All-22: Why the Swinging Gate Two-Point Attempt Failed

Because we have some extra time this week, we’ll split up the All-22 pieces into a bunch of shorter posts.

First, let’s start with the failed two-point conversion in the first quarter.

Chip Kelly’s explanation on Friday: “If you get an opportunity to get an extra point, and in this game, every game’s close.  If you get a chance to steal a point here or there, in the long run, it can really benefit you.”


The Eagles set up in the swinging gate formation.

swinginggate_numbers

The thinking here is the same as with the Eagles' packaged plays. They're looking for numbers in the box. Only in this case, the box happens to be to the left, away from where the ball is being snapped.

As you can see, the Eagles have an advantage: six against five, including the ball-carrier. That means if they can execute hat-on-hat blocks from the 2-yard line, the play should work.

swinginggate_design

Here is the blocking design. The key is Lane Johnson on the end. He's supposed to block Tamba Hali, but instead lets him go by untouched. At first, because Johnson made no attempt to block Hali, I thought the scheme might be similar to the zone read where the edge defender is left unblocked on purpose.

But Kelly dispelled that notion.

"Missed assignment," he said. "We got five guys, they have five guys.  Should have blocked the five‑on‑five and we’ve got a shot at it."

As you can see below, he's telling the truth. Good blocks by Bennie Logan and Todd Herremans opened up a nice running lane for Zach Ertz.

swinginggate_open

As Jimmy Kempski pointed out over at Philly.com, the lateral by Jon Dorenbos was behind Ertz. And once he got the ball, Hali was already exploding into the backfield untouched.

swinginggate_Z

Even in this shot, you can see the hole is open between Herremans and Logan.

As T-Mac pointed out yesterday, just because the play failed doesn't mean Kelly is going to change his tactics. He's just as likely to go for two against the Broncos next week as he was against the Chiefs. If anything, he might devote more practice time to this option.

What needs to go right for the play to work?

1. The Eagles have to have numbers.
2. The pass has to be on target.
3. The offensive linemen have to properly execute their blocks.

Kelly will have to determine what's reasonable to expect from his players in a situation like this.

But as always, it comes down to math. Five against five should be a win. And two is better than one.

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  • Justin

    This would have worked if Lane hadn’t missed his assignment. Then we’d all be talking about Chip’s creativity.

    • Token

      no. Its embarrassing either way.

      Aside from one half of football, I havent seen anything really exciting or innovative about this offense yet. Id say it looks much more similar to Andys offense with a bit more running than it does to Oregons offense. They havent even been very fast most of the time when they want to go fast. Other teams are doing it better. They havent been running the ball as much as I figured they would. Even on Thursday when that was the only thing they were getting yards out of for most of the game. And clearly the passing game wasnt there. But Chip doesnt trust Brown or Polk so the constant running attack is limited.

      • anon

        Hard to run all the time when you are down 10 points, i don’t see any team doing that. We ran a bunch when we were winning. We played against a better D, which will happen.

        • BlindChow

          10 points is hardly an inhibitor for the run game, especially when it’s having success. We were down 14 when Shady broke his 40-yd TD.

          And it’s doubly true when your passing game isn’t working. THAT certainly wasn’t closing the deficit…

        • Token

          We have backs capable of breaking a big one at any time. 10 points hardly makes a difference in abandoning the run game. It was the only thing that was kind of working.

          Chiefs have some good players on D certainly. But people are really over blowing them. We will face tougher tests than Sean Smith and Brandon Flowers. Again, not saying they are bad, but this idea thats thrown around that we just played the Steel Curtain defense is ridiculous. Chip has to find a way to move the ball against that defense. He did nothing to change up his attack on the D. He let them dictate the game to him. Which is something I didnt expect to be seeing.

          • Brian

            27 runs vs 30 passes, plus six sacks, and the last seven plays were passing plays. Abandoned the run? Seems to me that the play calling was pretty even until the final two possessions. Do you work for ESPN?

