As we continue to tell the story of Chip Kelly's 2013 Philadelphia Eagles offense (see parts 1, 2, and 3) we'll focus now on the packaged plays which have been a really interesting element of Chip Kelly's offense to study. There are really a couple of types of packaged plays to discuss. Neither are brand new concepts to the NFL, but one has been used heavily for years by the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning; the other not as much.
The first one is a packaged play which really allows for a pre-snap read. This is when the defense shows you something you like before the snap. The QB makes a decision pre-snap and then makes the play. You see this quite often with Peyton Manning when he steps up to the line reads the defense, let's the play clock run down, barks and waves, and then snaps the ball. Some of that illusions, sometimes it's a packaged play where the play call has numerous options and Peyton decides on one pre-snap.
For Chip Kelly, he asks his QBs to simply count defenders pre-snap. If you have an obvious match-up advantage you take it. This means, if there are only 5 in the box, you run. On the other hand, 7-8 in the box...take a shot.
I want to start by talking a little about the bubble screen because its a play we love to run packaged plays out of. When talking about the numbers game, sometimes its as simple as this. Raiders have 7 in the box, leaving the Eagles with a 3-2 matchup on the bottom of the screen. Pre-snap, the decision is easy for Foles. He's going outside to the bottom of the screen:
Cooper gets 2 guys in front blocking and goes for a big gain:
Sometimes it's the flip side and you spread them out, they cover all your receivers, you leave 5 in the box and Chip will smash you.
Moving along, what comes next is the post-snap reads. We like to run a lot of these packaged plays with a read-option component built in. This series of plays will highlight perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of the read-option. The read-option is not an offense, it's not really even a play. It's a component of a play. And sometimes Chip will layer it into a play call to give the QB more options and to confuse the defense. Furthermore, as you will see, by using these components and concepts together, Chip can run the read-option without a super mobile QB (Foles).
Let's start here. What happens if the defense takes away that bubble screen option but also don't lighten the box too much? Well with a mobile QB like Vick, you do this. Redskins match-up 3-on-3 on the top of the screen. The bottom DB is going to aggressively work up field.
and look at the open space opened for Vick to run. This really highlights the concept of "stretching the field horizontally" This is possible because we run 3 WRs on the top on a stretch bubble play that forces the Redskins to defend the sideline. On the other side, Orakpo bites hard on the run fake to McCoy. If they defend both sides of the field, the middle is open:
And so what happens if you don't have a mobile QB like Vick, and the defense gives you a hybrid look like this. They have 3-on-3 on the bubble on the bottom of the screen, but they also have a "roamer" highlighted as #2 in the shot below. He might step into the box to defend the run, or he might drop out to overload the bubble screen.
And watch how Foles basically paralyzes this defender. He literally doesn't move. So Foles hands off:
And check out the huge hole and empty field in front of him. That red arrow is the "read" defender. He isn't even on the screen:
Finally, let's take a look at the evolution of a packaged play. London Fletcher has to be having nightmares about the Chip Kelly offense. Perhaps the most highlighted play of the Chip Kelly offense this year has been this packaged play we ran against the Redskins in week 1. This is a packaged play with an outside zone read-option and a built-in pop pass to the Tight End Brent Celek. On this play, Vick is going to be reading London Fletcher. If Fletcher reacts to the run fake of McCoy, Celek should peel open:
and that's what happens. Celek comes open for a big gainer:
But what happens if London Fletcher chooses the other option? Well, this. Here you can see, this is basically a triple option for Vick. He is reading London Fletcher. Based on Fletcher's reaction he can go to the pop pass (orange line), he can hand off to McCoy (blue line), or he can keep (purple line).
This time Fletcher is not fooled, he chooses to cover up Celek. So Vick hands off and check out the hole:
Finally, last weekend we had the re-match against the Redskins. Think we'd see this play again? Yes. And Poor London Fletcher. Foles reads Fletcher (yellow line). Foles has a couple of options. He can hand off to McCoy or he has the built-in pop pass to Celek (blue). But watch the design of this one. This time we've added Ertz running a shallow cross behind Fletcher.
Fletcher reacts to the pop pass option. But meanwhile, Ertz is sneaking behind him.
and is wide open for a big gain:
I know one guy who is happy not to be seeing the Eagles again this year.