovered a lot and he took advantage by constantly pulling and creating huge rushing lanes. The run game was effective overall. The Eagles… pic.twitter.com/SCsgKCwGgs— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
3) This is a really interesting call. It looks like an RPO with Kelce pulling. Hurts has the option to throw it to Swift or take it himself. I thought he moved really well and I'd guess that his knee isn't bothering him too much anymore. Hurts beat the Seahawks LBs to the edge… pic.twitter.com/vceidFrY0Q— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
4) I had issues with the Eagles spacing in this game. There were too many contested plays where the Eagles route distribution didn't threaten the Seahawks vertically or horizontally enough, which creates really small throwing windows. These plays are back-to-back 2nd/3rd and 10,… pic.twitter.com/TVrN4GAlea— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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!
5) If you are going to run a lot of RPOs, you simply HAVE to be able to take advantage of 3v2 on the outside and run the odd bubble screen. The Eagles absolutely suck at this. It's a massive coaching issue, and it's so frustrating because these plays should be easy 5-8 yard… pic.twitter.com/9e1AqSiA4M— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
I don’t want to pick on individuals too much... but this clear-out route by Quez Watkins is a joke. It’s bad.
Not to be that guy who picks on individuals but... What the hell is Quez Watkins doing here on this clear out route? I hope the coaches get on him for this. This is awful effort and it could have resulted in DeVonta Smith taking a huge hit. This stuff frustrates me a lot. pic.twitter.com/zZipaE8utL— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
6) I really like this call. It's a shame Quez Watkins runs a lazy clear out, but this play puts a lot of stress on the defense horizontally. Having Hurts, Brown & Smith all running the opposite way to Swift is tough on a defense. This is a great play, and a great throw and catch pic.twitter.com/hgoSfI6Mq3— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
7) The best takeaway from this game was that Hurts as a running threat was well and truly back. Look at how both Seahawks linebackers are frozen here because they are worried about Hurts keeping it. We haven't seen this much this year, but it happened every week last season! pic.twitter.com/YaUFCAi85r— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
8) The Eagles ran a lot of short curls early on and they worked. Once again, I don't like the spacing here. It's too congested. But, Hurts has to throw this to Goedert. It looks like he's reading the Hi-Lo and he needs to release it. I think Hurts gets greedy at times and almost… pic.twitter.com/64XYouZTzi— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
9) 3rd 8. The Eagles finally get single-high coverage, and Hurts let it fly to AJ Brown. You can moan about Smith being wide open, but if AJ Brown is the 1st read, Hurts is taking this shot. The biggest issue is the throw (maybe miscommunication?). This play call is fine (it's… pic.twitter.com/jCJtsNidP5— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
Jason Kelce: “We’ve got to find a way to create explosive plays, especially in the air.”— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) December 20, 2023
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.
10) Once again, this isn't a shot play. Hurts doesn't have to throw this. Quez Watkins and AJ Brown aren't sure of the call, so both set off slowly. If you ignore the fact it's Quez, this isn't the worst decision in the world. It's one-on-one with a slot WR against a safety who… pic.twitter.com/aEpVlYWgke— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
11) Hurts lost his rhythm by the end. He panics here as he's clearly expecting pressure. He bails before the routes even have time to develop, and he just doesn't need to. The protection is great. Just stand here and throw it quickly to Goedert or Smith. You don't need to bail. pic.twitter.com/kCsPHlSwuC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.
12) We gotta end here. It's brutal. I can almost imagine Hurts' eyes lighting up when he sees the Seahawks rotate into single-high as he knows he has a shot to AJ Brown. But once again, the Seahawks CB is playing really far off and Hurts releases the ball far too late. It's just… pic.twitter.com/Wwuof2hKaU— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 19, 2023
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.