Note, this is not a repeat of the last post. However, the Eagles 1st unit completely dismantled the Packers defense on Saturday with the usual familiar concepts.
More inside zone execution:
Once again, the Eagles ran the ball well, and once again it was nice execution up front. Particularly from Allen Barbre. Kelce will have a nice combo/peel block and Barbre drives his man completely out of the play. Peters and Celek do their thing and create a nice hole for Murray:
Here's another terrific job by Barbre as he completely manhandles his man:
It's also worth noting the impact Bradford's apparent "read" has on Matthews. Watch him stay to the outside to honor Bradford on the keeper which makes it easier for Peters to get in position and open the hole:
The other thing you like to see his the way Murray finished after getting hit by Clinton-Dix in the hole:
The Green Bay announcer praised Dix for the play, but Demarco Murray put his head down and got another 3-4 yards after contact:
The Snag Concept:
We covered the snag concept in the last post. However Saturday night gave us a great display on all 3 options on the play. First play of the game, Bradford went to Murray in the flat route:
In the red zone, he went to Austin on the snag route. Here the Packers play 2 deep safeties. The corner route from Burton keeps the safety highlighted in red backed off and Austin sits in a soft spot on the snag:
And twice he hit Jordan Matthews on the corner route. On the first one, notice Clinton-Dix playing up in the box. The pre-snap read for this is telling Bradford that he's likely to get one-on-one on the post corner with a lot of field to work with. That is exactly where Sam goes:
One more for good measure:
Bradford mentioned that the Packers played a lot of man coverage on Saturday night. The eagles ran a ton of shallow crossing routes and mesh concepts. They just dressed them up a little differently with different personnel packages. We know the Eagles like to combined the wheel route with the mesh concept. This is what they ran in the red zone on the first Trey Burton TD. The new wrinkle was orbit motion from Agholor from the top of the screen. Note the Packers are in man coverage as Agholor's defender follows him. That along with Riley Cooper's crossing pattern all but ensures Ryan Matthews is going to get a one-on-one with a LB:
After the snap, you are seeing that Bradford is getting the match-up he wants and that #58 also has to navigate through some traffic to get there. Unfortunately, the Packers have a free blitzer up the middle:
One of the issues with the mesh concept in the red zone is that it is a longer developing play. The protection must be good. On this play the Packer blitzer comes through unblocked. Same does a terrific job of remaining poised and calm in the pocket and letting the play develop. Just in time for Burton to cross Cooper's face wide open:
Great throw. TD.
Here the Eagles use the same concept on a crossing route to Jordan Matthews. The one difference is that this is out of an empty set. Instead of the wheel route the RB is split out wide and will run a fly pattern to clear out the top of the field:
As is customary, Matthews and Agholor execute a low-five at the mesh:
You can see Hyde is already in poor position and will have to navigate through traffic:
Matthews pops wide open for an easy gain:
Finally a bit of a tendency breaker that I believe we first saw against the Saints in the 2014 Wild Card game. It looks like the same old concept, right?
But watch closely, at the mesh instead of crossing over, Agholor and Austin both reverse field and go in the opposite directions:
Another easy gain:
The Screen Game:
One interesting observation in the screen game. As Chip Kelly himself explained before the Eagles like to have 2 offensive lineman create a sidewalk downfield on a screen play. They will often also assign an ambush player to take out the backside trailer from catching the back from behind. Todd Herremans plays this role in an older clip:
Check out this screen play from Saturday night. Gardner, Kelce and Barbre will all release off the line and get downfield:
As they release you can see Gardner glance back towards the backfield. I suspect this is where he needs to make a decision. Should he backtrack as the ambush, or release downfield. The Packers DL has bought hard on the pass rush:
Gardner chooses to release downfield with Kelce and Barbre. Barbre will need to take out safety Clinton-Dix:
It's not his best effort and Dix does a good job of staying on his feet. But watch Julius Peppers on the backside pursuit. This is the dangerous guy:
He hits Murray from behind. It's dangerous because it's on plays like this you see a lot of fumbles. Murray does a nice job securing the ball.
Sproles on Wheels:
I finally wanted to highlight some beautiful play design on the first TD to Sproles. He'll run the wheel route and the Eagles are looking for a one-on-one LB matchup. They are able to get it based on the other routes they run on the bottom of the screen. Celek will run a seam route (that he later scores on) that grabs the deep safeties attention. Miles Austin will also run to the middle of the field and draw the attention of the other safety:
As a result, Bradford gets the matchup he is looking for. The LB doesn't even get his head around as he is cleanly beat and Bradford lays out a beautiful ball:
If the preseason is any indication, Darren Sproles is going to play a huge role in the passing game this year.