Against Their Offense
Run Game: Out of this formation:
the Eagles like to pull their guards and tackles to the tight end side. Leaving a hapless defensive back (probably Nacho in our case) left alone to sacrifice himself against an oncoming 300 pound lineman.
They will also pull their lineman out of 2 tight end sets (2nd TE is in the slot):
Which means we would be in a 3-4 and have the above edge defenders. The tight end will down block on our 5 technique, with big uglies pulling outside to meet our linebackers. Because a 3-4 protects us from having our defensive backs take on lineman, some teams prefer to keep us in Nickel defense. The Giants gashed us for a ton of yards running against our Nickel, I’d expect Philly to try and mimic that.
Their heaviest formations featured a 6th Offensive Lineman, Matt Tobin (64) who checks in at 6-6 290. He’s essentially an over sized tight end they put out there to create blocking mismatches. He might be able to catch Smith playing high at times but otherwise he doesn’t look like a serious threat. Murphy would work that dude.
Keeping with the theme of stretching defenses horizontally, Philly will show end-arounds and jet sweep motions to suck up the edge defender:
Which means a lineman or inside linebacker will be setting the backside edge, an extra read that could lead to gap coverage being a little shaky.
Play Action: Once the Eagles get a defense moving side to side they will start giving Carson Wentz easy reads off of Play Action:
Remember that play action the Giants and Browns used against us where they pull the guard so it looks like a run and then they ‘nope’ us:
Philly has a similar package they used against the Steelers:
and the Lions:
Instead of hitting it behind the linebackers, they attack the perimeter with slot maven Josh Huff or 6’5 225 pound WR Dorial Green-Beckham, which good luck tackling that guy.
Recap: The Eagles like to pull their lineman outside to test the gap reads of inside linebackers and create one on one blocks against defensive backs. Once they have a defense moving horizontally to stop the run, they will give Wentz clean looks off of play action.
Bad News: Wentz only has 1 interception because he gets a lot of clean looks. Philly ranks 8th in offensive DVOA.
Good News: The Eagles are averaging 4.1 yards per carry, which ranks a mediocre 15th. Their right tackle got suspended, Trent Murphy vs new guy = lol.
Against Their Defense
Against 11 personnel (1RB, 1TE) the Eagles will line up in a Nickel:
and versus heavier formations they will go 4-3:
Since Jordan Reed is out we might line up in lighter formations with Crowder in the slot. If we want to go with 3 tight ends, we could insert backup Tackle Nsekhe in Davis’ role as the blocking tight end. That would free up Davis to play Jordan Reed’s role as the over-sized wide receiver.
Run Game: When the Steelers and Lions tried to run it between the tackles with zone and gap schemes they got shut down:
Outside runs and runs that cut to the outside had more success:
The most apparent way to exploit this would be with a heavy dose of outside zone and play action bootlegs, which we already dial up on the regular.
Passing: Our pass pro which has been phenomenal to date, will face a unit ranked 5th in sacks led by Brandon Graham–who Pro Football Focus loves–and Fletcher Cox.
As aggressive as they are in the front 7, their back end has been susceptible to the big play. On the year they have given up 4 plays of 40 yards or more. 2 were RGIII jump balls and 2 were versus rookie corner Jalen Mills (31)–without any kind of play action. The most obvious path to a big play is through him.
Bad News: Eagles are 2nd in defensive DVOA. Reed is out. Yards inside will be tough to come by.
Good News: They are susceptible to outside runs–that front four is aggressive and their momentum can be used against them. Jalen Mills can be beaten deep.
Other Things: Line: Eagles -2.5, O/U: 45. Hogs Haven interviews an Eagles blog.