Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Chargers Defense

0V3J0546Here’s a position-by-position review of the Eagles’ offense after having reviewed the game:

QUARTERBACKS

* Michael Vick played an outstanding game. He looked comfortable in the pocket, knew where to go with the football and delivered darts all day long. Was he perfect? No. The one deep ball led DeSean Jackson out of bounds (although he still had a chance to make a play). And Vick’s throw to James Casey in the end zone was a little low, even though he should have made the catch. But overall, 23-for-36 for 428 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

* The 61-yard touchdown to Jackson was a beauty, and Vick did a masterful job of taking the Eagles 75 yards in 80 seconds in the first half. His one deep ball hit Jackson in the fingertips, but the wide receiver admitted he should have had it. When the Chargers blitzed (sent five or more), he was 6-for-10 for 133 yards and scrambled once. Vick got rid of the ball quickly on the 27-yard completion to Zach Ertz in the fourth, beating the blitz. And he even threw the ball away wisely on a couple occasions.

* Overall, Vick did a good job of avoiding hits until the final scoring drive when he took a couple crushing blows.

* On the season, Vick has 13 completions of 20+ yards, tops in the NFL. He’s averaging 10.3 YPA, tied for first. Only Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning have higher passer ratings. There’s still plenty of time to go, but I thought Vick looked significantly better in Week 2 than he did in Week 1. Chip Kelly and the coaching staff deserve credit too for putting him in positions to succeed.

* Nick Foles came in for a play and threw a fade incomplete to Jackson. Kelly admitted today that he should have called timeout and put Vick back in the game. I’m in the camp with those who believe the Eagles probably should have run the ball with Foles in the game, rather than have him come in cold and try to connect on that TD. But that’s why they call it second-guessing.

RUNNING BACKS

* The Chargers played a safety up and tried to stifle the Eagles’ running game, but it’s not like they shut down LeSean McCoy. He still had 11 carries for 53 yards and added five catches for 114. McCoy leads the NFL with 237 rushing yards and is averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per carry.

* McCoy got matched up with safety Eric Weddle on a route in the first, made the catch and took for a 70-yard gain. By the way, give Chargers linebacker Reggie Walker credit for hustling downfield and bringing McCoy down on that play. The Eagles settled for a field goal, so he essentially saved four points.

* McCoy had several other nice runs. He made Walker look silly on a 4-yard gain in the first, bounced a run outside for 9 yards later and got the job done in short yardage. McCoy had a 17-yard scamper and a 21-yard catch in the second. He did a good job of turning into a blocker on Vick’s touchdown run in the fourth.

* Bryce Brown played nine snaps and had three carries for 13 yards.

* I charted zone-read plays. The Eagles ran it nine times for 54 yards (6.0 YPC). Vick kept the ball on two of those nine, running for 17 yards. In Week 1, the Eagles used the zone read 49 times, per ESPN Stats & Information.

WIDE RECEIVERS

* The Eagles also have the league’s leading receiver. DeSean Jackson has piled up 297 yards in two games and had a nine-catch, 193-yard performance on Sunday. The truth is, it could have been even bigger. The Chargers tried to shadow him man-to-man all game long with Shareece Wright. That didn’t work out so well. There were four missed opportunities. One was the ball that was thrown too close to the sideline. Then there was the deep ball that hit Jackson’s fingertips and would have been a 79-yard TD. Vick overthrew him once on what would have been a 69-yard bomb. And Lane Johnson’s penalty negated a 37-yarder.

* Jackson still had a 61-yard grab and a 41-yard grab. But as crazy as it sounds, a 350+ receiving yard day was in play.

* Kelly is doing a masterful job of getting the ball in Jackson’s hands and creating mismatches. This is just the second time in his career he’s had back-to-back games with seven receptions or more. And he was targeted 15 times vs. San Diego. Jackson is catching the ball in a variety of spots and doing an excellent job of getting down and avoiding big hits when he’s in the middle of the field.

* Riley Cooper did an excellent job of using his size on the 13-yard touchdown. He also made a nice leaping grab for 12 yards.

