All-22: Breaking Down the ‘Pathetic’ Final Drive

A day after the loss to the Lions, a  fed-up Andy Reid had some harsh words for his offense.

“The last two drives offensively were pathetic. They were pathetic from a coaching standpoint and they were pathetic from a players’ standpoint,” he said.

What drove Reid to this level of irritation? We took a look at the coaches tape to find out. In this post, we’ll focus on the final drive: a three-and-out in overtime in which the Eagles lost a collective 21 yards. As a result, they were forced to punt from deep within their own end zone, allowing the Lions to take over at midfield. The game was over six plays later.

The series started with Michael Vick getting sacked for a seven-yard loss by Cliff Avril. Todd Herremans got beat badly on the play and Vick was hit from the blind side. You could chalk it up to a simple breakdown by the right tackle. But there is more to be taken from the play.

One of the criticisms of Marty Mornhinweg is that he continues to call plays that take a long time to develop despite the offensive line’s struggles. This looks like a good example of that. The snapshot below is right before Avril gets to Vick. You will see that DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the only viable options in this moment, are both heading deep.

The arrow points to Brent Celek. It looks like the tight end went low on a block and ended up on the ground on purpose to dupe the defense into thinking he wasn’t a pass option. He’ll eventually move into the flat. This whole process takes time. As you can see, he is still on the ground right before Vick goes down.

Here’s another look at it:
Here you see Celek just rising to his feet. Maclin, at the bottom corner of the shot, has his back turned and is no option. The blue arrow shows Ndamukong Suh beating Danny Watkins, who is on his knees in this frame. If Avril doesn’t get Vick, Suh will apply the pressure. And Vick doesn’t have anywhere to go.

On second down, Nick Fairley dropped Vick for a 14-yard loss. It’s hard to place any blame on play-calling for this one. The Eagles have six blockers to face a four-man front. Jason Avant — at the left of the screen — will give a chip before cutting across the middle. LeSean McCoy leaks out after staying in the backfield for a beat. As the arrow indicates, Fairley will curl to the right instead of attacking north-south. Evan Mathis tries to track him.

Vick’s first read is covered so he goes to his checkdown. But there’s no time for a dump-off to McCoy. 
Third down is where it gets really bad. Here, the Eagles leave seven in to block and are only facing three Detroit pass rushers, yet they still get beat. Here is how it looked pre-snap.

Avril will ultimately generate the pressure from the left side, forcing Vick to throw it out of bounds. Despite the numbers advantage, Avril ends up one-on-one against Brent Celek. Herremans, who appears to be peaking upfield in the next frame, is late to help. Dallas Reynolds is also without a man.
Avril shakes free before any double team is established and flushes Vick out. There seems to be a good amount of space between Vick and Avril in the next picture. But Vick’s not about to take a sack in the end zone in overtime.
A series that started out on the 25-yard line ended on the four. It cemented the Eagles’ fate, and certainly got the attention of the head coach.

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  • Kimbafuzz

    Thanks, Tim. So the offensive failure in OT, was NOT Vick’s fault, but the fault of bad playcalling and faulty line play.

  • poetx99

    great work, tim. it should be noted, also, that the 1st play of that series was play action. (one of my main beefs w/ andy and marty — the misuse of play action when we are not running, or not running well).

    vick fakes the stretch right (you know, the play that the lions stuffed ALLLLL game, and then does a bootleg (the play that teams usually destroy by blitzing a CB or nickel to the back of play action — at least teams that aren’t destroying us with just their front 4.

    so in addition to, as you noted, there being NO hot reads (no blitz adjustments on PA passes), and NO short routes, vick, like mcnabb for so many years, in a probable passing situation, spends the first second or so of the snap with his back turned to the defense.


    and then you have folks hanging him out to dry for ‘holding the ball too long’. no qb in the league could have done anything useful with that play as it unfolded.

    • xlGmanlx

      Yup – our play action is really slang for long developing play

    • Mac


  • hollis thomas jr

    god help me….can you imagine you are in the league 14 years as a head coach and you think you can go to super bowl with Marty moron calling plays and Mike ‘genius’ Vick executing them. If Lurie had guts, balls, brains, a temper, a backbone, some moxy, a ‘WTF’ attitude, more testosterone, etc….Andy Reid would and should be fired, fired, fired – way overdue.

  • 1972

    great post tim. so how is this vicks fault again? are these haters even eagle fans or just want the qb replaced. i just wanna win, these idiots just wanna be right. the line and playcalling STINKS!! why dont people see this??

