Coaches Film Spotlight: When it Rains it Pours
23 November 2016 Film Review
Each week if you watch closely enough you can see a game defining play that sets a tone one way or another. The Eagles this year have benefitted from such plays, whether that be a dropped Steeler touchdown on the opening drive or a blocked field goal attempt. This week on a rainy day in Seattle, those sort of plays went against the favor of the Eagles….
We open the game with Wentz finding Trey Burton winning one-on-one against DeShawn Shead. The Seahawks start the game in man coverage and Burton runs an excellent route to create separation from a faster defender. I credited Doug Pederson early for coming into this game knowing exactly how to attack Seattle, utilizing his best pass catchers in the tight ends.
Here we see the Eagles running the 3 level stretch play that they’ve been able to use to get Jordan Matthews open. The Seahawks cover Matthews well conceding the short throw to Ertz on third down, but the pressure breaks towards Wentz’s left, taking away that throwing lane. One thing I will commend Wentz on was keeping his eyes downfield, but those same eyes came into play later.
Great job by the Eagles O-line blocking down here. Jason Kelce holds his block extremely well and it allows for Allen Barbre to get into the second level freeing Matthews for an extra ten yards. Last week I broke down how Doug was using blocking schemes really well to open holes and this was another example, but credit is due on player execution. Ertz came across the formation to block Cliff Avril who is one of the better speed rushers in the game, Kelce holds his block, and Barbre gets up field on the linebacker, a recipe for success.
Once again another excellent job of scheming and execution. A little misdirection from Barner as the left side of the line blocks down and the right side pulls to the left. Right guard Brandon Brooks holds a nice block but the more impressive play comes from the right tackle Vaitai who comes all the way across the formation to block strong safety Kam Chancellor. We’ve seen improvement from Vaitai each week which is huge considering the lack of depth the Eagles have had on the o-line in recent years.
This one is unfortunate. Bobby Wagner comes on the blitz and you can see Nelson Agholor open in the middle of the field. I can’t say I’m 100% confident Agholor catches this due to his self-admitted mental struggles, but if Wentz is able to get a split extra second there’s a good chance he can loft a ball for Agholor who has a decent amount of separation and some room to run.
Here we see the defensive ends fly off the edge and Wentz exhibits excellent pocket awareness by stepping up and avoiding the rush. Brent Celek gets physical with Richard Sherman and breaks a nice route and gets around seven yards after contact. We haven’t seen Celek make a lot of plays in recent years as he’s primarily used as a blocker, but he has knack for making the most of his opportunities.
This is the same route that Celek ran earlier in the game except we see it from Ertz. With Richard Sherman playing off coverage at the bottom of your screen, the middle receiver runs a route up the seam with the outside receiver staying out in the flat drawing Earl Thomas in that direction. From there it’s up to Ertz to run a crisp route which he does. Bobby Wagner slips and Ertz picks up around eight yards after the catch.
Ah, the play of the game, or would have been play of the game had Nelson Agholor lined up correctly. The reverse screen is one play the Pederson has used as a trump card, but typically to the HB. Seattle probably has the quickest pass rush the Eagles have faced and they almost get to Wentz, but what a beautiful play design by Pederson. There is nobody on that side of the field as the trips and HB in motion pull most of Seattle’s defense to the opposite side. I often make snide remarks about Ertz’s YAC totals, but he made some plays with the ball in his hands today, it’s just unfortunate that a penalty that had nothing to do with the play negated it. Agholor’s mistakes have cost the team big time, but one thing that you can’t see is the Eagles coaching staff urging Agholor to set himself correctly. I’m lead to wonder why they didn’t call a timeout rather than eat they yards and show Seattle the play?
This play is similar to what Seattle ran to get Tyler Lockett open for a 30-yard gain. The Eagles send a receiver deep at the top of the screen and he takes the CB and FS with him. Nelson Agholor runs a really nice route where he breaks across and completely loses Richard Sherman only to drop the wide open pass. Ripping Agholor is like beating a dead horse. Plays like this showcase his talents but also exemplify his struggles. Not many receivers can get that kind of separation on one of the best CBs in the game, but he was able to and it wasn’t even close. If he could get his mind right and make it past the mental block that’s holding him back, then he would be awesome! Until he can get to that point he needs to have his snaps reduced. He is hurting the team.