* Jason Avant had four catches for 39 yards on seven targets, including a nice 21-yarder over the middle in the fourth.

TIGHT ENDS

* After a big first week, Brent Celek was only targeted once and ended up with zero catches.

* Zach Ertz only played 12 snaps, but had two catches for 58 yards. He show good YAC ability on a 31-yarder in the third and came back with a 27-yard catch and run in the fourth. As a blocker, Ertz did a poor job on Weddle on Brown’s 8-yard run in the first.

* The Casey grab in the end zone was close. My feeling is if they would have ruled it a TD on the field, it would have stood. But they ruled it incomplete, and it was too close to be reversed. Casey only played five snaps.

* I charted personnel groupings. The Eagles were in 11 personnel (1-RB, 1-TE, 3-WR) on 46 of 58 offensive snaps. They were in 12 personnel (1-RB, 2-TE) on nine snaps; went 3-TE twice; and showed one 4-WR look. For all the offseason talk about using multiple tight ends, the Eagles really haven’t gone that route much in their first two games.

OFFENSIVE LINE

* Overall, I thought the offensive line played really well, especially in the second half when the Eagles scored points on four straight drives. There were hiccups here and there, but overall, a strong showing.

* Let’s start with Jason Peters. The big man looked more dominant in the run game this week. Nice kick-out block on Brown’s 8-yard run. Good down block on McCoy’s 17-yarder. And Peters drove the linebacker to the ground on Vick’s 9-yard zone read carry in the fourth. In the first, he was matched up against Dwight Freeney, who hit Vick as he threw, but it really looked more like Vick stepping into pressure than Peters getting beat. The Eagles used some more unbalanced lines. Peters set up at right tackle in the first, but missed his block on the safety on a red-zone run. Other than the one play I mentioned, he was flawless in pass protection. If you see a replay of the 61-yard Jackson TD run, check out Peters on Freeney. He shoved him about 10 yards upfield and completely out of the play.

* Up-and-down day for Lane Johnson. It’s not like he was getting beat all game long, but just too many costly mistakes. The rookie got schooled by Freeney on a spin move in the second. Vick got hit on the play and overthrew Jackson. Later, Johnson was called for a penalty on the 37-yard touchdown to Jackson (details here). The Eagles had to settle for a field goal on that drive.

* Johnson had some other issues too. He got pushed back into Vick on a third-down incompletion in the second. He got beaten to the inside by the DT, who disrupted a third-down play in the third and stopped the Eagles for no gain, forcing them to kick a field goal. Again, overall, I thought Johnson did many things well, but there were issues.

* Todd Herremans was up-and-down as well. He got beaten badly by Jarius Wynn for a sack on the first drive. Herremans did a poor job on nose tackle Cam Thomas, who stopped McCoy on a 1-yard run. He pulled, but completely whiffed on the linebacker on McCoy’s third-down run that was stopped for no gain in the third. And he was slow to pick up a stunt on third down late in the fourth as the Chargers crushed Vick. Too inconsistent in this one.

* Evan Mathis was up and down in Week 1, but played well vs. the Chargers. Great seal block on Brown’s 8-yard run in the first and nice job pulling on McCoy’s 17-yarder in the second. Mathis delivered a good block on McCoy’s 21-yard screen. The only issues? He was slow to get to the safety on McCoy’s 3-yard run with the Eagles backed up near their own goal line. And he got pushed back into Vick in pass protection in the third.

* Jason Kelce looked like their best offensive lineman on Sunday. He did a nice job in the run game throughout and once again showed off his athleticism in the run game, pulling on McCoy’s 17-yard run in the second. Kelce made a nice block on McCoy’s 21-yard screen, and I didn’t really notice any issues in pass protection. He has played really well in the first two games.

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  • Dutch

    The offense turned in more than an acceptable performance despite a continued push to build better chemistry on the unit. Considering there is little time for reps at practice they are coming together very well. This is only their second outing after a lengthy competition at Quarterback that sucked time away from Vick working exclusively with the first unit receivers in training camp.

