Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Titans
Here’s a player-by-player review of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Mark Sanchez – There was some good and some bad with Sanchez. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Sanchez has generally gotten the ball out quickly and done a good job of climbing the pocket when he feels edge pressure. He takes fewer shots downfield than Nick Foles. Per Pro Football Focus, 12.9 percent of Sanchez’s attempts have traveled 20+ yards downfield (15th). With Foles, the number was 18.9 percent (second). Twenty-four of Sanchez’s 30 completions Sunday were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Sanchez is at his best when he’s on the move. He rolled to his left and delivered a strike to Riley Cooper for 21 yards to set up a touchdown in the first quarter. He stepped up in the pocket and found Jordan Matthews for a 3rd-and-13 conversion in the second. Sanchez’s best throw of the game was the 14-yard touchdown to James Casey. He rolled to his right and delivered a perfectly placed ball in between Titans defenders. Another nice throw on the move to Jeremy Maclin for 13 yards in the fourth.
The issues? He put too much on a screen to Darren Sproles in the first. He sailed one to Matthews over the middle. He missed badly on a deep out to Cooper. That’s a throw he has struggled with throughout. Sanchez needed to fire one in to Matthews over the middle in the red zone, but didn’t get enough on the pass, resulting in an incompletion. The first pick was more on Cooper than him. Good job stepping up in the pocket, but he threw from an uncomfortable platform on the second interception over the middle for Zach Ertz. He air-mailed another pass to Ertz and underthrew Maclin downfield in the fourth. Sanchez was nearly intercepted a third time looking for Brent Celek in the fourth.
The completion percentage (62.3) and YPA (8.1) numbers are good. But Sanchez has an INT rate of 4.1. That’s higher than his career average and fifth-worst among QBs who have attempted at least 100 passes. He’s good on the move and has reacted well to pressure. Sanchez has struggled on throws outside the numbers and has had too many balls sail on him.
LeSean McCoy – He played really well, totaling 130 yards on 21 carries. McCoy had a 15-yard run on the first possession and then broke a tackle on a 12-yard pickup. He bounced a run outside and made a safety miss on a 53-yard run later in the first. McCoy looked shifty and made something out of nothing on a 5-yard run in the second. He picked up 14 on a third-quarter run. Suddenly, his numbers on the season don’t look all that bad. McCoy is averaging 4.0 YPC and is fourth in the NFL with 859 yards. He’ll need to carry the offense down the stretch. He played 54 percent of the snaps.
Darren Sproles – It’s unbelievable how he makes people miss every time he touches the ball. And Sproles brings a toughness to the field on a weekly basis. He fought through contact and got in the end zone from 4 yards out in the first. Great job making a man miss and sprinting up the sideline for a first on 3rd-and-4 in the second. Tremendous job slipping out of a defender’s grasp and picking up 10 yards late in the first half. He made multiple defenders miss on a 13-yard scamper in the third. Sproles ran six times for 25 yards and caught three balls for 14. He played 26 percent of the snaps.
Chris Polk – He broke a tackle and dragged defenders for extra yards on a 15-yard catch and run on 3rd-and-6 in the first. Polk played 24 percent of the snaps.
Jeremy Maclin – He caught six balls for 59 yards and could have had a bigger day. Maclin has become a master at keeping his feet in bounds on throws near the sideline. He did just that on an 18-yard grab on a deep out in the first half. Later, he picked up 12 on 3rd-and-6. Sanchez missed him badly on a deep out and underthrew him on a deep post, which could have resulted in a big gain. Maclin is 20 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season. He played 89 percent of the snaps.
Riley Cooper – He finished with three grabs for 49 yards. Bad job with his route on Sanchez’s first interception. Cooper ran a post, but should have flattened it out. He let the cornerback get in front of him for the pick. Good block on Sproles’ TD run in the first. Cooper threw a key block on McCoy’s 53-yard run in the first. Nice job keeping his feet in bounds on the 21-yard gain that set up a TD in the second. Sanchez missed him on a deep out late in the first half. Cooper got tripped up on a screen in the third that picked up 15. He made a defender miss and lowered his shoulder on a 13-yard gain on 3rd-and-9 in the third. I’d like like to see more of that from him, given his size. Overall, Cooper played 67 percent of the snaps.
