Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Rough 1st drive for Eagles' defense

The Eagles' defense looked outmanned during the Colts' 12-play, 81-yard drive to start Thursday night's preseason game. I went back and took a look at each play to identify exactly what happened. Here's a rundown: Play 1: Peyton Manning to Jacob Tamme for 13 yards Tamme, a tight end, lined up in the slot to the near side with nobody close to him. Manning obviously saw this and made the quick throw. Tamme actually made the catch behind the line of scrimmage before running for 13 yards. Ellis Hobbs, who was on Reggie Wayne out wide, didn't give a very good effort once the pass was completed. The linebackers pursued, but couldn't get to Tamme in time, and Quintin Demps ended up making the tackle down field. Play 2: Joseph Addai carries for 5 yards The tackles did a good job of plugging Addai's initial hole, but he cut back and picked up a nice chunk of yardage on first down before Juqua Parker caught up with him. Play 3: Addai carries for 5 yards The old stretch play we saw with Edgerrin James for so many years. Joe Mays looked like he had a chance to make a tackle short of the first-down marker, but wasn't able to wrap Addai up. Big hole created between Mike Patterson and Parker. First down Colts. Play 4: Manning to Dallas Clark for 20 yards The Colts set up the Eagles nicely with two straight running plays before connecting on a big play down the middle of the field. Manning's play action got all three linebackers to bite. Chris Gocong took just a step forward before realizing it was a fake, but that was all the time Clark needed. Gocong recovered to make the tackle, but not before Clark had picked up 20 yards. Play 5: Manning to Anthony Gonzalez for no gain Manning set up in shotgun and faked another handoff before throwing the wide receiver screen to Gonzalez on the far side. Demps was not fooled though and rushed up to the line of scrimmage to make a nice tackle for no gain. From the Colts' perspective, it looked like the play was designed to take Demps away with Tamme, who was lined up in the slot next to Gonzalez, but Demps didn't bite. Keep in mind that Indy was running no-huddle this whole time so the Eagles had their base defense on the field throughout. Play 6: Manning to Clark for a gain of 6 The Eagles came with the blitz. It's Akeem Jordan and Demps. Jordan gets close, but Manning finds Clark in the exact area where the blitz came from. He made the catch at the line of scrimmage and picked up 6 yards before Hobbs brought him down. Play 7: Manning to Wayne for 13 yards Clark went out of bounds on the previous play so the Eagles were able to rotate guys in on third-and-four. Check out the defensive line from left to right: Chris Clemons, Parker, Victor Abiamiri and Jason Babin. Parker and Babin started the game at the end spots. Sean McDermott moved Parker inside and subbed the other two spots, leaving Babin at right defensive end. Mays came with the blitz up the middle, but the Eagles generated no rush. Hobbs was left to deal with Wayne, who ran a comeback route on the near side, making the catch at the first-down marker before picking up about 8 yards and running out of bounds. At this point, Manning had completed all five of his pass attempts.

Rough 1st drive for Eagles' defense

The Eagles' defense looked outmanned during the Colts' 12-play, 81-yard drive to start Thursday night's preseason game.

I went back and took a look at each play to identify exactly what happened. Here's a rundown:

Play 1: Peyton Manning to Jacob Tamme for 13 yards


Tamme, a tight end, lined up in the slot to the near side with nobody close to him. Manning obviously saw this and made the quick throw. Tamme actually made the catch behind the line of scrimmage before running for 13 yards. Ellis Hobbs, who was on Reggie Wayne out wide, didn't give a very good effort once the pass was completed. The linebackers pursued, but couldn't get to Tamme in time, and Quintin Demps ended up making the tackle down field.

Play 2: Joseph Addai carries for 5 yards

The tackles did a good job of plugging Addai's initial hole, but he cut back and picked up a nice chunk of yardage on first down before Juqua Parker caught up with him.