    Johnson making rookie mistakes in his second game is also an acceptable fact before we get into divisional play. He’s still shown himself to be the best selected tackle of the 3 premium tackles chosen in the 2013 draft and should not spend any time pondering those mistakes.

  • hawaiieaglesfan

    O line much improved. O showed that they can win a game passing if needed. Upper limit of this offense great.
    D is the problem. Heard that Fletcher was cleared to play. Hopefully that will help with the woeful secondary play.

  • Media Mike

    WAY too much blame on D Jax and Casey. The out of bounds play and two overthrown deep balls were not Jackson’s fault. The slider thrown to Casey was not his fault.

    • EaglePete

      ridiculous and Im not a huge Vick fan. He had a great day, fans nitpicking is all this is. Too much blame on D? They got shredded all day…..alllll day

      • Media Mike

        I’m not trying to say Vick needs to throw every pass perfectly, but casting “blame” out Casey or D-Jax isn’t appropriate. I’m not ripping Vick, just pointing out why the passes weren’t completed.

      • Media Mike

        And who the fuck said “too much blame on the D?” D JAX as in DESEAN JACKSON SHOULD NOT BE TAKING BLAME ON THE THREE INCOMPLETE PASSES.

  • hawaiieaglesfan

    CBS playbyplay sports caster “this philly passing attack is too much for this san diego zone d” Was I seeing things or was san diego playing man coverage with single saftey high? SMH am I seeing things? Somebody help me. Am I wrong?

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      No. I don’t think you were seeing things. lol

  • Chali

    I can’t believe people are killing Vick on that Casey pass. . . . That Vick hate is strong man I tell ya. With the numbers he put up in that game I guess it still wasn’t enough. I think the pass was a bit low but Casey should have caught that. He normally makes those deep passes but he was slightly off on those that day but since he normally makes those throws he gets killed for it. Blows my mind. I genuinely think that some Eagles fans want him to fail.

  • atlvickfan

    It ain’t second guessing if you called it before it happened. I thought there was no way Kelly would let Foles throw in that situation, and I’m sure many other Eagle fans thought the same thing.

    How many carries did Shady have in the second half? The under-usage of him was maybe the main reason the Eagles lost IMO. It’s not like the Eagles were down big at any point in the second half for them to go so pass-happy.

    • Dutch

      I think Kelly was trying to open a can of whip A** in the second half and aired it out. However, San Diego was determined to play the run with everything they had and not let McCoy beat them. DeSean would have beat them had he any help from the defense and a more experience coach in NFL Clock management.

      For most teams the poison option from this offense is One to the Head, or Two to the body, and a last cigarette.

  • TNA

    Just watched the game again and while it’s easy to knock the Eagles D and some of the mistakes that were being made, I have to say that Phillip Rivers just had an incredible day. He was getting the ball out extremely quickly with pinpoint accuracy – pitching it to receivers in often indefensible spots. That may have to do with the play calls on defense or showing the call too early, but I don’t think there would have been many defenses that could’ve stopped him on Sunday. Yes, the Eagles could’ve won the game, and that falls in line with the pre-game narrative that the Eagles should’ve blown out the Chargers, but in all honesty, with the way Rivers was commanding that offense and placing balls on a dime, the Chargers could’ve easily blown out the Eagles if it weren’t for those fumbles. The only super egregious blown coverage was when the Eagles rushed only three, but Royal was still wide open for a touchdown. It would’ve been nice if the Eagles got a good body rattling hits on Rivers periodically, but they just couldn’t break through in time. It also didn’t help that the refs weren’t calling the holds against the O-linemen that were collaring and holding Barwin all day around the pocket.

  • Media Mike

    Commentators here possessing Keith Byars like catching ability aside, I’m glad the silly worry about Jason Peters is over.
    Best o-lineman in the NFL! Period.

  • imnotsorryisaidthat

    Rivers out- coached Billy Davis and Chip is learning on the job

  • guest1

    Can somebody wake me up when they let go of Nate Allen…my dead grandmother is a better safety than he is…for real, how about my five year daughter playing safety for the Eagles, what a joke!