          • Token

            O sorry what I meant to say was, Eagles r awesome! Go Chip! Go Howie! Woooooo! Thanks for another wasted football season and a dim future! Love it!

            Is that better?

          • Brian

            No. You made a bullshit statement about abandoning the running game, and it’s completely false. When someone calls you on it, you act like a child.

      • CMI82

        I get that you haven’t been impressed with Chip Kelly thus far – but it’s quite obvious you are coming at this with an established bias. For example: I’ve heard this “aside from one good half of football” refrain from a number of people. That just flat out ignores reality. Did the Eagles offense not shred the Chargers defense last week to the tune of 30 points and 511 total yards? They currently lead lead the NFL in total yards. Granted, the majority of teams have yet to play their third game, but even with that, the Eagles will likely remain at worst in the top 5. Even in the Chiefs game, the offense out gained the the opponent. The problem was wasn’t an inability to move the football, the problem was the 5 turnovers.

        It’s pretty hard to dispute that the offense is working if you simply consider the numbers. You can reasonably debate the longevity of an offense like this or whether players can remain healthy playing at this pace – but you can’t question that it has worked up until this point.

        • Token

          Is it working really? I know we all want to believe it will. But has it so far? 10 points in the 1st half last week. As bad as the D was they gave them a chance to win in the 1st half last week and the offense couldnt do anything. We can go over numbers til we are blue in the face. Reality is reality. Last week the offense lost the game in the 1st half and the D lost it in the 2nd half. This week its all on the offense. Do you think that KC is the toughest D and DC Chip will face?

          I get that everyone has to convince themselves this will work. I hope it does too or the next 3 years is a big waste. But up to this point, im not sure how we can sit and say this offense is spectacular. They dont huddle. Sometimes move quickly, though not as quickly as we thought they would. Partially because we dont run our plays up tempo. Meaning, this offense in my mind was designed to constantly attack the D with short plays. We hurry up to the line and they proceed to run a play where the QB holds the ball for 4 seconds. It kind of defeats the purpose.

          Id assume this thing will get smoothed out as we go along. And I get that Chip doesnt have his future ideal QB on the roster running this thing. But things like the lack of adjustments Thursday, and last week for that matter, worry me. That isnt the coach I thought we were getting.

          I thought we were getting a guy who would give all defenses fits and our defense was the only thing we had to worry about. Thats not totally the case thus far.

          With 10 days off I want to see something different against Denver. I want to see this offense how its supposed to look. So far its not very much different than the Reid Eagles. And you can say what you will about the roster. Chip could have changed it over by 90% if he wanted to. He owns this roster now. HE kept the garbage. HE kept the 25 special teams aces.

          • BlindChow

            Yeah, maybe next game Chip won’t have Vick throw the ball to the other team like he did this game. Doesn’t he know this isn’t college??

          • CMI82

            I understand where you are coming from, but I think there are few small points that you are overlooking.

            First off: yes, it is working. If you put 30 points on the board you should win 9 times out of 10 (at least). Did they leave some opportunities on the field? Yes, but they did more than enough to win the game against the Chargers.

            I don’t disagree with your point: “This week its all on the offense. Do you think that KC is the toughest D and DC Chip will face?” However, the problem was not scheme, the problem was execution. No matter what offense you run, if you turn the ball over 5 times, you are going to lose. And I think you are really discounting the Chiefs defense. They are very, very good, with unique players across the field.

            On this point: “Partially because we dont run our plays up tempo. Meaning, this offense in
            my mind was designed to constantly attack the D with short plays. We
            hurry up to the line and they proceed to run a play where the QB holds
            the ball for 4 seconds.” I partially agree with you here in the sense that, the offense has not moved as fast as it could at times. I think it’s due to an adjustment period and lack of execution on the part of the players. The idea never was to hold the ball for four seconds as you state. Chip Kelly has repeatedly said one of his primary philosophies is to get the ball out quick. That’s not happening on a consistent basis right now for a variety of reasons – chief among them – it’s not Michael Vick’s strength.

