Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Colts
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched the game against the Colts.
Nick Foles – He certainly played better than Week 1, but there is still room for improvement with Foles. Overall, he went 21-for-37 for 331 yards, a touchdowns and an interception.
Let’s start with the good. He found Zach Ertz for 27 yards on a corner route in the first. He showed good patience and made a good throw to Ertz for 14 yards on third down later in the quarter. The first big completion to Darren Sproles traveled just 9 yards in the air, but Sproles jetted downfield for a 57-yard gain. Foles threw a beautiful ball to Riley Cooper on a fade in the end zone, but the receiver dropped it. He was on-target with his throw to Jeremy Maclin for a 15-yard gain over the middle in the second. And the touchdown in the second half to Maclin was impressive upon re-watching. The cornerback was draped on Maclin’s back, and Foles had to fit the ball into a tight window. Very nice pass.
Now the not so good. The Colts sent a three-man rush in the second, and Foles slid to his right, directly into pressure. Foles had Maclin on a fade in the second, but didn’t give him a chance as the ball sailed out of bounds. He was low on his throw to Maclin on a screen in the second. As Jon Gruden pointed out, Foles completely missed Cooper on the mesh and missed an opportunity to keep the drive alive on third down in the third. He misfired to Maclin down the right sideline. And he threw behind Ertz downfield (although there was some pressure on that play). Bad decision in the third as Foles held the ball forever, slid to his right and then threw it away across the field to McCoy. I don’t have an issue with the interception. The corner made a great play, and Maclin could have done a better job of fighting for the ball.
The good news is that without Foles at his best and with a banged-up offensive line and receivers not playing that great and LeSean McCoy yet to go off, the Eagles still lead the league in points. We’ll see if Foles can take another step forward vs. the Redskins.
LeSean McCoy – He carried 20 times for 79 yards and caught four balls for 23. I thought McCoy played well and made the most of his opportunities. Nice 12-yard pickup around the left edge in the second. McCoy picked up 12 more in the red zone in the second. Great vision on a 13-yard run on a stretch play in the third. McCoy picked up 16 on a stretch play to the left. He got low and got in the end zone on the TD in the third. And McCoy picked up 21 on 3rd-and-15 in the third. As a receiver, he picked up 12 on a screen in the first and 8 on a screen in the second. He had a chance for a touchdown catch, but couldn’t make the cornerback miss in a one-on-one situation in the red zone in the second. McCoy played 72 percent of the snaps.
Darren Sproles – What’s left to say about him? Sproles has been the story for the Eagles through the first two games. Four carries for 26 yards and seven catches for 152 yards. Sproles caught all seven targets thrown his way. He had the huge 57-yard catch and run in the first on the halfback choice. He picked up 4 on 3rd-and-2 in the second. Unbelievable 19-yard TD run in the third. And Sproles took the screen 51 yards in the fourth. The 17-yard screen on the final drive put the Eagles into field goal range. When we look back at this win over the Colts years from now, it’ll be labeled: The Sproles Game.
Chris Polk – He was active, but only played on special teams. Polk got nailed with an illegal block. Did anyone else notice the Colts player use the throat-slash gesture on the sideline after the play?
Jeremy Maclin – Tough evaluation because I don’t feel like Maclin played great. But at the same time, had Foles connected on one or two of those deep balls, his numbers would have been impressive. Maclin ended up with four catches for 45 yards on 11 targets. None of his receptions gained more than 15 yards. He picked up 15 on a bubble screen in the first. He and Foles were not on the same page on a bubble screen attempt in the second that went incomplete. Maclin had a 15-yard grab over the middle in the second. He created separation and had a chance for a 30-yard TD down the right sideline in the second. I would have liked to see him try to go up and get the football on the INT in the second. Later, he did a good job of faking like he was blocking on a bubble screen and then taking off down the sideline, but Foles missed him. Maclin came up with the game-tying TD in the fourth.
Riley Cooper – Sometimes, it just comes down to catching the football. Cooper had a straight drop in the end zone on the fade from Foles that should have been a 20-yard touchdown. He had another drop on a slant in the third and was called for a false start later in the quarter. Cooper caught one ball for 8 yards, but did draw a 35-yard pass interference penalty in the third.
