Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Jaguars
Here’s a position-by-position look at what we saw during the Eagles’ 34-17 win over the Jaguars after having re-watched the game.
Nick Foles – We can sugarcoat it, or we can call it like we saw it: He played poorly. The numbers say 27-for-45 for 322 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. I believe that if we had seen “normal” Foles, he may have broken Donovan McNabb’s single-game franchise record of 464 yards passing. There were big plays left on the field all game long.
That doesn’t mean Foles stinks or that we expect perfection or that he won’t bounce back next week. Based on last season, he very well could light it up against the Colts. But in Week 1, he did not play at a high level.
Early on, Foles was off-target with his throw to Maclin. On the first fumble, he wanted to go to Riley Cooper on an in-breaking route, but pumped and stepped right into pressure. I asked Chip Kelly today if Foles should have pulled the trigger.
“It looked… it was close,” he said. “There was pretty good coverage. It was close.”
Later in the first, he pumped multiple times before taking off on a 2-yard run. On the second fumble, he had a good four seconds from snap to sack. It looked like he had Jeremy Maclin wide open downfield. Foles was off-target with his throw to Jordan Matthews down the seam. Later, he made the same throw and connected for a 30-yard completion. Foles pump-faked and nearly fumbled again later, but it was ruled an incompletion. He pulled the ball on a packaged play and tried to hit Maclin on a hitch, but they weren’t on the same page. Foles was nearly intercepted looking for Maclin on a comeback route in the second. It looked like he misread the coverage and didn’t see the cornerback dropping on the interception in the end zone. Foles moved poorly in the pocket late in the first half, taking another sack. He threw a 50/50 ball to Maclin off play-action late in the first half that was nearly picked. There were two guys in the area, so it was more like a 33/66 ball. Foles’ throw to Cooper in the third hit the ground. And he threw behind Matthews over the middle in the third. Foles airmailed one to Zach Ertz over the middle in the third.
There were, of course, some good moments. Foles hit Ertz down the seam for 26 yards in the first. He avoided a sack and found Maclin for an 11-yard gain late in the first half. Good patience and third-down throw to Maclin for 8 in the second. Foles found Ertz in between the safeties for a 25-yard touchdown in the third. And he later hit Ertz down the seam for 26 yards. In the fourth, Foles escaped pressure so he’d have time to launch one to a wide-open Maclin for a 68-yard TD.
LeSean McCoy – He played 67 percent of the snaps and carried 21 times for 74 yards. The Eagles did not have a lot of luck on runs to the perimeter, and when they left edge defenders unblocked, Jaguars ends often crashed on the running backs. McCoy flashed some nifty footwork on a 13-yard run in the first. He reversed field and picked up 9 later in the quarter. McCoy broke a couple tackles for an 8-yard gain in the third. He weaved around traffic for 6 yards and a first in the fourth. And on 3rd-and-13, he gained 19 in the fourth. I wouldn’t be worried about McCoy’s performance. Had he been on the field instead of Sproles on the one TD, we’d be talking about a 22-carry, 123-yard performance. I was surprised Sproles spelled him as much as he did. McCoy had six catches for 41 yards.
Darren Sproles – He played 38 percent of the snaps, carrying 11 times for 71 yards. The 49-yard touchdown was huge. Sproles also had a nice 10-yard scamper in the fourth. Not much as a receiver (four catches for 14 yards).
Jeremy Maclin – He finished with four catches for 97 yards. He could have easily had a 150-yard game if not for Foles’ struggles. Maclin was wide open on the 68-yard TD, and he made a good catch in traffic for 10 yards and a first down in the red zone in the first.
Riley Cooper – Quiet game. Four catches for 29 yards. Foles looked for him on a fade in the end zone, but the throw led him out of bounds. Later, Cooper ran another fade, but Foles wanted to go back-shoulder, and the result was an incompletion. I thought he had a shot for an over-the-shoulder catch on a fade down the sideline in the third, but Cooper couldn’t make the grab.
Jordan Matthews – He was the primary slot receiver and played 66 percent of the snaps. The Eagles ran four verticals with him going down the seam in the first, but Foles missed Matthews. Later on the same play, he caught a 30-yarder. Matthews made a 7-yard grab and got to the sticks for a first down in the fourth. He was close to having a much bigger game, but ended up with two catches for 37 yards.
