There’s no real structure to this week’s video breakdown.
I think we’re just going to go through the Tampa film and look for two things:
- breakdowns in the secondary
- how did the receivers run their routes? were they getting open? where did they line up?
Those are the two biggest concerns heading into week three against the Colts. It’s the secondary play and the offensive skill positions, – i.e., does Carson Wentz have anybody to throw to?
Obviously some of this film will be rendered obsolete with the addition of Jordan Matthews, but I think we can look for some patterns from the Tampa game to get of an idea of how they might be able to use the limited offensive pieces currently on the roster. We can look at the different sets they used and how they deployed Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz.
I wrote about the DeSean Jackson touchdown pass in my Monday takeaways article, but we’ve got access to the coaches film now via NFL Gamepass, so I wanted to give you the play again from a wider angle where you can see exactly what’s going on:
Malcolm Jenkins took responsibility for this mistake after the game.
He’s assigned to the middle third of the field as the Eagles switch from a cover 2 in their base 4-3 defense to a single-high safety and cover 3 scheme as they blitz Ronald Darby off the corner and slide Rodney McLeod down into coverage on Mike Evans.
This is what they were attempting to do, just a little counter-clockwise rotation where they drop off into a different coverage and send Darby towards the quarterback:
Jenkins is responsible for the deep middle third of the field and just takes the short angle there for some reason, which allows Jackson to beat Mills over the top.
Sure, Mills can do a lot better there, but it’s just suicidal to try to match up against DeSean Jackson with no safety help over the top.
On the second 75 yard touchdown, the coverage was fine I think, and Jordan Hicks was close to O.J. Howard when he caught the ball. Ronald Darby missed a tackle, Rodney McLeod wasn’t able to pursue from behind, and Malcolm Jenkins couldn’t shed a block:
Nothing crazy here.
They’re in nickel, so you’ve got Sidney Jones in the slot and Hicks is responsible for Howard on the inside. Nigel Bradham moves to address Jacquizz Rodgers coming out of the backfield and McLeod drops into a shallow zone on the right side in front of Darby’s man, Chris Godwin:
At least I think that’s what McLeod’s assignment was here.. I’m not totally sure, but I think it’s just a simple zone. It makes it harder for Fitzpatrick to pick out Godwin and McLeod can then cover the weakside flat if the QB dumps it off for the running back instead.
Again Jenkins is responsible for the middle third of the field, and he’s naturally going to trend to his left since the Bucs are throwing three receivers to that side of the hash marks. Jenkins gets over to help but can’t get through a really nicely executed downfield block from Godwin.
So on both 75 yard touchdown catches, Jenkins was the deep man. He blew his coverage on the first play and then failed to shed the necessary block on the second play.
Jim Schwartz was asked about giving up those scores during his Tuesday press conference:
Q. The two 75-yard touchdowns, that’s really an aberration for you guys. I know it’s a focus – (Reuben Frank)
Schwartz: It wasn’t in this game, and that’s all we have to go on. I think we’re on the wrong path if we just say that, if we just say it’s an aberration. The one was on a blitz and one was considered to be a pretty safe zone, and both of them were the same result, and it just goes to show you, you can’t let your guard down on any play. There is a risk of blitzing. I know most of the — every time I step on to the field, or come out of the tunnel, all I hear is, “Schwartz, you’ve got to blitz every play, you’ve got to bring it every play.” And I understand, they mean you have to pressure the quarterback, which we’re all for, but there is some risk inherent to that. We took a risk on the first play, we paid dearly for it. We didn’t execute very well on a 75-yarder, a lot of different layers to that. It’s never one person’s fault, but then we also didn’t tackle very well. I think that the first play is probably off of that because we never laid a glove on him, but the second play, we had chances, and we didn’t look like ourselves a lot of times. There were sometimes where running backs and wide receivers were dragging us for two and three extra yards, and you generally don’t see that from us. We need to get back on track to playing physical football and tackling well.
I was curious to go back and look at the red zone touchdown, the Godwin score from eight yards out.
There are a few things going on here, both in the secondary and on the line, so watch the clip twice and first look at Michael Bennett, who jumps offside and then fails to contain Fitzpatrick as he gets caught inside. Then look at it again and watch Godwin’s route across the middle of the field.
Two different camera angles:
The question of the Bennett jump was asked and answered:
Q. That third touchdown where DE Michael Bennett jumped and then it looked like he circled around, was that him doing a zone or was that a called stunt? (Nick Fierro)
Schwartz: No, he just got — no, he doesn’t have coverage down the field. He just got off track once he was — here’s the thing with that. Mike was guilty of this, as was Malcolm, as was me. We had a lot of guys that were trying to make a play, and what happens is that sometimes rather than do your job, you press to try to make a play, and all of a sudden you end up giving up plays. And what Mike was trying to do there, we’re backed up, he’s trying to make a play, get a sack, get a jump, get a tackle for a loss, something like that. He got too aggressive, jumped, and then he just ended up in there. That’s what happens when you jump offsides. You get that.
But the coverage had nothing to do with it. We blew a coverage that we very rarely ever blow. We had very few missed assignments in the game. That was one, and we take pride in being a good red zone team. We weren’t in this last game.
This is very similar to the formation that Tampa Bay used on the Howard score, with three receivers on the right, one on the left, and a running back to Fitzpatrick’s left. The difference here is that they bunch up on the strong side. These are the routes Tampa ran:
The Eagles are in dime here with Corey Graham on the field. Malcolm Jenkins is lined up next to Hicks and takes Rodgers coming out of the backfield. Darby is 1v1 at the top of the image and Jones, McLeod, Mills, and Graham are responsible for the bunched receivers.
The way Hicks turns around and looks at McLeod after the play makes me think the safety was responsible for covering that area while the linebacker sits in zone at the goal line. Graham is on the strong side in what essentially equates to a 4v3 or 5v3, so somebody blew something here:
You see how far Bennett takes himself out of the play with that offside jump and overcorrection.
And I’m not sure what McLeod is looking at here, because Graham is already on the strong side and the Eagles have numbers defending two receivers. Hicks lets Godwin slide behind him and there’s no cover over the top.
When Schwartz says “we blew a coverage that we very rarely ever blow,” he ain’t lying.
As for the Eagles offense…
Actually, you know what – let’s do that tomorrow. This thing was long enough already, so let’s finish that Thursday as a “part two” of the weekly film review.