Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

A Detailed Look At Where The Eagles Attack

The success of tight end Brent Celek and slot receiver Jason Avant early in the 2009 season indicates that the Eagles are more successful at working the middle of the field than in recent years. Celek is fifth among the league's tight ends with 22 receptions despite having played in just three games. He is fourth in receiving yards with 245. Another stellar performance by Celek this week could set a new personal record for most receptions in a season (27 - 2008).

Avant, meanwhile, has 10 catches for 111 yards and one touchdown this season. All four of his third-down receptions have been good for first downs. For his career, 27 of his 31 receptions on third down have moved the chains, a staggering 87.1 percent success rate.

Celek's feel for finding the soft spots of the defense, reliable hands and understanding of where the first-down marker is have made him a force early in the season. Avant doesn't have the most explosive speed, but his teammates are wowed by his superb route running and glue-like hands.

For opposing defenses, it's been a case of pick your poison. Would you rather get eaten up over the middle or burned down the sideline by DeSean Jackson.

"I think a lot of teams try and take DeSean out of the offense and try to go into a coverage that forces us to work the inside of the field, the tight ends, the receivers who have worked on the inside, and running backs," quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "When you see teams going to a man coverage or whatever, you work the outside. Just taking what the defense gives you. Brent Celek has been able to really flourish in this offense because of that. We have the players who can make plays for you. You just want to give them that opportunity."

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said that the matchups have been favorable in the middle.

"The matchups that we've had have been pretty good there," Mornhinweg said. "Those things change from game to game, but all of those things combined, we've been able to attack that area on the field with both of those guys and others as well."

However, a look at the play breakdown of where the Eagles have attacked the field shows that middle of the field isn't exactly the team's favorite place to go.

Rushing Offense
* Left End Left Tackle Left Guard Up The Middle Right Guard Right Tackle Right End
Plays 16 7 2 23 2 5 23
NFL Rank 9 24 28 19 29 30 1
Avg. Gain 6.38 5.43 7.5 3.65 3.5 4.4 4.26
NFL Rank 8 9 3 18 18 16 18
Statistics Courtesy Of NFL GSIS

Rushing Defense
* Left End Left Tackle Left Guard Up The Middle Right Guard Right Tackle Right End
Plays 10 6 0 33 3 15 16
NFL Rank 20 31 N/A 12 30 10 7
Avg. Gain 4.7 4.33 N/A 2.88 6.00 4.00 3.72
NFL Rank 17 21 N/A 4 26 12 10
Statistics Courtesy Of NFL GSIS

Pass Offense
* Short Left Short Middle Short Right Deep Left Deep Middle Deep Right
Plays 33 19 48 6 5 55
NFL Rank 17 22 14 21 20 30
Avg. Gain 8.21 4.74 4.17 14.67 26 8.2
NFL Rank 2 30 29 10 1 21
Statistics Courtesy Of NFL GSIS

Pass Defense
* Short Left Short Middle Short Right Deep Left Deep Middle Deep Right
Plays 26 15 33 3 3 5
NFL Rank 27 30 28 30 28 26
Avg. Gain 2.96 7.2 7.09 28.33 6.67 7.2
NFL Rank 1 19 30 32 6 12
Statistics Courtesy Of NFL GSIS

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:31 p.m., October 10

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content