Jeff Maehl – Made a 12-yard grab late in the first half and played 10 snaps.
Brad Smith – Played two snaps on offense. Wasn’t targeted.
Brent Celek – He played 68 percent of the snaps and caught three balls for 15 yards. Two of his catches netted first downs. There is still a wide gap between Celek and Ertz as blockers. Celek did a good job on Sproles’ 10-yard run in the fourth.
Zach Ertz – He had three catches of 20+ yards and totaled 77 yards on three grabs. Ertz made a 26-yard grab down the seam in the first. Nice job getting behind the underneath coverage, going up for the ball, bracing for contact and getting in the end zone on the 25-yard touchdown. Ertz picked up 26 yards running down the seam in the fourth.
He set up in-line and didn’t get much of a block on McCoy’s 8-yard run in the third. It looked like Ertz missed his blocking assignment as McCoy was dropped for no gain on a swing pass in the fourth. Good block by Ertz on the DB on an early swing pass to McCoy. Ertz played 60 percent of the snaps.
Jason Peters – Not his best outing. Peters was beaten to the inside on the first sack, but Kelly absolved him of blame, saying that was supposed to be a quick pass. The second sack wasn’t on Peters. Foles had at least four seconds to find a receiver but held onto the ball. Later, Peters was beaten by Chris Clemons. Foles pumped again, but Peters has to hold his block longer. He had some trouble in pass pro on a play where Foles was sacked in second. And Peters was driven back into Foles’ face on the second-quarter completion to Maehl. In the run game, Peters moved the offensive lineman with force on Sproles’ 10-yard run in the fourth. Overall, he was OK.
Evan Mathis – He played 32 percent of the snaps before leaving the game with a knee injury. Mathis was beaten cleanly for a sack in the second. He had an excellent backside block in the run game on McCoy’s 13-yard gain in the first. He’ll be tough to replace for the next several weeks.
David Molk – Here, the evaluation is all about expectations. Molk, a center, came into the game in a very tough spot. To say he played well would be overstating things, but he survived under trying circumstances. And that counts for something. Molk gave up a hit on Foles in pass protection in the second. He was beaten again as Foles left the pocket. Molk looked lost on a screen to Celek that lost a yard. He later whiffed on his block on a screen to Sproles. The good? Molk made a nice block on Sproles’ 49-yard TD. He did a good job on Sproles’ runs of 5 and 6 in the fourth. The experience will help him going forward.
Jason Kelce – Strong game for Kelce. Good job on McCoy’s 4-yard run in the first. And again on McCoy’s 5-yard run. Good block on the toss to McCoy that picked up 5 in the second. Got right up to the second level and took out the linebacker on Sproles’ 49-yard run. Nice job on the nose tackle on McCoy’s 6-yard run in the fourth. And good block on Sproles’ 6-yard run in the fourth. I didn’t notice any issues in pass protection.
Todd Herremans – Herremans played well also. Nice job on McCoy’s 4-yard run in the first. He and Allen Barbre executed a double team on McCoy’s 5-yard run in the first. Good block on Sproles’ 49-yard TD run in the third. Nice job on Sproles’ 5-yard run in the fourth and again on Sproles’ 6-yard run. Herremans pinned the lineman inside on McCoy’s 19-yard run in the fourth. He gave up some pressure in the fourth on a Foles incompletion and was later called for holding. But it wasn’t because he was getting beaten. The defensive lineman was giving chase to Foles, who was scrambling. Herremans had an issue in protection on Foles’ 4-yard completion to Cooper in the second. He couldn’t get outside to the linebacker on a sweep that resulted in a 2-yard loss in the third. And Herremans got out in front of screen in the third, but didn’t block anybody.
Allen Barbre – He played 38 percent of the snaps, but left with a high ankle sprain. Barbre had some trouble with Clemons off the edge in the first. And he got pushed back into Foles’ face on a play where Foles was sacked in the second. Barbre and Herremans had a nice double team on McCoy’s 5-yard run in the first.
Andrew Gardner – He came in initially for Mathis at left guard and struggled. Gardner was beaten one-on-one for a sack late in the first half, and it looked like he failed to pick up a stunt on another play. But when he moved to right tackle, he looked a little more comfortable. Good block on Sproles’ 5-yard run in the fourth. Gardner was called for holding in pass pro in the fourth. It looks like he could be the man at right tackle for the next three games.