American Football

Eagles Offense All-22 Film Review: Takeaways from the Giants playoff game

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Eagles Offense All-22 Film Review: Takeaways from the Giants playoff game
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

What a game. I’ve said this so many times this season, but this was one of the games where the Eagles just beat up a team that was clearly less talented. This offensive performance felt easy. The Eagles didn’t even have to do a lot or get out of second gear. Let’s take a lot at some plays and things that stood out.

Offense


Passing Game

The first throw of the game went for 40 yards. Decent. The Eagles are in 12 personnel, as they were a lot in this one, and have both DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown in reduced splits. It’s a simple post with a short in which gets Smith one-on-one with a safety. The pass protection is outstanding and they give Hurts all day to make this throw and a nice clean pocket. It’s a dime but it’s another example of how talented this team is.

This is a beauty. The Eagles line up in empty and I’m surprised the Giants don’t bring pressure, but they show clear man coverage. The Eagles run the pick route perfectly (Zach Pascal is so good at these plays) and Goedert makes a fantastic catch and shows him YAC ability. This is just good game planning. The Eagles coaches know that the Giants play man coverage against empty and they run the perfect play for this coverage. The Eagles coaches have talented players and they make the game look so easy at times. Honestly, this game did not feel like a playoff team. It was easy.

The DeVonta Smith touchdown is just too easy. The Eagles come out in 12 personnel with Smith and AJ Brown on the same side of the formation. Smith takes a fake step inside and the cornerback takes a bad angle and Smith just outruns his man. Putting him in a stack behind AJ Brown also helps against man coverage. The touchdown doesn’t happen without the block by AJ Brown though. It’s such a good block and he doesn’t allow his man to slow down Smith at all.

The Eagles ran a lot of RPOs in this game but this was probably my favorite one. The Eagles absolutely ruined the Giants’ linebackers this whole game (they were hilariously bad at times) and this is another example of this. Kelce pulls to the left and Boston Scott is following him which moves the entire defense to their right. This opens up a massive hole in the middle of the field. Dallas Goedert looks like he is running to the flat (they had already run a play to Goedert in the flat this game) but he cuts back inside and runs a sort of angle route perfectly. Goedert really is an elite tight end and he nearly breaks two tackles on the way to the end zone.

Zach Pascal played more snaps than Quez Watkins in this game and with blocking from the slot like this it is easy to see why. Once again, this play is nothing complicated but it highlights why the Eagles’ offense has been so good this year. As I’ve mentioned already, the Giants’ linebackers are not good at all so the Eagles schemed a lot of plays to target them throughout the game. The motion from Gainwell gets him on the move pre-snap and the swing route gets the ball in his hand quickly. Jaylon Smith just isn’t athletic enough to get over there and stop a simple gain.

The best throw of the game was actually an incompletion. This was a dime. The Giants bring a perfect slot blitz, taking advantage of the Eagles lining up DeVonta Smith in a reduced split. The Eagles don’t pick it up but Hurts processes this play perfectly. He sees the slot blitz and knows he now has DeVonta Smith one-on-one but he has to throw it early. He throws it with outstanding anticipation and it’s a very rare drop by Smith. The Eagles ran a very simple offense for a quarterback but there are no gimmicks with this throw, this is just a fantastic throw from the pocket.

Sometimes, football is easy. The Eagles were running it with ease so they decide to line up in 13 personnel and run play-action. Dallas Goedert is an absolute master of this intermediate sail route and Hurts drops it in the bucket. The Eagles love throwing this route to Goedert as it’s exceptional against zone coverage and they get to it in a variety of different ways. It just feels so easy! This is WIDE open!

This play would have been the icing on the cake. The Eagles stay aggressive and they know the Giants are going to have the stack the box in the 4th quarter to try and take away the run. Normally, you never throw the deep route when running dagger (a vertical route and deep in) but with no deep safety, Hurts takes the shot to AJ Brown who just runs by the defender. It’s a rare miss by Hurts and I’m wondering if AJ Brown ever so slightly slows down due to a small injury throughout his route. Either way, I was glad to see the Eagles stay aggressive and this would have been a great touchdown had they connected.

