Skins DEFENSE vs The Eagles (II)


Manusky acted like a mad scientist with some of our line ups, this was 3rd and 3:

  • Galette is playing inside linebacker.
  • McGee has outside contain; something he has struggled with all year
  • Zach Brown is lined up as a defensive back over Ertz–not good:

  • Galette covers the same gap as Ioannidis.
  • McGee gives up contain
  • Zach Brown is playing cornerback.

Does Galette know inside linebacker reads?  Can McGee keep up with Wentz on contain?  Why the hell is Zach Brown playing cornerback?

Later on a 3rd and 6 we come back with Galette at inside linebacker again:

As soon as that gap opened up between Kerrigan and Foster, a true inside linebacker would have fired through.  But instead you have a guy shuffling towards the sideline unsure of how to attack the running back and giving up a first down.  Rather than forcing a punt and getting the ball back down one touchdown, they go on to score to make it 31-17.

What Happened

Quarterback scrambles and deep shots.

On the first play of this drive Dunbar (circled) had trouble fighting through traffic and covering his crossing route:

So on the next play DJ makes a call for Dunbar to pass off his crosser to Nicholson.  Problem is, Dunbar doesn’t realize this means he has to now carry anything deep that Nicholson would’ve had:

That left Mason Foster one on one with Ertz which resulted in a 46 yard play.  There are a lot of ways to look at this play, but I’m seeing it as:

  1. A minus on Dunbar for not picking up the deep route that Nicholson left for him
  2. A bad adjustment.  I mean just let Dunbar fight through traffic and cover that route.  It was a 2 minute drill and that shallow crossing route wasn’t going to kill us.


The Show


Defensive Line
Player + Total
McGee 1.5 2 -0.5
McClain 1 0.5 0.5
Lanier 0.5 -2 -1.5: minus 2 for losing a pass rush lane
Hood 5 4 1
Ioannidis 7 1.5 5.5: Did almost everything right
Total     5
Pressure +10 -12 -2: losing pass rush lanes and RPOs slowed us down
+ plays are good.  
- plays are bad.  

If it's a ho-hum play, like a 3 yard gain on first down, then usually nobody will do worse or better than -1 or +1.  But give up a 64 yard touchdown (-4) or get a TFL/Sack (+2) and I go higher in either direction.

Pressure:  Did the quarterback comfortably hold onto the ball for longer than 3 seconds: -1.  Did the QB feel pressure in 3 seconds or less? +1


Those were a couple plays where Ziggy got blown off the line.  He would occasionally stalemate a block, but he never fought through doubles like Ioannidis:

(FWIW: In the “Formations” section you may have noticed our line looked a little different:  After our nose kept getting blown off the line by double teams, we adjusted him to a 0 technique–on top of the center–to make it harder for the guards to reach and double team him.)

A lot of minus grades came from giving up pass rush lanes which consistently allowed Wentz to convert third downs into first downs.  Lanier, McGee, and Hood were all guilty of that.

Player + Total
Smith 7 1 6
Kerrigan 9.5 1 8.5: +2 for the sack and penetrated a couple of runs
Foster 6 1 5: a PFF favorite
Brown 8 8 0: -4 on the touchdown coverage
Galette 0.5 6 -5.5: oof.  Not all his fault (disscused above)
Anderson 0 2 -2
Total     12: Kerrigan with a monster game

You already know about the quarterback sacks and pressures Ryan Kerrigan brings to the table, but he also did things away from the ball like occupy the Right Tackle’s attention to allow for Foster to come in untouched:

Those contributions are a part of what helped Foster earn this mention from PFF:

Foster also had a solid outing against the run.  On this sweep he was able to avoid a damn near hug from the Left Tackle and fight through traffic across the entire field:

We left the Tackle unblocked and asked Foster to shake him.  From both the Nickel and the 3-4 we ask Foster to get to the ball without having defensive lineman cover blocks for him.  Blocked lineman is a luxury we usually give to the “Mo”/”Will” linebacker (Zach Brown.)  Foster, meanwhile, has to find ways to shed 300 pounders on the regular.


Defensive Backs
Player + Total
Dunbar 4.5 6 -1.5
Fuller 2 0 2
Breeland 4 2 2
DJ 1.5 -10 -8.5: toasted
Nicholson 1 0 1
Holsey 0 4 -4
Total     -9
Coverage 13 24 -11

Do we really want to revisit this?

Predictions From Last Week

  • McClain or Francis wins the Jonathan Allen job in our Nickel front
    • I have no idea why I picked Francis.
      • Lanier looked good on his interior pass rush, except for one pancake.
      • Hood got dominated but was given starter snaps–I’m not understanding that.
      • McClain looked ok.
      • McGee is a good nose/3Tech in goal line situations, but he looks a little slow for the nickel package.
    • I think we get a definitive answer after the Dallas game.
  • Nicholson gives up one big play
    • They might have targeted him, but he ended up covering a different guy underneath.
  • Wentz eludes 3 sacks.  Gruden loses his mind, anoints him the GOAT.

What Does It Mean For Dallas?

  • Don’t put Zach Brown at corner
  • Don’t put Galette at inside linebacker
  • For the love of God, don’t put McGee as the outside contain on a pass rush.  Always flank him with an outside linebacker.
  • In the Nickel:  I’d expect McClain and Lanier to eat snaps away from Hood as the coaches try to figure out who replaces Allen.

Dallas is a heavy formation A-gap run team.  I don’t think they will exploit us for 40 yard shots like Philly did.  Their mismatches are more the Cole Beasley/Jason Witten type that exploit zone coverage for 10-15 yards a catch; the consequences for getting beat in coverage aren’t as severe.

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