Philadelphia Eagles News

Post-Snap Read: Watching Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata dominate is a thing of beauty

Jordan Mailata 1920 Giants 112921
The Philadelphia Eagles lost 13-7 to the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium on November 28, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles)

There's no getting around the fact that Sunday's offensive performance was a tough one to swallow, but after going through the film on Monday there were plenty of positives to take away from a unit that put up over 200 yards rushing.

At the top of the list of positives? The offensive line.

This unit has been really strong for a majority of this season, and against the Giants they really set the tone. With an early injury to center Jason Kelce, I thought the table was set for both offensive tackles, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata, to drive the train up front.

Spoiler alert: Those guys were up for the challenge.

One of the run concepts where you could really see both guys at their very best? It's a play that I call QB Counter Read. It's a version of your basic Counter run play (something we've diagrammed before on our site), but instead of the running back toting the rock, it's the quarterback. And not only is your quarterback the primary ball carrier, but there is a read element built into the play that allows him the option to either keep the ball, or hand it off to the running back. The Eagles ran this play several times against New York, and all of them went for first downs.

This is great execution across the board from the Eagles, who have used this play a couple of times this season, but not to this extent in one game. I just love watching the tackles on this though, because Mailata is a freight train on the tracks, ready to demolish anything in his path. Johnson gets outstanding movement on the double team at the point of attack, helping to create the lane for Hurts to take off up the middle for a huge gain.

Mailata's block on the third run above is one of my favorite highlights from this game, but it was hardly his only standout block. Mailata crushed defenders at the point of attack repeatedly in this game, and was a weapon in the Eagles' various run schemes against the Giants.

Mailata is a special talent. He has every physical trait you could ask for up front. Watching him is a true joy, and he's impactful in every game. He especially stood out in this matchup against the Giants.

I thought the tight ends were also really impressive in this game in the run game, particularly Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll.

Whether it was on the side of the play or on the back side of the run, I thought both guys did a great job of helping to spring ball carriers, giving great effort on contact.

It wasn't just a personnel advantage in this game, because I thought the Eagles did some good things from an X's and O's standpoint as well, complementing some of their base run plays with good wrinkles to keep the defense guessing.

These are three good examples of the Eagles throwing a curveball at the Giants defense on third-and-1. Rather than just run a basic zone read with Hurts reading the defensive end and either handing the ball off or keeping it, the Eagles did multiple things to make it look like one thing before doing something different. The multiplicity of the Eagles' run game is one of their biggest strengths, and I love that the staff is pairing play-action, screens, and run-pass options with those run concepts to keep defenses on their heels.

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