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Eagles Film Analysis: All-22 offense takeaways from the Buccaneers game

On Jalen Hurts, Brian Johnson and more.

Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

You know the drill by now ... the Eagles win and I break it down. Let’s go.


The Eagles zone running game was as dominant in this game as it was last week. The trio of Landon Dickerson - Jason Kelce - Cam Jurgens was ridiculously good. Honestly, I loved Jurgens pre-season and pre-draft film, but I can’t believe he is playing this well. I said inside zone on the tweet, but after rewatching a lot of the clips the Eagles ran a lot more outside zone in this game, which was a nice change up to last week. The Eagles’ zone running game was so dominant, that they basically just skipped the double teams at the point of attack. Normally, you’d see Kelce double-team and then work his way up to the second level. But in this game, he seemed to just get straight to the second level. The Buccaneers had no answers.

The Eagles’ running game definitely had more variety than it did last week. This was a beauty. Just watch the Bucs linebackers. The Eagles ran a lot of QB draws last year but we didn’t see as many HB draw’s like this one. It just adds another dimension to the Eagles’ running game, which is already looking fantastic this year.

The Eagles had a number of different answers to pressure which we will get to later, but I loved this call to run it on 3rd and 6. If the Bucs want to send an overload blitz on 3rd and medium, I was happy to see Brian Johnson take advantage of it and just keep it simple. I don’t think I saw another obvious overload blitz all game. Sometimes, football is a simple game with simple answers.

There’s no real scheme take to this play, I just had to post it because of DeVonta Smith’s route on this one. The nuances are just beautiful. He sets this up so well. It’s all so subtle but so effective. Just look at how he slightly leans into the cornerback, then away from the corner while changing tempo to make it look like he is going to fly downfield. Then when he closes the gap to around a yard, he quickly breaks back towards the football and makes the catch. Love it.

Let’s talk Jalen Hurts, shall we? I thought he had a good game. A 7 out of 10. I do not think he started well, and he was shaky in the pocket. But one of the great things about Hurts is his inability to let a bad start ruin his whole game. After bailing from the pocket too early a few times, he really did calm down and sit in the pocket later on. This is one he would want back, without a doubt.

Let’s go back to the blitz. I was SO happy to finally see some answers. I can’t explain how long I have been waiting for adjustments to the blitz. The Eagles had a number of different ways to counter the blitz, but this was the most common. The Eagles spread the defense out and looked to hit Dallas Goedert over the middle quickly. They didn’t mind allowing free rushers because the plan was clearly to get the ball out extremely quickly and negate the Bucs’ blitz. It worked well all game! I cannot explain how happy this has made me. Please, just keep it up now.

It does not get much better than this. This is an absolute dime. the subtle pocket management to keep the play alive is brilliant. The ability to stand in there, take the hit, and get the ball out is also great. But, the ball placement is as good as it gets. This is an elite throw. The receiver isn’t even expecting it, Hurts just puts it in the only place that the receiver can get it. This has to be one of Hurts’ best throws ever, doesn’t it?

I have a lot to say about this play. Firstly, I know it was an interception, but I LOVE it. One of the things I wanted the Eagles to add to the offense was choice routes to the running back. When you watch the 49ers, you can’t help but see this consistently with CMC. The Eagles didn’t do it at all last year, and the reason why I love it is because it’s so effective against pressure when you are certain to get the running back one-on-one with a defender (normally a linebacker). Now, this may just be a standard Texas route and not a choice route, but I think it is a choice route and I’ll explain why. So, a number of things could have happened here, let’s look at the options...

1) Hurts just throws a terrible throw on an angle route. I think this is unlikely, because after the game both Hurts and Sirianni said this is a miscommunication.

2) This is a simple hitch route and Swift runs the wrong route. I doubt this happens.

3) This is an option route, and there is a miscommunication. Because there is so much room inside, Swift may think that he has space inside so cuts inside. However, if this route is based on leverage, then as the linebacker is inside of Swift, he should just turn around and catch the short hitch. Personally, I think this is what happened, but I wasn’t in the room so I don’t know!

Either way, I love this play against pressure and I hope we see it again.

Just watch Jurgens and Dickerson... my word. Watching Kelce prepare to double-team and then realize he just doesn’t need to is hilarious.

The Eagles also ran some counter as we saw here. This was a really diverse run game, and the Eagles haven’t even gotten to the QB run game yet (more on that later). I haven’t given them any credit yet, so I need to shout out Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll. They are such good blockers for tight ends. It makes the Eagles 12 personnel package so effective.

I think Hurts is late to this throw, but I don’t think it’s a terrible throw or decision. It’s probably a bit overaggressive, but even if the ball is picked they likely take over at their own one or two-yard line. I will never really criticize quarterbacks for being too aggressive. I think DeVonta Smith could actually play this a lot better and should prevent the interception. However, you have to say fair play to the cornerback, because this is a ridiculous interception.

Here’s that throw to Goedert against the blitz again, this time from empty. Simple, but so effective. Why has it taken so long for answers to the blitz to appear? This is a clear area of improvement from Brian Johnson this week, and it’s something the coaching staff seemed to ignore last year (or just rely on Hurts to ‘make a play’).

It wasn’t just the short throws to Goedert or the throw to Swift against the blitz. I also saw this look twice, with a quads formation and A.J. Brown lined up as the lone receiver. Against pressure, this look just guarantees you will get a one-on-one matchup with AJ Brown against a cornerback, with a lot of space to work due to stacking the other side of the formation. I love this look against pressure, and it worked twice in this game.

Quick Notes

  • The Eagles QB run game was essentially unstoppable last year, and we haven’t really seen it this year. I’ve seen very little QB draw, QB Counter-Bash, etc. I would assume the Eagles are saving this for the big games and the playoffs. If so, I would be scared if I was an opposing defensive coordinator. Because when the Eagles start using the QB run game, this running game is going to go up to another level. If that’s even possible!
  • This was the best the offense has looked all season, and it felt like Brian Johnson got into a nice rhythm.
  • Jalen Hurts clearly hasn’t been at his best, but I wouldn’t panic. He looked more comfortable this week, and the lack of QB run game does take away a lot of his easy yardage. I think it’s clear the Eagles are trying to limit the number of hits he takes early in the season.
  • D’Andre Swift is playing out of his mind right now. The running back by committee approach might be dead. Swift is going to get a lot of touches this year.
  • The Eagles still have the best Kelce/Swift duo in the league... (I’m sorry, I had to).

I thought this was a step forward for the offense and we saw some progress from both Brian Johnson and Jalen Hurts. I’m hoping the Eagles can build on this and continue to find a rhythm next week. As always, all feedback and comments are welcome!

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