The Birds are 1-0 and that’s all that matters. Go to New England, build a 16-0 lead, take your foot off the gas pedal, then make some plays in the fourth quarter and leave with the W. Minnesota is up on Thursday, so you’re right back out there to correct the Week 1 mistakes.

I want to do a weekly post this season that looks at some data from each game. Not surface level stats, but not super-complicated DYAR/calculator dork stuff either. We can go one level deep and identify some trends, perhaps focus on stuff that fans might want to know. Email me at kevin.k@xlmedia.com if there’s something specific you want, and I’ll see if we can pull that. Using SportRadar/Pro Football Focus, here’s a list of ten takeaway numbers from the New England victory.

1. 91.8% shotgun rate

The Birds almost exclusively functioned out of the shotgun in New England, which is a continuation of what they did last season. That 92% rate is top five in the NFL, and they’ll mix and match within that framework. You’ll see pistol, empty set, a single split back, and various related looks. Jalen Hurts is a shotgun QB and the Eagles are a shotgun team.

2. just 1 target for a tight end

This was tied for the lowest number across the NFL in Week 1. Dallas Goedert’s first and only look came in the fourth quarter, though there were a couple of occasions where he was open and Hurts decided to go elsewhere with the ball. For what it’s worth, Goedert didn’t have a single game in 2022 with fewer than three targets.

3. 78.8% of Jalen Hurts’ passes were on target

That’s the 7th best number among all QB1s in Week 1. Good thing to see despite the fact that Hurts did not play his best game, which was, of course, on the road and in rainy conditions. Hurts connected on 22 of his 33 attempts for a 66.7 completion percentage, though the data says 26 of those were on target, which is a good rate. The analytics guys watched the film and determined that he only threw 7 off-target passes.

4. 23.2% blitz rate

SportRadar/PFF has the Eagles 22nd out of 32 teams in blitz percentage.

5. solid pressure numbers

Despite blitzing only once every four plays on average, the Eagles were 5th in the NFL with a 35.7 defensive pressure percentage, which is defined as the number of plays in which a QB was sacked, hurried, or knocked down. This is very consistent with what the Eagles did last year, which is blitz at a middle of the pack or bottom half rate, but still generate pressure via a superior pass rush. It allows them to limit big plays by keeping numbers back.

6. holding up against the blitz

The data says Jalen Hurts and the offensive line were blitzed on 43.2% of passing plays, so they really did feel it from the Patriots’ D. For statistical purposes, a “blitz” in this case is defined as sending 5 or more players, OR when a defensive back goes after the quarterback. Within this context, consider that the Eagles were constantly under pressure and allowed three sacks, five QB hits, and nine hurries. That’s alright, all things considered.

7. No YAC to speak of

The Eagles finished dead last, tied with Arizona and Washington, with 14 total yards after contact in the rushing and receiving departments combined. They were unable to break tackles and pick up extra yards on the wet New England turf, which should also be credited to the Patriots’ solid defensive performance on the evening. For context, the Eagles finished 19th in the NFL in YAC last season, so they were close to the league average. They don’t have a ton of slippery tackle breakers, and instead were sending Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts through wide open holes (at least on the running side).

8. better safe than sorry

Jalen Hurts threw the ball away three times on Sunday. Not a huge number, but he’s third in the NFL after one week. Only Bryce Young and Zach Wilson logged more throwaways.

9. corners on point

The Birds gave up a couple of passing plays that went 20+ yards, but neither were docked against Darius Slay or James Bradberry. Avonte Maddox was tagged for one and Reed Blankenship the other.

10. tight end limitations

For all the talk of the Eagles carrying four tight ends on the roster, they only went to 12 personnel (two TE on the field) 6.6% percent of the time in New England. That’s the 6th lowest number, only ahead of San Fran, Chicago, Cleveland, Vegas, and Miami. The Birds stayed in 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE) for 83.6% of the game, which was tied for the second highest number in the NFL.