  • #7

    Vick has been outstanding. All he has done is not try to do too much. If we had some defense, we could make a deep playoff run. What gives me hope is that cardinals and Saints made it to the big game giving up 25 per game, but they got turnovers. Maybe that will happen for us

    • Mitchell

      We got what? Two turnovers last game and more than that the first game. It’s already better than last year at least, turnover wise.

      • #7

        Yep and that is the only way we can make a run. And mark it down people.

        Vick will play 16 games

  • pjcostello

    What a lot of people around the country are missing is the big picture: Week One, the Eagles ran the ball — a LOT. They had success, of course, but they just called running play after running play… they also worked in a lot of screens, and the TE down the seam passes. THIS week was an entirely different game plan!! They did NOT run run run, they did NOT have all those WR screens, they changed up everything. I saw numerous plays where the WR screen was set up, for example, but the ball went elsewhere. What that tells me is that Kelly is giving teams down the road a LOT of film to study, and no tendencies to follow. He’s mixed up formations, personnel, plays masterfully in his first two games, and I came away very impressed. Look how many times DeSean Jackson got free in the secondary — while the WR on the other side of the field, Riley Cooper, had a total of TWO catches in the game. So with only ONE deep threat, the Eagles still managed to get him the ball 9 times on completions, and several other times the connection was a hair off. But Jackson was open. Kelly befuddled the Chargers as he did the Redskins, albeit in a TOTALLY different way, and I can’t wait to see what he dials up going forward.

    • http://theadulttoysstore.com/ The Toy Goddess

      I tried explaining that to some KC fans. I’m not in any way discounting their D. Not at all. BUT to think you can play us the sem way they played Jax and Dallas is a little silly. This is a chess match for Kelly. He LOVES manipulating Ds to his advantage. I’m not saying we will hang 30 on them, but to think we’re just gonna get popped in the mouth and lay down and take it is a bit misguided and presumptuous.

      • pjcostello

        I agree. I like KCs defense, but on offense they’re too conservative. The Eagles are going to put up 30 points; can KC do likewise? That’s the big question for me. They put up 21 offensive points against JAX, and 17 against DAL — can they hang 30 on us? No way. As bad as our defense is, they just don’t have the moxie. :-)

  • Scott J610

    It’s amazing how well this offense is running considering we don’t have a legitimate #2 receiver. Imagine if we had Maclin.

  • aub32

    I find it just a little funny how Shady and DJax are being considered all world but people are dismissing Vick as “just taking what he defense gives him”. Has he been perfect? No. However, no one ever is perfect. In two games the guy has over 600 yards passing and 6 TDs. His ability to run the ball clearly helped Shady reach 184 yards in game one, and his arm was on display for record numbers in game two, Now Vick isn’t Brady or Manning who can pretty much succeed in any system, but he is a good QB; and he’s showing why he was brought back.

  • Joeknowsnada

    I know Vick is taking some heat on the Casey pass. Yeah, Casey should have caught it, I think so, as well. Overall, great game by the QB. However, remember, we used to give “5″ all kinds of criticism for throwing low passes to tight ends, who would have to go down to the ground to get them, and never be able to get any YAC, as a result. When I saw Casey drop that pass, it reminded me of just how good Chad Lewis was at going to the ground and coming up with the catch on exactly those kinds of throws, some of which had real heat on them. 6 Ft. 6 with a big wing span, but ole Chad could get flat in a hurry and cradle that stuff with no problem. Our current tight ends (and Ertz might be able to do it, not sure) just don’t appear to be able to get down and pick ‘em like that.

  • Dutch

    He caught the slider cleanly, then he dropped it…… whom should be blamed for Casey dropping a ball? He’s paid $4 Million a year, why exactly can’t he catch and hold onto a low thrown ball?

  • Media Mike

    As opposed to being paid $7 mil a year to hit a guy in the numbers and not ask him to have to stop, drop, and roll to make catches?

  • anon

    Damn, he makes almost as much as Vick?

