Not Jim Schwartz’s finest moment on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles’ defensive coordinator watched his unit get gashed by a team that was ranked bottom five this season in points and yards per game, conceding nearly 100 rushing yards in the first quarter alone.
Particularly egregious was the touchdown run from Daniel Jones, who looked more like prime Michael Vick on the play. Tuesday, at his weekly presser, Schwartz called the play “embarrassing” –
“First game it was a little bit of a surprise. They ran out of a formation we hadn’t seen before, but it was embarrassing in this game because they ran out of the exact same formation and we fit it wrong. The guy that’s supposed to be there for the quarterback wasn’t there. Nobody else got off any blocks and he made us pay with a touchdown.
The other one that got called back with a penalty, the hold affected that play and also caused us — well, we had a chance to get him in the backfield and it was more of a physical play on that one that got called back. There was a lot of those plays our guys executed very well but particularly early in that game on that first drive we weren’t up to that challenge and it cost us. The way we started that game had a lot to do with the final result of that game.”
Hmm, well let’s take a look.
Here’s the formation New York used on the 80-yard run in the first game that ended with Jones falling over:
It’s 12 personnel here. They shift into a power right formation with two receivers off to the left hash and position Kaden Smith and Evan Engram off of right tackle Cameron Fleming.
It’s a really nice design because they’re just going to leave the defensive end, Brandon Graham, unblocked, read him, and send Smith and Engram to the second level to block Rodney McLeod and Nickell Robey-Coleman instead:
Well-executed stuff. Fun to watch if your a Giants fan, but not so much as an Eagles fan.
Let’s look at the Sunday’s run now.
Here’s the formation:
Hmm, well this is different. It’s not the same exact formation, so either Schwartz misspoke or I’m not reading the quote correctly. Maybe he was referring to something from earlier in this game.
Either way, this is 11 personnel with Smith again lined up off-tackle, but instead of the second tight end they’ve got a receiver on that side of the formation with him.
What they do instead is pull Smith across the line and run the opposite direction, reading Josh Sweat and then throwing a trap block with the slot receiver to take out T.J. Edwards before Smith gets a piece of Jalen Mills to open up the hole:
The Birds did not cover themselves in glory on this play. Linebackers got sucked in and then McLeod took a poor angle and wasn’t in position to do anything. Avonte Maddox couldn’t get off his block.
Finally, here’s a look at the play Schwartz mentions in the second half of the quote, which is the TD that was wiped out for holding.
This one is another zone read wrinkle, and they use the tight end to chip before engaging at the second level while pulling both the right guard and right tackle. Then they angle block from the other side of the formation and get lateral movement going:
Anyway, the Eagles have trouble with these zone read plays. They aren’t very good with misdirection and lateral movement in general, and when the defensive ends crash down, the QB pulls, and the linebackers and defensive backs aren’t particularly adept at shedding their blocks and making plays.