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Identity Check: How the Eagles Offense Transformed in Week 4

27 September 2019 Uncategorized

The 1-2 Eagles traveled to Lambeau Field to take on the 3-0 Green Bay Packers in what many called a must win game. Mathematically, it’s only week 4 and it’s anyone’s game when it comes to the playoffs; however, dropped 3 straight conference games would be detrimental. After 2 disappointing and easily avoided losses to Atlanta and Detroit, the Birds were again underdogs and undermanned Thursday night. Unfortunately for Green Bay and the rest of the league, we play best when you doubt us.

All week, the fans and media preached, “feed Jordan Howard.” That is exactly what Doug and Duce did. I said all week that it was time to move away from trying to feature Carson and it was time to utilize the players around Carson and that will allow Carson to prosper. Right away the Eagles fed Howard and he took advantage of every snap. For the first time in a long time, we became a run first offense. Before the game, I researched and found some intriguing stats on Jordan Howard. When he was in Chicago, the Bears went 12-2 in games where he had 20+ carries. Additionally, he historically has dominated his old division rival Packers. Howard had 15 carries for 87 yard and 2 scores on the ground on a 5.8 yard per carry average. He tacked on 3 receptions for 38 yards and a walk-in touchdown. Howard singlehandedly account for 21 of the Eagles 34 points. Miles Sanders also rushed 11 times for an efficient 72 yards. The Eagles had 13 more rushing attempts than Green Bay (33 to 20) and averaged 1.4 more yards per carry (5.3 to 3.9).

Again, the Eagles run defense dominated the line of scrimmage. The leading rusher against the Eagles defense through 4 weeks is… Aaron Rodgers with a whopping 46 yards. I’ve heard a lot of, “well why would they run if they can just throw on us?!” They’re trying to run on us, we just aren’t giving anything up. We were our own enemies as we allowed the Packers to gain 8 first down via penalty. People were getting very frustrated with Rodgers carving our defensive backs up all night, but again, we were not getting any pressure and playing off coverage for 5+ seconds is a recipe for disaster. All week we read how Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett were both top 10 in the league in regard to pressure on the QB, but no one wants to hear the word pressure(s) when it comes to the pass rush. Derek Barnett delivered his signature speed edge rush that led to a strip sack and then a Jordan Howard TD right before the half.

To summarize the rest, the Eagles defense shut down Devante Adams for the most part in the second half; yes, he got hurt but that was late in the 4th. Most importantly, they got after Rodgers and caused him to throw the ball away often. We completely neutralized the Green Bay run game and made them one dimensional. Goal line stands by the defense completely shifted the momentum. This was the Eagles that we all know and love. They started off with their backs against the wall and kept fighting back. Prior to last night, Aaron Rodgers was 58-0-1 when given a 10-point lead in any home game in his ENTIRE career. Add an L to that stat line. Carson was efficient and on point for most of the game and made sure he allowed our guys to share the task of moving the ball against a vaunted Green Bay defense. The entire team contributed, and it was a beautiful thing. The return of Alshon Jeffery paid dividends as he not only found the endzone and helped move the chains, he spaced out the defense and delivered key blocks all night.

Now it’s on to week 5, where the Eagles will host the New York Jets. As of now, the entire Jets offense runs through Le’Veon Bell. He’ll have a tough time finding room against our defense and will mostly try to exploit our defense with receptions out of the backfield. It is crucial that we do not allow Robby Anderson to run behind our defensive backs. Luckily, the Jets will still be without Chris Herndon IV who is still serving a suspension. Overall, the Eagles need to continue to establish the run game and then run play action plays off that success. The Eagles just set the tone for the rest of the season with this signature win. However, we may have lost key slot corner Avante Maddox and we saw Sidney Jones trailing Packers receivers all night, so we’ll be hearing calls for Jalen Ramsey until next Sunday. It’s a heck of a feeling being back in the win column so let’s continue the trend and make sure we continue to utilize all our players. The NFL adapts and changes so fast. Some weeks Carson may be asked to throw 35+ attempts because of the situation, but the identity of this team should stem from the run game and allow that to open up the rest of the playbook. Regardless, we can throw or run on any team in the league and they’ll learn soon if they haven’t already. As Always, Fly Eagles Fly!

Additional notes from the game provided by the Philadelphia Eagles:

  • Doug Pederson has led the Eagles to a 13-5 record in primetime games since 2016 (including playoffs). 4-0 on Thursday Night Football
  • Since 2017, Philadelphia has registered an 11-7 record in regular-season away games, tying Kansas City for a league 6th best
  • First time defeating the Packers at Lambeau Field since 11/10/13

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