Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Eagles-Bears: Film Review of Offense

Here’s the breakdown of the Eagles offense in the Bears game after re-watching the tape (note: the NFL doesn’t provide the all-22 in the preseason):

Eagles-Bears: Film Review of Offense

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Here’s the breakdown of the Eagles offense in the Bears game after re-watching the tape (note: the NFL doesn’t provide the all-22 in the preseason):

FIRST TEAM

Quarterback: Nick Foles didn’t play well, and the two interceptions were mostly his fault, but he had some excuses. The first pick looked like it might have been tipped by Bears end Lamarr Houston. On the second interception, either Ifeanyi Momah or Zach Ertz ran the wrong route. Foles had someone in his face, but he threw off his back foot and behind Momah. Either way, it was a bad throw. Earlier, he rolled to his right on a play fake and hit Momah for 12 yards, but it was low and his receiver had to go to the ground. Foles was pressured a few plays later, but threw short to Brent Celek and was nearly picked off. He stepped up in the pocket and hit Celek for 20 yards but the play was brought back by a hold. Another completion to Celek was called back by a penalty, but the throw was behind the tight end. Foles did connect with Jeremy Maclin when he fit a 15-yard throw through a narrow window.

Running backs: LeSean McCoy hit a hole for over ten yards but a hold brought it back. He had another carry for no gain and a third down screen for eight yards. Darren Sproles zipped for nine yards after he slipped a linebacker. His two other carries were short gainers.

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Wide receivers: It was positive step just to have Jeremy Maclin back on the field. He wasn’t involved much in the offense except for the 15-yard pass. He took a hit and bounced up. The 6-foot-7 Ifeanyi Momah went low for the 12-yarder. He made a nice grab on a wide three-yard toss by Foles. Brad Smith had a short catch brought back. Otherwise, he wasn’t active out of the slot.

Tight ends: Brent Celek dragged tacklers at the end of the 20-yard grab that was brought back. The 13-yarder he pulled in was behind him. He didn’t make any glaring errors as a blocker. Zach Ertz led the team with four catches for 60 yards. He started the game with Celek and caught a 2-yard curl after he was split wide. Ertz had most of his production fielding passes from Mark Sanchez. He caught a 34-yard pass in the middle of the zone and took on a tackler after the catch. He caught a short pass, turned up field and nearly scored after 18 yards.

Offensive line: The starters were shaky. Both of the Evan Mathis holds looks legitimate. On the first, Bears defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff had him beat. Jason Kelce was driven back by nose tackle Stephen Paea and Foles was forced to step up when he short-hopped Celek. He had a lead pull bock on Sproles’ nine-yard run.

Allen Barbre was up and down. He let a defender get inside him and Sproles was dropped after a 2-yard gain. It looked like Jason Peters failed to adjust to a twist when Houston possibly tipped Foles’ first INT. He pulled on a McCoy run but seemed to miss his man and the play picked up no yards. A holding penalty was declined. Todd Herremans pulled as well on Sproles’ nine-yard run. He appeared to hold up in pass pro.

SECOND/THIRD TEAM

Quarterback: Mark Sanchez had a promising first outing with the Eagles, completing 7 of 10 passes for 79 yards. The 34-yarder to Ertz was a beauty. He made a poor decision on first and goal at the one. On a run-pass package play, he tossed a screen to a covered James Casey when he could have walked into the end zone. There was a zone read play when the unblocked defender didn’t even account for Sanchez and dropped Matthew Tucker. Two of Sanchez’ downfield throws could have been caught – one over the middle to Josh Huff that was slightly high and another seam pass that Jordan Matthews couldn’t hang onto.

Matt Barkley’s numbers weren’t great – 7 of 16 for 73 yards and a touchdown and interception – but he was done in by a drops and the pick looked like it was Huff’s fault. Barkley threw to his back shoulder and Huff ran a fly. It may have been miscommunication. He drove the Eagles 94 yards on 12 plays and tossed a 24-yard strike over the middle to Casey. The ball had some zip. He followed that up with a ball to Will Muphy for 14 yards. On a later drive, he overthrew an open Casey and under threw Huff.

G.J. Kinne seemed skittish. He held the ball too long once and was sacked. He threw an ill-advised screen to Damaris Johnson. He did have a nice toss across his body to Quaron Pratt for 16 yards and hit Kadrone Boone to his left for 25 yards.

Running backs: Matthew Tucker had more good than bad. He plowed ahead for four-yard and one-yard TD runs. He turned the corner on a 24-yard burst. He caught and ran for 15 yards. He slipped and had an unforced fumble. Rookie David Fluellen had a few moments, once scooting for 15 yards up the middle on an inside zone, and scoring on a 14-yard screen pass.

Wide receivers: Arrelious Benn was targeted once but wasn’t on the same page as Sanchez. Jordan Matthews had a rough rookie debut. He dropped the Sanchez rainbow, had a Barkley toss go right through his hands after he ran a wheel route, and stone dropped a short pass from Barkley on a out route. There was another Barkley toss that was contested, but he could have pulled it in. He did run to the sticks and pick up a first down with a six-yard catch and had a good block on Tucker’s 24-yard bolt.

Josh Huff had the highlight of the game for the Eagles with a 104-yard kick return TD. He had great blocking in front and a huge hole. He stiff armed the kicker and it was off to the races. He wasn’t as productive on his three other returns. As a receiver, he caught a slant near the goal line and tried to reach the ball over, but he was ruled down. He couldn’t hang onto the high Sanchez throw. He’s had some issues in camp with catching balls away from his body. Damaris Johnson had a nifty move on short Kinne pass and picked up 15 yards.

Tight ends: James Casey took a big hit after his 24-yard grab. He fell when Barkley went to him over the middle. Trey Burton, Emil Igwenagu and Blake Annen weren’t featured.

Offensive line: Guard Matt Tobin had a strong game and solidified his spot on the roster. He had a lead block on Tucker’s 4-yard TD run. He sealed the right lane on Tucker’s 24-yard carry. Tobin had another key block on Tucker’s 1-yard TD. He blew up a defender on Fluellen’s 15-yard bolt. He had some issues when Fluellen was dropped after 1 yard, but came back and had a lead block on Fluellen 14-yard TD catch.

David Molk is the odds-on favorite to be the backup center after Julian Vandervelde’s back surgery. He may have eventually won the competition anyway. He played well, pulling and blocking on many of the same plays as Tobin. He did have trouble with a lineman when Tucker was stopped short.

Andrew Gardner had trouble picking up the linebacker that dropped Tucker. He aided/pushed Tucker into the end zone on the four-yard TD. He was called for a false start in the third. He has work to do. The Eagles didn’t run much to the right, so Lane Johnson and Dennis Kelly weren’t featured much, but they seemed to do fine in pass pro.

As for the third stringers, I focused only on tackle Kevin Graf. He held his own, but was slapped to the ground by an edge rusher on one play.

 

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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