All-22: What We Saw From the Eagles’ Offense

Here are some plays from the Eagles’ offense that stood out after watching the All-22 tape.

If you missed the defensive breakdown, click here.

Play 1: Michael Vick has been coached to keep his eyes downfield and look for receivers when he escapes the pocket. On his first interception, that’s probably what was going through his head as he scrambled to his right. But he has to know better than to throw across his body.

Michael Vick interception.

As you can see, it looks like Harbor’s open. The problem is that this is a high degree-of-difficulty throw. And Vick was on the move. When he first sees Harbor, he’s around the 17. But by the time he actually releases the ball, he is near the line of scrimmage at the 12. That gave safety Bernard Pollard time to move to his right and intercept the pass.

Vick has to do a better job of recognizing the situation. It was 2nd-and-9 in the red zone. He had completed his first five passes of the game. Just run out of bounds and take a shot on third down. Worst-case scenario, you’re setting up for a chip-shot field goal a couple plays later.

Play 2: Defenses are going to continue to show Vick and this offensive line different looks, especially now that Dallas Reynolds is at center making protection calls. Look at the pre-snap look here. The Ravens overload the left side.

Ravens blitz.
Three of the four defenders highlighted rush Vick, while one drops back into coverage. But by design, Vick sprints out to his left to get away from the pressure as soon as he gets the snap. On the move, he throws a 10-yard strike to DeSean Jackson, picks up a first down on 3rd-and-4 and extends the drive.

Vick beats blitz.
Excellent example of how Vick and the offense can beat a specific type of blitz.

Play 3: In the second quarter, on a 7-yard run, you can see why the Eagles are going to miss Jason Kelce.

Philadelphia Eagles' Jason Kelce.
Kelce’s athleticism is on display as he gets out in front on a linebacker, clearing the way for McCoy. No back in the league breaks more tackles than McCoy, but Reynolds is an unknown in the run game. Combine the loss of Kelce with the loss of Jason Peters, and it’s clear that McCoy’s going to have his work cut out for him the rest of the way. He’ll have to rely on his ability to make defenders miss more than ever.

Play 4: There’s “avoid contact” mode. And then there’s “stay the hell away from Ray Lewis” mode. Check out Vick’s options on a designed quarterback draw in the third.

Michael Vick QB draw.
It looks like there’s a running lane up the middle, but going that way likely would mean a meeting with Lewis. Instead, Vick bounces it outside, picking up 8 yards and a first down.

By the way, I really like the designed quarterback draws. They take advantage of Vick’s athleticism, and they provide the threat of him running, with less of the chaos. By my count, four of Vick’s runs in Week 2 were on plays originally intended for him to pass. Three others were by design. As we mentioned earlier, Vick called his own number on the QB draw that won the game.

Play 5: I’m probably going to sound like a broken record every week, but the timing and precision on some of these plays is amazing. Take a look at the 49-yard bomb to Jackson. The first image shows where Jackson is when Vick lets go of the football.

Vick to DeSean.
Jackson’s at the Eagles’ 28, pretty much even with the cornerback. But look at where Ed Reed is – in between the hash marks at the 42. Why? Vick did something subtle on the play. He gave a little pump fake to the left side. Reed took about two steps that way, before turning around and hustling towards Jackson. Look at all the ground he’s got to make up. The second image shows where Jackson actually catches the ball.


Jackson’s at the Ravens’ 48. In other words, he went 24 yards from the time the ball was let go to the time it landed. Jackson’s received a lot of credit for the catch, and rightfully so. But what about the throw? Vick’s drop took him back to the Eagles’ 1. The ball traveled about 51 yards in the air and fell in Jackson’s hands right between two defenders. Take a look from a different angle.

Vick to DeSean (3).
Protection too was key. Both Brent Celek and McCoy stayed in to block at first before going into their routes. Great execution all around.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.