    • bentheimmigrant

      I don’t think it’s one or the other… it’s a mix. Vick has made strides, though – as bad as some of Sunday was, it was much better than week 1+2. There are still plays where he holds on too long, but there are plays where that was the only option given to him.

    • defroe81

      instead of getting sacked at the 1 for holding on to the ball too long he could have thrown it away as he did in the endzone but he ran like 17 yards backwards which pinned them on the one. yes the play calling sucks but the qb isnt helping look at the all 22 offense sure the o line sucks but the qb sucks too many open guys not only missed by th eline but by the qb too. which could have gotten us first downs which intern there would be no overtime. the offense stinks from MM to the oline to vick

      • Vick Supporter

        You’re stupid

  • saunhi

    A QB needs at least adaquate protection. Biggest problem with this O-line is the UNBLOCKED rushers. Nfl GameNight showed a highlight with Two O-line Eagle doubleteams but with Two UNBLOCKED rushers killing the QB.

    • MAC

      Read my post below and the article in this link I attached ( No more excueses for Vick or line or coaching staff. If you have not seen enough from Vick since he has been in Philly other than the first 8 games he played here then you are showing blind loyalty to him and not being honest with yourself.

      • saunhi

        The hits he has taken Are the problem- his focus is now on survival more than execution.

  • Ron Swanson

    First play, he can throw it to celek or at least at his feet. Second play, Mccoy is open in a lot of space. I doubt anything was open downfield on 3rd and 30 though. Sick of Mike Vick, though. This game isn’t even close if he doesn’t turn it over 3 times.

    • 1972

      he turned it over twice ron,the center caused one of the t.o.. do u guys watch the game or are u just stat checkers

    • Bite Mee

      Dude you are a MORON, read the freakin article, “Todd Herremans got beat badly on the play and Vick was hit from the blind side”. Key word is BLIND side. If you are not a moron then you are just a racist hater.

  • MikeW

    The last two offensive series were called “pathetic”…however, during the last series prior to overtime the 3rd down pass was batted down. If Vick completes that pass to Maclin he goes for a touchdown or at least 30 to 40 yards. It was exactly like the play he scored on earlier.

    • Bite Mee

      Yea, and if the o_line gives him a clean pocket to step up deliver….

  • defore81

    how about its not all vicks fault but he has his part in it. no int some first downs with plays missed over or under thrown balls and holding on to the ball too long as shown in the all 22 by sheil. no need to just blame one person but they all have there part in this debacle. the offense as a whole sucks and this is why starting with the D as changes makes little sense…

  • defore81

    the offensive failure is what got us in ot in the first place… wow blinded fans gotta love em

  • xlGmanlx

    I also think that some of Vick’s decision making is affected by the poor line play, but that is just a gut feeling. There have been too many break downs in blocking to allow free rushes and Vick has to pull himself off the ground.

  • MAC

    Anyone including 1972 who wants to obsolve Vick of blame Read this link
    from this site and look at the plays and the pictures.

    It is not all Vick by any means. The O line and play calling are
    terrible. The play calling we all agree want Marty and Andy gone. The O
    Line is playing terrible but they are without 2 guys and last year when
    healthy were solid. Vick still last year turned it over and was a major
    reason we didn’t make playoff. So no there is blame on Reid, Marty, O
    line, and Vick. So people need to recognize all 4 need to be replaced
    and stop acting like Vick would be fine with a good o line. We have seen
    him with a good line and he still turned it over 2-3 times a game. In
    NFL that will get you beat most of the time. Also when you get paid $15 a
    year and you have turned it over as many times as Vick there is no
    reason you should still be the starter or for anyone to ignore that you
    are major under achiever and one of the major problems with this team.
    Read the article from link I put here. No one can deny that Vick should
    be held accountable for his contributions to the problems with this
    team. Its time for a new regime and QB!!!!!!!

    • 1972

      i agree that its time for a new regime, but thats not going to happen until the end of the season. im not obsolving the qb of anything. if u want nick foles in there thats fine but he’ll be shell shocked by half time and turn into kevin kolb part 2..i want a defensive minded coach( harbaugh type) that runs first and play action pass.but in the meantime i hope we can right the ship this year. i dont wanna watch 11970 weeks of garbage football. Cmon mac i know ur feed up but u gotta wanna see the team do well if ur a fan

  • Bite Mee

    When you think of the top pass protecting tackles in the league, how long is it before the name Winston Justice
    springs to mind? It’s gone largely unnoticed but in his 173 pass blocks
    he’s given up just two hurries…. according to, Maybe it wasnt such a good idea to bring in a system that nobody else uses. Its kinda hard to get replacements.