            On this point: “So far its not very much different than the Reid Eagles.” I’d have to disagree with you there. From a schematic standpoint, it’s world’s different. The turnovers last game looked very much like the late years of an Andy Reid team, but the scheme is entirely different. It’s not remotely similar. The other thing that was apparent to me on Thursday night was the impact of the loss of Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs were able to key in on Desean and the rest of the Eagles receiving corps struggled to get separation. I’d look for Kelly to start to address this by moving away from 11 personnel and going to more two and three tight end sets.

            Finally, on this point: “Chip could have changed it over by 90% if he wanted to. He owns this
            roster now. HE kept the garbage. HE kept the 25 special teams aces.” There is no way he could have turned over 90% of the roster in a single season – at least not without taking on a lot of practice squad talent. The crux of your point is that the Eagles have a talent problem. I agree, but it’s not something that will be solved in one offseason.

            Let’s not forget, this is a team that went 4-12 last season and is now undergoing a major scheme change on both sides of the ball. Expecting results overnight is unreasonable. Expecting progress over the course of the season is more rationale.

      • Broadcasting Wisdom

        You are really in a complaining mood today. They haven’t been running as much as you like? Let’s see:
        Drive 1: Run, pass for a 1st down, interception. Can’t complain.
        Drive 2: Run, run, pass for a 1st down, sack, pass, pass (sack had us 2nd and long so we had to pass on 2nd and 3rd). Can’t complain.
        Drive 3: Run, run, pass (assuming you won’t complain about a 22 yard Touchdown pass).
        Drive 4: Run, run, Kelce fumbled snap. Can’t complain.
        Drive 5: Run, run for a 1st down, pass, pass, sack. If you’re in a complaining mood, could say run on first down, but once it’s 2nd and 10 can’t blame them for throwing on 2nd and 3rd.
        Drive 6: Run, run for first down, run, pass, interception. Can’t complain.
        Drive 7 (started with ~2 mins left in half): Pass, run for first down, sack, run, sack. Can’t complain.
        End of half
        Drive 8: Kelce fumbles, pass for first down (31 yards to Avant), run, run, false start so 3rd and 11, and we pass. Can’t complain (except to argue we should have passed on 2nd and 7 instead of running for a yard).
        Drive 9: Pass, run for first down, pass for first down, pass for first down, pass, run, pass for a first down to the 18, run, pass, pass. Can’t complain when we’re getting a first down every time we pass, can you?
        Drive 10: Run, run, pass for first down, run for no gain, run for -2, pass incomplete on 3rd and 12. Can’t complain (except we should have passed)
        Drive 11: Pass, run, run for first down, pass for first down, run for touchdown. Can’t complain.
        Drive 12: 3 minutes left, down 10 points. I assume you are ok with 3 passes (one of which was a 19 yarder to Ertz that would have made it interesting, but Herremans was holding).
        Drive 13: Pass for first down, fumble.

        In sum, to complain they should have been running more makes no sense once you look at the situations they faced. Not a single drive where they didn’t try to establish the run, also not a single 3 and out drive so it’s not even like they weren’t moving the football, it was just the turnovers and then some untimely sacks/penalties, which are correctable mistakes. So step off that ledge and enjoy the ride of Chip’s rebuilding program.

        • Maggie

          Thanks for the breakdown. The whiners will ignore it, however, as they always ignore the facts. Their own prejudices keep getting in the way.

        • Reef215

          This is exactly what was in my brain…but when i attempted to articulate it the only thing that would come out was “you guys are idiots, chip is awesome”

  • JofreyRice

    Why do opponents need to keep 4 football players near the snap to account for two kickers and a magician?

    • Myke Lowery

      because they were caught off guard on how to defend the play

      • Token

        Obviously they werent. Pretty well defended actually.

