PHILADELPHIA put Matty on ice!
EAGLES 32 – Falcons 6
New categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report (Rushing TD’s + 3rd and 4th downs converted of 2 yards or less – sacks allowed); as well as Drive Killer (Int – FR – 4th down stop – FF – TD).
Passing: (S) QB Jalen Hurts (27/35– 77.1% – 264 – 3 – 0)
Rushing: (S) RB Miles Sanders (15 – 74 – 4.9 – 0 – 0)
Receiving: (S) Devonta Smith (8 – 6 – 71 – 11.8 – 1)
Offensive Line Report: (1 + 2 – 1)
Drive Killer: (S) DT Javon Hargrave (0 – 0 – 1 – 0 – 0)
Sack Leader: (S) DT Javon Hargrave (3 – 2.0 – 0 – 0)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these Four Things articles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: Falcons, did the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Melt Matty Ice: Surprisingly, the Falcons coaching staff came out with scripted plays, to get QB Matt Ryan moving on bootlegs and such. We didn’t expect it and it showed. Especially on the first drive. No-huddle, Ryan being mobile, poor tackling. It’s a wonder that we held them to a 21 yard FG.
As the game settled, Ryan’s theatrics stopped. Our interior pass rush kept Ryan from stepping up, forcing him backwards throughout the second half. This is evidenced by our DT’s getting 4 sacks on him. (One of two by DT Hassan Ridgeway (1 – 1.0 – 0 – 0) were wiped out by an intentional grounding penalty, on Ryan. Why he wasn’t ruled “In the Grasp” and the play blown dead, is a mystery to me.) (DONE)
2) Be Smash Mouth All-Stars: Did our RB’s see 25 hand-offs? No, they got 24, but I’m going to have to adjust my thinking about hand-offs and the run game. There were a few runs for Hurts where he was used like a RB, running behind blockers. We ran it 31 times for 173 yards. This is going to be what Eagles Offense looks like under Hurts.
It’s just Week One, but between Sanders 74 yards and Hurts 62, we have two players on pace for 1,000 yards. As for the hand-offs to the right and up the gut: We posted 24 carries for 111 yards, with an 8 yard touchdown up the gut for rookie RB Kenny Gainwell (9 – 37 – 4.1 – 1 – 0) who was practically untouched. (DONE)
3) Get Mitts on Pitts: Let me nutshell this. Rookie TE Kyle Pitts (8 – 4 – 31 – 7.7 – 0) is a mismatch for 95% of the NFL as a TE. However, the Falcons split him out often, and tried to use him like a WR. That worked in college, but he’s not quick-twitch enough for NFL WR. As a result, we kept him under wraps with 5’9” Nickle CB Avonte Maddox (5 – 0 – 0 – 0).
We didn’t do this one, but it wasn’t a failing on our part. While I can’t say that “I called it”, I can say Falcons head coach Arthur Smith not understanding his TE’s limitations, is 33% of the reason the Eagles sit alone atop the NFC East today. Good thing they traded away WR Julio Jones. Had he stayed, this game would have gone differently. (NOT DONE)
4) Run From 21: We played a lot of 21 (2TE, 1RB) and it worked out for us masterfully. It gave Hurts easy completions that stretched the defense horizontally. Which in turn, created outside running lanes when OLB’s had to respect the TE in front of them.
TE Dallas Goedert (5 – 4 – 42 – 10.5 – 1) and TE Zach Ertz (2 – 2 – 34 – 17. 0 – 0), combined for 6 catches, 78 yards and a score, on 7 targets. As long as they produce like this, our inside run game can never be completely shutdown. This is the key to our entire Offense. This is where those 32 points were born. (DONE)
We start the season with 3 of 4 the Four Things done, in an absolute blowout of a trash ass team. Now we turn our attention the 1 – 0 San Francisco 49ers, who are coming to OUR HOUSE, next Sunday.
On The Whole: On Offense, we threw the ball 35 times and ran it 31. That’s 53% pass, to 47% run. That’s a well-balanced offense, folks. The closer to 50/50 the better, with 55/45 being the farthest deviation under well-balanced. That keeps a defense honest, and gives an offense real options. It also really helps keep a QB’s jersey clean.
On Defense, our LB’s have to stop sticking to blocks, and do a better job of making tackles. Stop holding up ball-carriers to get at the ball. We just end up allowing the pile to move. Let the the ball-carrier create the fumble while fighting for extra yards when stopped well short.
On Special Teams, the feet were excellent. P Arryn Siposs had four boots that had the Falcons starting at the 8, 14, 8 and 18 yard lines. Our returners sucked ass, in this one. There was entirely too much backwards running. That can’t happen at the outset of a return.
We started rough, rallied, and then locked it down. It’s a great start to a season, and a character building win. No need to take a moral victory from a loss, for this NFC East team.