Jordan Matthews – He continues to impress. Matthews finished with six catches for 77 yards. He broke a tackle and picked up 17 on a comeback route in the first. I loved his hustle on McCoy’s 53-yard run. Matthews didn’t get to block anybody, but he was sprinting downfield to help out. He broke two tackles and picked up 20 yards on a crosser in second. Matthews got a defender on his back and made a 24-yard grab on 3rd-and-13 in the second. He couldn’t break the tackle on a 3rd-and-7 crosser in the second. The Eagles settled for a field goal on the drive. Overall, really good game. Per PFF, he has 47 catches out of the slot, second in the NFL to Randall Cobb. Matthews played 70 percent of the snaps.
Josh Huff – He got the Eagles going with a 107-yard kickoff return to start the game. It’s not straight speed with Huff. He seeks out contact and can play through it. I’m still not sure why Chip Kelly replaced him with Polk on later kickoffs. Kelly’s explanation didn’t make much sense to me. Offensively, Huff played 33 percent of the snaps but was not targeted. I liked how he went after Titans defenders following the big hit on Brad Smith.
Brad Smith – He got leveled over the middle in the first and had the wind knocked out of him. Smith played seven snaps on offense.
Brent Celek – Five catches for 48 yards. Celek picked up 15 on a pick play on the first drive. Nice block on Sproles’ TD run in the first. It looked like he might have been open for a TD on the 3rd-and-7 play in the second where Sanchez went to Matthews on a crosser. Nice block to Cooper on a screen that picked up 15 in the third. Celek let the linebacker slip past him on McCoy’s 4-yard run in the third. He was beaten badly on a McCoy run that lost a yard in the third. Celek broke a tackle, took on contact and picked up 8 in the third. Solid, as usual. He played 77 percent of the snaps.
Zach Ertz – He threw a key block on Huff’s touchdown return and made another good block on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the first. Ertz caught a pass and broke a tackle, picking up 9 on 3rd-and-4 in the second. He picked up 10 on 3rd-and-8 in the fourth and fielded the onside kick in the fourth. Ertz played 30 percent of the snaps.
James Casey – Good block on Huff’s touchdown return. Good block on the counter run to McCoy that picked up 14 in third. Casey came down with a 14-yard TD in the third. He played 22 percent of the offensive snaps.
Trey Burton – Great block on Huff’s touchdown return. He did not play on offense.
Jason Peters – He said afterwards there were some plays he wanted back, but Peters held up fine for the most part. I didn’t see him give up a single pressure in pass protection. Peters blocked the LB to the ground on Sproles’ 4-yard TD run in the first. He was called for a false start in the third and didn’t finish his block on McCoy’s outside run that was stopped for no gain in the third. Peters was later called for holding.
Evan Mathis – He played well. Mathis got to the linebacker on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the first. He threw the key block on McCoy’s 12-yard run. Good job on Sproles’ 4-yard run in the second, taking the defender to the ground. Mathis was called for illegal use of hands in the third. I didn’t see him give up any pressure in pass pro.
Jason Kelce – He didn’t get beaten at all in pass protection either. Nice job getting to the second level on McCoy’s 12-yard run in the first. And good block on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the third. Kelce gave up some penetration at times, like on the 2-yard McCoy run in the third. The snaps looked like they were better.
Andrew Gardner – The Eagles ran a lot of power with the backs running behind the pulling guards. Gardner did not have a lot of success in the run game. Good block on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the first. But he got blown up for a TFL later in the half. He couldn’t get to the defender while pulling on a run that was stopped for no gain in the second. That actually happened on multiple occasions. Gardner couldn’t get to the LB on McCoy’s 1-yard run in the third. In pass protection, he was pretty good. Gardner gave up a sack in the red zone in the first, but Sanchez held onto the ball. Good blitz pickup on Sanchez’s first interception. My guess is he’ll stay in the lineup at right guard over Matt Tobin.
Lane Johnson – Nice job on the edge defender on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the first. He couldn’t hold off the defensive lineman on a Sproles run that gained 1 in the second. Johnson gave up some pressure on 3rd-and-13 in the second, but Sanchez stepped up. Nice job on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the third. Johnson was called for a personal foul for retaliating after the whistle in the third. Asked about it afterwards, he said: “Me being stupid.”