        • Myke Lowery

          so if the blocks were picked up correctly. who tackles Ertz?

          • Token

            Well Bennie Logan looks to have gotten beat, so im guessing whoever he was trying to block.

            But in general if I had to guess, id say from now on if he would pull that awful play out again the defenders on the left would slant left on the snap closing off that side and forcing Ertz to go back to the right where the other defenders are coming from.

          • anon

            if we don’t have the numbers we don’t run the play.

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            Bennie Logan has his man completely walled off. There is a 3 yard hole that I (and probably you) could run through. All that has to happen is for Lane to slow Hali down by 1/2 second and this is two points. It is maddening how people are saying why go for this. It is an easy 2 points if a defense is caught off guard like they obviously were here.

            Of course it will never work again, but at least every team will have to spend 15 minutes of practice time practicing against it, and I know there are a lot of other trick plays you can run out of it. (for instance if they only keep 2 players by the center or one player defending the stacked receivers to the right).

          • theycallmerob

            I was in that endzone- if LJ has his block, Ertz was in. He had a hole similar to Vick’s rushing TD against WAS. Hali simply flew in and took him down.

      • JofreyRice

        That’s reasonable. I wonder if he’d be able to catch anyone offguard in that same way again. The alignment was the problem, I think they knew what the point of the play was–or at least Hali did, anyway.

        • philliesfan136

          Maybe if Ertz wasn’t standing there like a sore thumb, telegraphing that he was getting the ball. Should have been blocked better ….. but Ertz didn’t help the element of surprise.

        • theycallmerob

          To be fair, if they move 1 or 2 of those guys off, Dorenbos could also snap/block, and the kickers run their version of a read-option (saw Kelly do this a few times at a TC practice).
          And, worst case, they are always allowed to re-align in a “standard” formation for a kick.

  • Myke Lowery

    question.. was the snap through the legs?I remember being specifically told that must happen for the play to be legal. the numbers aligned correctly yet the execution failed. I believe if there was only two lined up over the center then the ball would be directly snapped to Jones would could then roll out right and throw to Jon or Henery or just run it in. I forget if one of those are not allowed to go out for a pass.

    • JofreyRice

      I don’t think so, I remember Dorenbos chucking it backwards to Ertz. It would be almost impossible to longsnap it at that angle.

      I forget if there is someone else out there to the right–only looks like 9 defenders on the field for the Chiefs, and 9 Eagles, from what I can see. Were there 2 receivers out there on the right side of the field?

      Still, if they were prepared for this at all, I don’t see a point in keeping more than 3 defenders at the snap. Hell, maybe even two. I’d put up any NFL defender’s athletic ability against Donnie Jones and Mother Goose looking Henery.

      • anon

        yeah 2 stacked receivers on the right side.

    • BlindChow

      Dorenbos is an eligible receiver in some versions of the play. See the Jimmy Kempski link above. I can’t imagine anyone but former Ducks knowing that…

    • Brian

      You may be thinking of the center being able to run the ball. In that case the quarterback needs to receive the ball first. Technically the ball just needs to be snapped to someone who is lined up in the backfield (in this case, obviously, that’s Ertz).

  • Scott J

    When you lose the game, failed plays like this look silly.

    • Token

      When you look at those screenshot, you dont think that looks silly even if we won? Looks like im at the local high school game.

      • anon

        This play, and other offensive plays with weird looks are part of what Kelly brings to the game. They’ve worked so far, but you have to execute. It’s like a missed assignment on a simple run play.

        • Token

          What has he done thats weird looking? From what I can tell he runs pretty simple plays and relies on the QB making correct decisions to exploit the numbers. I havent really seen much yet where I go wow thats crazy looking, other than that 2pt conversion.

          • BlindChow

            The unbalanced lines are weird-looking. He also had the one where the tackles were lined up out past the numbers.