Jordan Matthews – Quiet game for Matthews. One catch for 17 yards on four targets. He dropped a screen attempt in the first and had another drop on the first possession of the second half. Matthews had both hands on the ball, but let the DB knock it away. He was also called for holding on a McCoy run in the third.
Jeff Maehl – Played seven snaps, but wasn’t targeted.
Brad Smith – Played one snap, but wasn’t targeted.
Zach Ertz – Along with Sproles, he’s carrying the offense. Ertz finished with four catches for 86 yards on six targets. He beat the defensive back on a corner route for 27 yards in the first. He beat LaRon Landry for 14 yards on a crossing route later in the quarter. Fantastic catch for 21 yards against zone on 3rd-and-11 in the third. Ertz high-pointed the ball and made a great “hands” catch to extend the Eagles’ drive. Big play at a big time. He had a chance for another one downfield, but Foles threw behind him. Ertz beat the linebacker on a corner route for 24 yards on the final drive. A couple nice moments blocking too. Ertz chucked slot corner Darius Butler to the ground on a bubble screen to Maclin in the first. And on the final drive, he made a great block, freeing Sproles up on the screen. He played 76 percent of the snaps.
Brent Celek – He was only targeted once and dropped a potential touchdown in the end zone in the third.
James Casey – He played nine snaps and got on the field when the Eagles went to 23 personnel – two running backs and three tight ends. Casey was not targeted. He made a good tackle on special teams kickoff coverage in the first.
Jason Peters – After a shaky Week 1 performance, Peters was fantastic against the Colts. His blocking was key on many big runs, and I only counted one time where he had an issue in pass protection. That was on the final drive when Foles hit Ertz. Peters got pushed back into Foles’ face a little bit. In the run game, he got out in front on a toss to McCoy that picked up 12 in the second. Nice job on Sproles’ 4-yard run on 3rd-and-2. Good block on the edge defender on McCoy’s 12-yard run in the second. Excellent job on McCoy’s 13-yard run in the third. And good job on McCoy’s 16-yard run in the third.
Dennis Kelly – He was up and down, which is to be expected considering he hadn’t played in a game since 2012. Kelly had trouble with the lineman on Sproles’ 3-yard run in the first. He blew his block on Ricky Jean-Francois on McCoy’s 2-yard run in the second. Neither he nor Jason Kelce blocked Erik Walden on the sweep in the red zone in the second. McCoy was dropped for a 4-yard loss. On the bright side, Sproles ran behind Kelly for 4 yards on 3rd-and-2 in the second. And he had a good block on McCoy’s 16-yard run on a stretch play in the third. In protection, I didn’t notice Kelly give up any hits on the QB.
Jason Kelce – Really good game for Kelce. He held up well in protection, was great in the screen game and did a nice job in the run game as well. Kelce threw a block out in front of a McCoy screen that picked up 12 in the first. He got out in front on a toss to McCoy that picked up 12 in the second and again did a good job on a McCoy screen that picked up 8. Fantastic job on the nose tackle on McCoy’s 12-yard run in the second. And again on McCoy’s 13-yard run in the third. Kelce escorted Sproles downfield on the 51-yard screen. The only issues: The nose tackle got past him and dropped McCoy for a loss in the third. Kelce was called for illegal hands to the face in the third. And Walden slid in right between Kelce and Kelly to drop McCoy for a 3-yard loss on 3rd-and-1 in the fourth.
Todd Herremans – Solid game for Herremans. Good job blocking out in front on a screen to McCoy that picked up 12. He also threw a good block on Sproles’ screen that picked up 51. Only one major issue in pass protection: He and Kelce did a poor job of handling a twist on third down in the third and allowed a hit on Foles.
Andrew Gardner – He struggled early, but settled down. Gardner lined up as a tackle over on an unbalanced line play in the red zone, but let Jean-Francois get through and stop McCoy behind the line of scrimmage. Miscommunication between him and Herremans in the red zone in the first. Neither blocked D’Qwell Jackson on an inside zone run, and McCoy lost 2 yards. Beaten badly on the next play. Looked like he overset and Walden rushed inside, hitting Foles as he threw. Gardner also gave up pressure on Foles in the first on the big completion to Sproles.