Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Cowboys
Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys.
Mark Sanchez – In a game where the Eagles needed to maximize their opportunities on offense, Sanchez failed to capitalize and made too many mistakes. Although, to be fair, he was far from the only problem.
Overall, Sanchez went 17-for-28 for 252 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Per Pro Football Focus, he was 12-for-13 on throws under 10 yards. On attempts 10 yards or more from the line of scrimmage, Sanchez was 5-for-13. He did not complete a single pass that traveled 20 yards or more from the line of scrimmage and attempted just two.
On 3rd-and-12 in the first, Sanchez faced a three-man rush, but checked it down to LeSean McCoy and was off-target with his throw for an incompletion. He found Darren Sproles for an 11-yard gain on third down in the second. Missed high on a throw to a wide-open Josh Huff in the second, although Huff still had a chance at it. It looked like Sanchez had a chance to keep it on a 3-yard Sproles run in the second. He did not keep the ball on any zone read plays after having had some success doing that in the first game.
Nice throw over the middle to Brent Celek for a 23-yard completion on third down in the second. Dumped it off to Zach Ertz on 3rd-and-2 for a 15-yard gain in the second. Nice throw on an out to Jeremy Maclin for 11 yards in the second. Found Celek for a 10-yard gain and a first down late in the first half. Ugly throw on an out-breaking route to Maclin that went incomplete in the third. Good throw to Maclin near the sideline on the next play for a 72-yard catch and run. Terrible miss to Ertz over the middle on the INT in the third. The Eagles were down four at the time, but the Cowboys scored off the turnover and made it a two-possession game. Just a huge play. Sanchez held the ball and took a sack in the fourth. Stepped up and found Huff for a 44-yard catch and run in the fourth. Missed badly on the corner route to Celek. Threw short of the first-down marker to Ertz for 6 yards on 3rd-and-9 in the fourth. Threw one up for grabs in the fourth that could have been intercepted. Failed to see the dropping linebacker on the second INT.
LeSean McCoy – Having re-watched, it seemed like the Eagles could have had a lot more success on the ground, although getting down 21-0 early had to affect play-calling to some degree. McCoy had a nice 14-yard run on a counter in the second. He followed it up with a 7-yard scamper on inside zone. Couldn’t make the safety miss in space on a 7-yard run in the second. Broke a tackle and picked up 5 on a sweep in the second. Picked up 6 on a sweep in the red zone in the third. Lined up in the backfield with Sproles and threw the key block on the 1-yard TD. Overall, 14 carries for 64 yards.
Chris Polk – He continues to make the most of his opportunities. Polk carried twice for 6 yards; both were touchdowns. Nice job on the 5-yard inside zone TD run in the second. Scored again from 1 yard out on the same play in the third. Polk only played three offensive snaps.
Darren Sproles – Three carries for 5 yards and a touchdown; two catches for 8 yards. Sproles got matched up with a linebacker for a gain of 11 on 3rd-and-5 in the second. Good blitz pickup on the 23-yard completion to Celek in the second. Dropped for a 3-yard loss on a screen attempt that had no chance in the second. Scored from 1 yard out in the third. He played 19 snaps.
Jeremy Maclin – He’s probably been their most consistent offensive player all season long. Maclin had four catches for 98 yards and continued his monster season (78 catches, 1,207 yards, 10 TDs). He picked up 11 and a first down on an out in the second. Flashed great hands for a 5-yard gain and a first down early in the third quarter. Gained 72 yards on the catch and run in the third as the defensive back went for the pick. There figures to be serious demand for Maclin as a free agent this offseason.
Riley Cooper – He had two catches for 17 yards. I’m not sure what he was doing on the first play. It looked like Cooper had some room on the screen, but he was stopped for no gain. Couldn’t hang onto a ball near the sideline in the second quarter. He made a 17-yard grab with under two minutes left in the game. Five catches for 30 yards in the last two games.
