The Eagles were defeated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 28-22 last Thursday night. The team struggled mightily in the matchup. In this film review, we’ll examine what went wrong and why.
The offense was stagnant majority of the night, managing just 14 points throughout the first 50 minutes of the game. A lot of that was due to missed reads/throws by the quarterback, lack of a run game, and inconsistent pass protection.
The offense continues to be inconsistent for those reasons, especially the first 2.
First we’ll get into Jalen Hurts.
He left a lot of yards on the field for various reasons. Whether it’s a confidence issue or an inability to properly see the field, Jalen failed to pull the trigger. He was late on some big plays, and often his eyes dropped which restricted him from seeing the field. This can be traced from the lack of a running game. He is clearly uncomfortable right now and that is effecting him in every facet of his game.
Jalen Hurts is and has always been a run first QB. He is most comfortable in that type of offense. When the run is working he becomes a more confident and comfortable quarterback who will trust what he sees and let it rip.
When you take him out of his element this is what you get. A player who doesn’t trust what he sees, who itches to take off, and a player who relies on his instincts to run rather than trusting the throw.
Despite the amount of blame Nick deserves in this, Hurts is still performing poorly. These are simple reads that should be completions.
In this compilation you will see him hesitate. Throws that should be easy touchdowns are instead, incompletions that were saved by the refs with pass interference penalties.
Those were the 2 most obvious examples, however his hesitation wasn’t the only problem. He was skittish in the pocket. Seeing ghosts that were not there. Quick to leave clean pockets which invites pressure and turning into a runner instead of a passer. His panicking led to missed throws, and missed opportunities. Throws that would’ve been completions had he calmed down and set his feet on time, and throws that could’ve been made if he had kept his eyes downfield.
Regardless of who deserves more of the blame, both need to be better. Nick needs to help Jalen out by scheming around his biggest strength, and Jalen needs to help Nick out by making the completions that are schemed up for him.
Another thing that stood out to me while watching film: the play of tackles Andre Dillard and Jordan Mailata. Those 2 players had the most eye popping performances to me out of all the offensive players, good and bad.
We’ll start with Dillard. He started off quite well. Looking smooth and confident. Had some nice reps in pass protection showing an improved anchor, and good hand placement.
But then it went downhill fast…. Falling asleep at the line, getting bulldozed, and looking like a stick in the mud.
Overall, it was an up and down day for Andre Dillard. But mostly down.
However, on the flip side Jordan Mailata was fantastic on the right side! By my count, I only saw him give up 1 pressure all night. His technique was sound, and his physicality was dominant. He won virtually every rep against every edge rusher they threw at him.
The defense was ugly. Worse than the offense by a mile.
Jonathan Gannon got out schemed all night long. He put the defensive line in a bad position, and on top of that the linebackers got successfully picked apart for majority of the night.
As far as the defensive line goes, they were put in a bad position. They faced a very diverse blocking scheme that featured consistent double teams, chips (TE’s and RB’s), screens, misdirections, and play actions. This played a big role in their inability to get off of blocks in the first half.
However, they still had an inconsistent performance on their own. The defensive tackles got pushed back consistently, and the DE’s were outmatched on the edges. I came away really impressed with the Bucs offensive line, and very disappointed with Gannon.
Getting into specifics, I didn’t like the fronts Gannon was using. A lot of nickel, and glorified 4-3 with Genard Avery on the field as the 3rd DE/inline OLB. This front has some creative potential, but it was the wrong time to feature that against such a big powerful offense. A defensive line of Genard Avery, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, and Javon Hargrave is simply not big enough to handle multiple double teams against heavier packages consistently.
This exposed another issue: the linebacker play. The linebackers are simply not good enough right now. Alex Singleton missed a ton of tackles and overall did not look physical at the point of the attack. I don’t know what happened to him but he does not look like the same player from last year. He does look the same in coverage however, giving up lots of easy catches.
Davion Taylor’s issues had more to do with his lack of experience. Very gifted athlete, and you can see how agile and fast he is on tape. There’s a lot of potential in him, however, he still gets caught out of the play too many times. He bites on play action, HARD. Any semblance of a hand off will freeze him in his tracks for a good second, leaving him out of position. He also had a bad missed tackle as well.
I do want to show 1 clip from Davion that really impressed me though. He pancakes the center and then tracks down the ball carrier. The strength, fluidity and speed is evident. Freaky athlete, just needs to get the experience. Hopefully he can follow a similar path as Jordan Mailata.
Despite all the negativity, there was 1 shining star: Avonte Maddox. He was very physical and instinctive all night long making 3 big 1-on-1 tackles. On top of that he was very sound in coverage. I don’t remember seeing him give up any significant catches either. Kudos to him for having a career year in his contract season.
Overall it was another disappointing performance.
The box score might tell you it was a good performance, staying in it till the end against the Super Bowl champions.
But, the Eagles trailed significantly for majority of the game. They didn’t look like they belonged on the same field. The Bucs took their foot off the gas giving the Eagles an opportunity to take advantage of. To their credit, they did. And then the Bucs responded with a 5-minute soul crushing drive to end the game. Leaving the Eagles to walk away with the same issues they’ve had all season.
Things that shouldn’t have been issues if Nick Sirianni had stayed true with “his philosophy” of building the scheme around his players strengths. We shall see if this is just the case of an inexperienced coaching staff, or if Sirianni was simply all talk in the offseason.
The Eagles travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders this Sunday.
Cover Image Credit: MATT SLOCUM – AP