Running Game

This game was all about the running game. The Eagles absolutely dominated the Giants on the ground. This was a simple zone running game and they just dominated up front. I cannot believe how little Dexter Lawrence did all game. He’s an elite talent and if you just watched this game you would think he is a nobody. I could show a ton of examples here but the theme is the same throughout so I’ll pick the biggest runs or anything that I found interesting. The Giants’ linebackers could not handle the misdirection of the Eagles’ run game due to the threat of Hurts’ mobility and the Eagles’ offensive line did a fantastic job moving the Giants’ defensive line.

I have to start with this play because it’s just hilarious. Defensive coordinators must absolutely hate playing this Eagles’ offense. You have no choice but to overcommit to the QB sneak which leaves the edges vulnerable. Dallas Godert’s block on the outside cornerback is about as good as it gets. This feels too easy. Again.

This looks like a simple read-option play, but I love the use of a 2×2 formation with the receivers out very wide. The formation spreads the defense out and leaves a lot of room in the middle of the field. This play highlights the benefit of a mobile quarterback. It is like a cheat code in the run game. The Eagles have 7v6 in the box which means Hurts can pick up easy yards. He also spins through the tackle attempt by the safety which adds another few yards. This offense is so difficult to stop because Hurts’ mobility creates numerical advantages at all times for the Eagles’ offense.

The Eagles spammed the split-zone button in this game. They kept running it over and over again. I imagine they wanted to give the Giants’ linebackers even more backfield action to slow them down. Everything was good about the Eagles’ running game and even when the play wasn’t perfectly blocked, all of the running backs had some excellent plays. This play shows great patience and vision by Miles Sanders and it’s a really nice gain. I say this way too often but Sanders has had an excellent year. He’s a very good running back.

I know you’ve all seen this play already, but I have to put the all22 version in. Jason Kelce was fantastic in this game. I know we aren’t focused on the future right now, but he’s playing at such an elite level that I think I would be surprised if he retires this offseason. This is just another zone run. The Eagles didn’t really have to do any gap scheme stuff because there was no need. They kept hitting inside zone from different looks over and over again.

I felt bad watching the Giants’ linebackers. They have no idea what they are seeing at this point in the game. The Eagles pull two linemen to the left and run Sanders to the right and the Giants’ defense just ignores him. Jaylon Smith was getting worked all game and in the words of the great Michael Kist on Twitter… ‘he was a blind dog on a meat truck’. Two plays later, they ran this exact same play and this time Hurts kept it. Playing linebacker against this team must be so so frustrating. Another thing that stood out from the run game was how good the blocking by the wide receivers was. They all blocked so well and take that part of their job seriously.

Just watch the Giants’ linebackers, especially Jaylon Smith. He has lost complete faith in his instincts. It felt like this Eagles’ running game broke him. This is 3rd and 3 and the Eagles’ offensive line is not even bothering getting to the second level. They are just doubling Dexter Lawrence and telling the Giants’ linebackers to stop the running backs which they could not. The Eagles coaching staff do such a good job finding a weakness in the opposition and relentlessly going after it again and again. Dexter Lawrence is a really good player and the Eagles doubled him consistently and stopped him from having any impact in this game. This was probably the best I have seen Gainwell run as well, he was running hard all game.

Let’s end with the final touchdown. This is just a big-time run by Gainwell and he shows his speed off but watching the receivers blocking downfield, especially Zach Pascal. I say this all the time but if you want to be an elite running time, you need every single player on the offense to buy in. The Eagles’ wide receivers all blocked well this game; it was just domination on the ground from start to finish.

That will do for this one. I enjoyed this immensely. Next week will not be as easy, but I hope it will be even more fun.

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