Play 3: Addai carries for 5 yards

The old stretch play we saw with Edgerrin James for so many years. Joe Mays looked like he had a chance to make a tackle short of the first-down marker, but wasn't able to wrap Addai up. Big hole created between Mike Patterson and Parker. First down Colts.

Play 4: Manning to Dallas Clark for 20 yards

The Colts set up the Eagles nicely with two straight running plays before connecting on a big play down the middle of the field. Manning's play action got all three linebackers to bite. Chris Gocong took just a step forward before realizing it was a fake, but that was all the time Clark needed. Gocong recovered to make the tackle, but not before Clark had picked up 20 yards.

Play 5: Manning to Anthony Gonzalez for no gain


Manning set up in shotgun and faked another handoff before throwing the wide receiver screen to Gonzalez on the far side. Demps was not fooled though and rushed up to the line of scrimmage to make a nice tackle for no gain. From the Colts' perspective, it looked like the play was designed to take Demps away with Tamme, who was lined up in the slot next to Gonzalez, but Demps didn't bite. Keep in mind that Indy was running no-huddle this whole time so the Eagles had their base defense on the field throughout.

Play 6: Manning to Clark for a gain of 6

The Eagles came with the blitz. It's Akeem Jordan and Demps. Jordan gets close, but Manning finds Clark in the exact area where the blitz came from. He made the catch at the line of scrimmage and picked up 6 yards before Hobbs brought him down.

Play 7: Manning to Wayne for 13 yards

Clark went out of bounds on the previous play so the Eagles were able to rotate guys in on third-and-four. Check out the defensive line from left to right: Chris Clemons, Parker, Victor Abiamiri and Jason Babin. Parker and Babin started the game at the end spots. Sean McDermott moved Parker inside and subbed the other two spots, leaving Babin at right defensive end. Mays came with the blitz up the middle, but the Eagles generated no rush. Hobbs was left to deal with Wayne, who ran a comeback route on the near side, making the catch at the first-down marker before picking up about 8 yards and running out of bounds. At this point, Manning had completed all five of his pass attempts.

Play 8: Manning throws incompletion

Manning pump-faked to his right on the first part of a double-move by Gonzalez. He then came back to the middle of the field, throwing a beautiful ball past Akeem Jordan, but Tamme couldn't hold on. Nice job by Jordan to stay with the play until the end. Tamme had it in his hands for a second, but Jordan forced it out. It should be noted that the Eagles got virtually no rush with a four-man front.

Play 9: Manning throws incompletion

Another play-action pass for the Colts. Mays and Jordan bit once again, with Gocong coming on the blitz. Manning looked to the end zone once again for Gonzalez. A better pass probably would have got the Colts a TD, but Manning overthrew his receiver, bringing up third down.

Play 10: Manning to Addai for 14

As we saw last week, Mays stayed in the game even when the defense went to its nickel package. At camp, Omar Gaither was getting those reps, but he didn't play because of a knee injury. The D-line was the same as earlier: Clemons, Parker, Abiamiri and Babin. Mays was called on to stay with Addai on the wheel route down the near sideline. He did a pretty good job, and Demps came over to close in also, but Manning somehow fit the ball into a tight space for a first down. Babin knocked Manning down on a play that could have drawn a flag, although it would have been a pretty weak call.

Play 11: Manning throws incompletion

Samuel did a nice job of jumping the slant by Gonzalez and nearly came up with an interception in the end zone. The Eagles showed blitz but ended up only rushing four.

Play 12: Manning TD to Gonzalez

Manning set Samuel up on the previous play. This time, instead of the slant, he found Gonzalez in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The Eagles brought the house, sending eight guys after the quarterback, but they obviously didn't get there in time.

So that's what I saw. The Eagles didn't generate much of a pass rush, even when they blitzed, and Manning made a couple of great throws, which we've come to expect. The Colts did a nice job of setting the Eagles up, first with the run game before going to play action and then again on the final two plays of the drive.

Feel free to chime in with your own observations. I'll be back with more in the morning.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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