  • Dutch

    Vick hit the guy in the numbers low where no-one defending him could get a hand on the ball. So why could he not hold on to the pass, he clearly caught the ball that’s not in dispute.

  • anon

    Oh please — 430yds, 3TDs, no turnovers? You can’t argue that Vick isn’t earning his money, when his passer rating is tied with guys that make 20+ mill a year.

  • Media Mike

    Staring with a catch is one thing, maintaining it after reaching back and having to roll over is another.

  • anon

    Yeah both a fault, but it’s the NFL gotta make the catch.

  • Chali

    He kind of had to throw it low so the pass would not get defended. . . Yes it was a low throw not excusing Vick, but you can argue that it was thrown low so it could not be batted down by the linebacker. . . Casey should have finished the catch.

  • cliff henny

    yup 60/40 on casey. 2 hands on it…catch the f’n ball. vick’s playing to well for me not to give him some benefit of doubt.

  • Dutch

    did you miss Kaepernick throw a similar ball higher to Vernon Davis and the ball deflected and intercepted in the crowd at the goal line?

    Low balls through traffic where only your receiver can make the catch or nobody is common in the NFL. It’s bizarre to assume a NFL receiver open can not slide to make a catch of a ball with perfect placement and zip so it’s not deflected by defenders in the vicinity.

    That was not a ball Casey had to dig out of the dirt it was perfectly placed and caught. The Throw to jackson wasn’t bad, considering Vick threw the ball with Freeney’s helmet under Vick’s face mask. You guys are tying to find fault where there is none with this offense. And sadly I don’t think it’s motivated by sportsmanship. Yesterday he had over 120 QBR and 62% completion rate, not to mention over 400 yds of pass offense and you find something he did wrong completely ignoring the good game Freeney had disrupting the pocket…….. Are you crazy?

    Philly is better than this………… let it go

  • anon

    Agree. Should be said that they were in pass pro all game, which doesn’t help LJ when he’s going against Freeney. So maybe i give him a slightly better performance given the circumstances.

  • Media Mike

    100% correct on Reid trying to have Vick do things that were outside of Vick’s still set. Completely foolish coaching that sadly ended Reid’s run.

  • Warhound

    Morhinweg was the culprit; Vick was the victim.

  • ftotheyu

    And Nate Allen makes $1.2 million this year….

  • ftotheyu

    At least Vick didn’t throw it into the ground like #5 would have.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    You don’t run Shady just to run him. The pass game was working. They couldn’t stop Vick from chewing up yardage through the air and they were hell bound and determined to stop Shady at the expense of letting DeSean run free.

    They picked their poison and played keep away with the ball.

    A mediocre defense or better clock management at the end and we win the game.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    You started in on Vick. You like some others can’t accept the fact that he’s playing well and find things to nitpick. You know who has a better passer rating than Vick right now?

    Manning and Rodgers.

    There’s nothing to complain about.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    And now Geno is the victim. He’s just not giving the kid a chance. Run the damn ball man. Run the damn ball.

  • skayne

    There is one unavoidable requirement needed in order to burn clock.

    You have to be winning the damn game! Because of the D, we were behind all day!

    You don’t burn clock when you’re behind!

  • anon

    what would it take for Vick to be considered playing “out of his mind”. Having the 3rd best QB in the league from the dude who was almost out of a job not good enough?

  • Zachary Kahn

    I think you nailed it. In the past I was frustrated with Andy because he wouldn’t run when the pass wasn’t working. But considering how well the Eagles were moving the ball through the air I was ok it. I also think its a little optimistic to assume that the Eagles could have simply run out more of the clock and still scored easily. They were shredding the chargers through the air and turning to the run game for the purpose of draining clock would have allowed the chargers to stack the box and increase the chance of getting nothing. I understand Chips logic somewhat there.

  • UKEagle99

    Yet at halftime the D had held the Chargers to 13 points and had 2 takeaways, the offence had scored 10. It wasn’t all on the D, I’ll admit that a slight backbone in the second half would have certainly helped the cause.