In a game that featured a number of examples of great coaching, execution and game planning, it was tough to come up with only two plays from Monday’s season-opening win over the Washington Redskins to feature in this piece. After much thought, it became clear that the first item to be addressed had to be running back
On second down from the Redskins’ 34-yard line, the Eagles came out in their most popular personnel grouping of the night - 11 personnel, with one running back (McCoy) and a tight end,
In this shot, you see both tackles
After the snap, you can see the run-action to the right of the formation has the Redskins defense on the move, as linebacker Perry Riley and safety Bacarri Rambo attempt to head off McCoy. The offensive line does a great job getting a hat on a hat and accounting for the five most dangerous men in the box, while quarterback
As you can see above, McCoy sees Riley and Rambo have over-pursued, and takes advantage of Rambo’s bad angle. McCoy cuts it back towards midfield with plenty of open space in front of him.
Last week on “Eagles Game Plan,” head coach Chip Kelly joined Brian Baldinger in the studio. He explained that in this offense it is important to always finish your assignments because at any point the ball could end up in your area of the field. On this play, wide receivers
One of the most exciting aspects of last night’s game was the unveiling of defensive coordinator Bill Davis’ pressure scheme. Davis’ unit played with great physicality. Pressure was brought from every angle through all four quarters, and an example of that came in the third quarter, with a sack by middle linebacker
The Redskins came out in 11 personnel with one back, Alfred Morris, and a tight end split out wide. The Eagles responded with their nickel package, which in this case featured (from left to right on your screen)
The blitz called by Davis will have Graham attack the nearest A gap to his side (the gap between the center and left guard). Ryans will come off Graham’s outside hip, and safety
At the snap, tackle Trent Williams takes on Graham, and Morris targets Chung off the edge. With Graham lined up directly over top of Williams, he is deemed as the most dangerous, and the talented left tackle sticks with Graham. Ryans is not seen as a threat by the offensive line, as he smartly delays his pressure.
With Graham’s stunt inside carrying Williams out of the way, and Morris focusing on Chung, a hole has opened for Ryans, who makes his move on quarterback Robert Griffin III and takes him down for the sack. This is an example of a great play design by the coaching staff, and great execution by Graham and Ryans.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has been the cornerstone of their offensive attack since he took over as the starter, and his experience makes them a team that should at least challenge for the AFC West. This play is a great example of how Rivers’ veteran savvy helps lead them to the end zone.
The shot above is the Chargers’ first offensive play of 2013, which came on Monday night against the Texans. San Diego had just come up with an interception, and is faced with first-and-10 from the 14-yard line. As they have done throughout the preseason, the Chargers come out in 12 personnel (two tight ends) and flex Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates out wide to the right, with receivers Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown lined with inside splits to the left, inside the numbers. Before the snap, Rivers believes he has man coverage on the outside over Gates, with no safety help over the top. With linebacker Brian Cushing sugaring the A gap, a hard count from Rivers forces Cushing’s hand and he shows blitz. The chess game is on …
Seeing that he has a chance to manipulate the outcome of this play before it even starts, Rivers audibles, sending running back Ryan Mathews to the other side of the formation, and calling for Gates to line up inside the numbers, something that will go a long way towards the end result …
Rivers has audibled to their version of a basic “Drive” route concept, which calls for the outside receiver (Gates) to run a shallow cross, the running back (Mathews) to run a wheel route and the tight end (John Phillips) to run an option route. This is a basic concept that nearly every team in the NFL has in their playbook, but Rivers knows this will work to their advantage in this situation.
Rivers was right in his pre-snap read. The Texans were, in fact, in man coverage. Safety Danieal Manning is manned up on Gates running across the field, while middle linebacker Joe Mays is manned up on Phillips. Mathews has linebacker Brooks Reed in man coverage, and Rivers knows that is where he will go with the football. Rivers laid the ball up at the pylon for Mathews to go get it. It was a great throw, a great catch and great pre-snap recognition by Rivers.
For more analysis of the All-22 coaching tape and a look inside the matchups for this Sunday’s game against the Chargers, be sure to tune in to “Eagles Game Plan,” Saturday night at 12:05 AM and Sunday morning at 11:35 AM locally on 6-ABC. All Eagles Television Network shows can be found on PhiladelphiaEagles.com on the day of the game.