          • theycallmerob

            and? when we’re you supposed to be “wowed”? have you learned nothing of his ways? Are you really Don Banks?

      • BrickSquadMonopoly

        Winning is winning don’t really care what it looks like and especially don’t care how you feel about it. You’re criticizing winning play calls this is the future of the NFL get used to it.

        • Token

          The future is scoring 16 points when you play a decent defense?

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            The future of playcalling is chip Kelly the garb of execution was the Eagles

          • theycallmerob

            5 turnovers doesn’t happen every game. And that is one of the best defenses. Get a grip/back on your meds.

      • Brian

        I felt the same way… when Vick was throwing the ball to the Chiefs defenders, Kelce was snapping to his ass, and the Johnson couldn’t field the ball.

    • theycallmerob

      Execution and play-calling are different things. Execution was silly. Play-call was fine.

  • Brian

    Everyone’s fascinated by Chip’s creativity, until a play fails. Then he’s suddenly a high school coach who’s out of his league. The play call was correct, but the execution wasn’t. Pretty much how the rest of the game was played.

    • Reef215

      Exactly!

      I still haven’t seen anyone FIGURE out this Eagles Offense….except the Eagles!!!

      Our poor execution of the schemes is to blame than the offensive woes…
      Oline man not blocking
      balls not thrown accurately
      players not being focused

      Those things are (or should be) correctable….and then what?

      30 points in 20 minutes is what..

      • BleedGreenJames

        Don’t forget Riley Cooper starting. What. A. Joke. #wemissMaclin

  • BlindChow

    Also, if the numbers aren’t there, they can check back into a standard kick formation any time and just kick the point.

    • Johnny Domino

      Or get Shooter to run the picket fence at ‘em.

  • jakethesnake

    the failure of Lane Johnson to recognize the edge (kind of stupid) is the reason in the PROs you don’t try crap like this….because stuff will go wrong and the players are too fast on D so it gets stuffed……makes me wonder what’s next….I suspect each future failure come with excuses like ‘I don’t have my players yet?’ (which I have heard 25 times from Chip apologists in the media….like Cuz)

    Here’s a thought.. don’t friggin try your crap till you get the right players….

    • Maggie

      C’mon Jake. who are you, really? Steven A. Smith? Who has never had a positive opinion, or actual CONSTRUCTIVE criticism in his life?

  • joe

    Looks like one guy is being double teamed to left of johnson. Doesnt that force johnson to pick one of 2 guys coming on his side?

    • BlindChow

      That’s interesting. Maybe Herremans missed his guy and forced Johnson to choose, or maybe it was like the read-option where they leave the guy on the end unblocked…

      • Brian

        Joe’s right. It looks as though there were two mis-reads. Johnson should have been blocking Hali, Evan Mathis should have blocked the lineman that Johnson took. If that happened, they would have scored. For whatever reason, Mathis is doubling Herremans’ block.

    • Justin

      I noticed that after my initial post too.

  • Weapon Y

    I say go for the Swinging Gate again and again. Make these “experts” eat crow. Also, I’d love to know specifically what makes Chip go for 2 after some touchdowns and not others. You’d figure there has to be more to it than just a gut feeling.

    • Johnny Domino

      Sure, throw it out there again some time, but don’t go all “Tin Cup” on us just to prove a point.

    • UKEagle99

      He has a chart, he said so in a presser a couple of weeks ago. That’s all I have.

  • Johnny Utah

    Who goes for 2 in a 10-6 game in the first half….what’s the upside? That’s the question people need to ask Spurrier Jr.

    • BlindChow

      Uh, I’m guessing the upside would be an extra point, but what do I know?

      • UKEagle99

        I have to agree, if you normally go for 1 and this time you went for 2, if you make it then the upside is an extra, extra point.

  • theite

    as james implied I’m shocked that a mother can get 4793dollrs in a few weeks on the internet. this post ℓ ℴ ℂ K 4 0,ℂ ℴ ℳ