Jordan Matthews – He went catch-less. It looked like a straight drop for Matthews in the red zone in the second. The Eagles ended up setting for a field goal on the drive. He probably made a wise decision to not hit the defensive back on Maclin’s 72-yard catch and run. The defender kept turning his body, and Matthews would have been at risk of a block in the back. He played 46 snaps, left the game briefly early on, but would return.
Josh Huff – Strange play on the opening kickoff. Chip Kelly said Monday that Brad Smith should have fielded it. Huff got open in the second against zone coverage, but couldn’t make the grab on a high pass from Sanchez. Broke three tackles on a 44-yard catch and run in the fourth. That was probably the most he’s flashed all season. Huff played 11 snaps on offense.
Brad Smith – He played one snap on offense. Smith should have fielded the opening kickoff.
Brent Celek – Costly fumble in the fourth quarter after making the 14-yard reception. Up until that point, Celek had a really good game. Good job in pass pro on the 11-yard completion to Sproles on third down in the second. Made a 23-yard grab on third down in the second. Good job blocking the end on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the second. Good job sealing Jeremy Mincey on Polk’s 5-yard TD run in the second. Gained 10 yards and a first down late in the first half. Another good seal on Polk’s TD run in the third. Couldn’t get to the LB on McCoy’s 1-yard run in the fourth. Celek had four catches for 52 yards. He played 62 percent of the snaps.
Zach Ertz – Other than Maclin, I’m not sure another Eagles pass-catcher gets open more consistently than Ertz. He had three catches for 32 yards and played 26 snaps. Picked up 15 on a 3rd-and-2 catch and run off split zone action in the second. The Eagles ran the same play to the other side later in the quarter. Ertz hurdled a defender and picked up 11. Drew a holding penalty going out into his route in the third. Sanchez missed him on the interception in the second half.
James Casey – He only played four offensive snaps. Failed to control the edge defender on Sproles’ 3-yard run in the second.
Jason Peters – Mostly good for the Eagles’ left tackle. He was called for a false start on the first series. Got to the linebacker on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the second. Polk ran right behind him on the TD run in the second. Cleared the way on Polk’s TD run in the third. Gave up pressure in the fourth, but Sanchez spun out of it. Gave up a sack later in the drive, but Sanchez held onto the ball. Gave up another sack on the next play, but it looked like he expected Sanchez to step up.
Evan Mathis – A couple miscues early, but then he played really well. It looked like Mathis failed to control the lineman on a McCoy run that lost a yard in the first. He and Peters did a poor job picking up a stunt on the third-down play in the first where Sanchez was sacked. Great job on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the second. Nice job coming off his double team and taking out the linebacker on Polk’s 5-yard TD run in the second. Nice block on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the second.
Jason Kelce – He admitted after the game that he’s not playing at the same level he played at in 2013. Kelce had ups and downs in this one. Nice job on the counter that picked up 14 in the second. Good block on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the second. The Cowboys slanted and got him in the second, dropping Sproles after a 1-yard gain. It looked like he and Andrew Gardner blocked the same guy on a screen attempt in the second that lost 3 yards. Had trouble with the defensive tackle on a McCoy run that lost 2 yards in the third. Got to the LB, but didn’t finish on McCoy’s sweep that picked up 6 in the third. Gave up a sack in the fourth, although Sanchez held onto the ball. Got called for holding on 2nd-and-3 in the fourth.
Andrew Gardner – Better than last week, but still had issues. He and Lane Johnson did a poor job picking up a stunt on the third-down play in the first where Dallas got a sack. Good block on the counter that picked up 14 in the second. Dallas slanted and disrupted a Sproles run that only gained 1 in the second. Gave up a hit on Sanchez in pass pro in the third. Pulled and took out the safety on McCoy’s 6-yard run in the third.
Lane Johnson – He was OK. Whiffed on his block in the first, allowing the linebacker to tackle McCoy after a 5-yard run. Failed to get to the linebacker on McCoy’s 1-yard run in the second. Gave up edge pressure in the fourth that led to a sack.