This was a very, very bad mistake on Wentz’s part. He stared down his receiver the entire time and didn’t attempt to look off Chancellor who read Wentz’s eyes as he never broke contact with that receiver. Playing against arguably the best at the Strong Safety position, youre not going to get away with that. I understand the need to push the ball down the field and get points, but the correct read was Ertz who was crossing the field.
Oooof, another bad one. I’ll give credit to Seattle for taking every option away. The right side of the field vacant though after the LB drops into coverage. Wentz’s best bet was to tuck this one and run out to his right or roll out of the tackle box and throw it away rather than force it downfield, but when you’re backed up against your own end zone your top priority is to not take a sack or lose yardage. There’s a reason that teams typically don’t throw down the middle of the field on this defense.
Welp, I feel like this play is pretty self-explanatory. CJ Prosise starts right and cuts left faking the entire defense out. Credit to Doug Baldwin for laying a really nice block opening up a one-on-one situation against Jalen Mills who takes a terrible angle on Prosise. Somebody else who takes blame on this play is Rodney McLeod who is playing deep. Im not sure if he didn’t see Prosise cutting back behind the line, but he has to come back to his left against his body. As a result of a poor angle he’s never able to catch Prosise.
One thing that has been harped on is the Eagles defense makes adjustments well. One in particular is Kendricks on the left side. He isn’t really involved in the play but he is patient and plays the backside well on this to eliminate any possibility of another Prosise cutback. Actually making a very nice play here is Marcus Smith who helps string Prosise along after shedding two blocks. Smith was a guy who was questionable to make the 53 man roster coming into the regular season, and while he hasn’t been a world beater or consistent threat he has made some nice plays this season.
Rodney McLeod has been brilliant for the Eagles all season long, so I would venture to say that this was his worst game. The Seahawks linemen and receivers block down to the right leaving McLeod as the backside defender. He gets sucked inside and as a result he doesn’t get a good angle to make a play on HB Thomas Rawls near the line of scrimmage. 18 yards later the Seahawks are in Eagles territory.
Officiating didn’t lose the Eagles this game, but it didn’t help. Russell Wilson escapes the pocket after Bennie Logan rushes inside, but if you look closely you’ll notice Logan being held and if you look even closer you notice Cox being held as well. I don’t think Logan catches Wilson but with a 300 lb man bearing down on your right side it makes this play a lot harder to make. Jaylen Watkins had decent coverage on this play but couldn’t hold after Wilson scrambled. A terrible tackle attempt from Watkins spins Jimmy Graham inside where McLeod appears to believe the pass was incomplete. The result was an easy touchdown for Graham.
The Eagles get burnt again here on an excellent play call against man coverage. The Eagles play a single high safety in the middle of the field and the Seahawk receiver at the bottom of the screen takes his defender and the safety deep clearing Tyler Lockett on the deep crossing route. Lockett who is an excellent returner couples that with world class speed, making him a tough matchup in that situation.
Great rush here by Vinny Curry and effort from Marcus Smith! Curry blows through the line forcing Wilson off his spot and eventually chasing him down to split a sack with Smith who was knocked to the ground but showed nice hustle to get back up and help make the ankle tackle on the elusive QB.
Here Schwartz brings Jenkins on the blitz, but once again the Seahawks have Russell Wilson at QB. Wilson is able to evade the blitz, step up which draws in Jordan Hicks and find Doug Baldwin wide open across the middle of the field.
And the play that essentially ended the game. Seahawks fake a reverse and the defense falls for it hook, line, and sinker. The only chance to stop the play is if Nigel Bradham plays that backside perfectly, but he follows the reverse and gets sucked inside give Wilson just enough room to make the catch and run it in for a TD.
Coming into this game, a large amount of the fan base was hoping for a win but had accepted that this might be a loss. The game overall was discouraging as the Eagles were doomed by mistakes they could have prevented. There are some positives I took away from this, and those are that the Eagles can move the ball against a team like this despite the lack of efficiency from the skill positions and the chemistry between Ertz and Wentz is growing. The coaching staff has made a conscious effort to get Ertz involved the last three weeks and it has helped Wentz despite his statistical struggles.
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