Forums > General Discussions > Eagles’ red zone passing concepts remain superb
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Subject : Eagles’ red zone passing concepts remain superb
The Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles have continued their success in the most important area of the field Youth Ronald Darby Jersey , the red zone. Last year they ranked tops in the league in converting trips to the red area into touchdowns (64%). This year they’re punching it in at an uber-efficient 70%.You can point to a positive regression to red zone running, which would be true. Wendell Smallwood’s 4-yard touchdown makes the Eagles 3 for 5 when turning runs from within 5 yards of the end zone into scores. You could also point to Carson Wentz’s return, who connected with Dallas Goedert for a 13-yard touchdown on the opening drive using a design that looked very familiar.Last year in Week 12, the Eagles beat the Chicago Bears with a variation on the “spot” concept. First, what is a spot?Bleacher Report NFL 101From the Inside the Pylon glossary:Reading the initial action of the play, Bears’ safety Adrian Amos banked on the corner route, which tight end Zach Ertz sells by stemming outside. But instead of running the corner, Ertz ran what the Eagles call a “copper route”. This is a corner-post or as it’s known in the “Air Coryell” system design by former Chargers’ head coach Don Coryell, a “bang-8”.Combined with a familiar route combination that every defensive back has seen hundreds of times, the bang-8/copper route can be deadly.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.If it worked once, why not dial it up again? In Week 3 in their 20-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts , that’s exactly what the Eagles did. Exclusively utilizing 13 personnel (1 running back, 3 tight ends) paired with a busy tempo, they marched down to the Colts’ 13-yard line. On 2nd and 9, Wentz found Goedert on the same spot copper he found Ertz with months ago.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.The Eagles have a full bag of tricks with a bevy of new takes on old designs and dialing them up at the right time and in the red zone remains Doug Pederson’s specialty. With Wentz back and one game in the books during his return tour, expect more new and old wrinkles with the Eagles’ passing attack when they get within striking distance.What schemes the Eagles can expect from the Colts’ offense If the Indianapolis Colts’ offense looks familiar, well, you know why. New head coach Frank Reich has brought his brand of football and pieces from all of his previous spots with him to Indy and so far it’s paying off. The Colts’ ranked 29th in offensive DVOA last year, and Reich, along with the return of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck have begun to make strides in improving the efficiency of the offense.So far Luck is completing 71.4% of his passes with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and 5.9 yards per attempt. If that YPA looks low, it’s because it is. The Colts offense is less about stretching a defense vertically and more about utilizing west coast concepts to get the ball out fast on high percentage throws.As a result of scheme and of Luck’s ongoing shoulder rehabilitation that kept him out of the game for over 600 days, the Colts have only thrown 4 passes that traveled beyond 20 yards in the air. Still Alshon Jeffery Jersey , this is an offense that can, as they say, matriculate the ball down the field if you sit back and allow them to play their brand of football. But what is their brand of football and what can you expect the offense to look like on Sunday when the Colts come to town? Let’s dig into some of the plays they’ll dial up against the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
MESH-SIT RB WHEELOn 3rd and 2 from the Washington Redskins’ 27-yard line, Reich dialed up a play that the Eagles used frequently on their Super Bowl run.The Colts have been uber-aggressive on on 3rd down and short. They’ve elected to pass 77% of the time in these situations and it’s been a boon for them by producing 8.15 average yards per play and converting a wacky 92%. They also use a lot of 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends) from passing formations (sound familiar?), which they do here with newly acquired tight end Eric Ebron detached left of the line and Jack Doyle in the trips alignment.What makes mesh work against man coverage is the natural rubs picks it creates, which the Colts would use repeatedly to exploit the Redskins’ coverage schemes. TY Hilton’s shallow cross causes traffic in the middle of the formation, allowing Ebron to release into space for an easy pitch and catch with YAC upside.The other dangerous part about this play, which the New England Patriots found out about in the Super Bowl, is the match-up created for running back Nyheim Hines. He draws coverage from linebacker Ryan Anderson. That’s 4.38 vs 4.78 and something the Colts will likely try to replicate as the season moves forward. Speaking of which...NYHEIM THE RECEIVERFourth round rookie Nyheim Hines is more than just a running back. In fact, he’s fairly new to his position Authentic Nick Foles Jersey , having spent his first year at NC State as a wide receiver. In his three years in college, Hines accumulated 89 receptions, 933 yards and a touchdown as a pass catcher.This gives him an extra dimension to consider when he’s lined up in the backfield. It’s been a slow start for Hines in this regard, but if Reich decides to unleash him in a receiving role with fellow running back Marlon Mack dealing with toe and hamstring injuries, it could be a match-up to watch on Sunday.This is a simple angle route from Hines, who draws coverage from Bengals’ linebacker Preston Brown. While Brown is a more fluid athlete than he’s typically given credit for, it’s 4.38 vs 4.86. Making matters worse, the Bengals bring a blitz, forcing Brown to dart left and giving Hines room to operate inside.The Colts have used two-back sets that feature Hines as a receiver and in motion, so expect to see more of it against the Eagles.WHAMIt’s no secret that I’m in love with the Wham run concept; I’ve written about it here and here.It’s an Eagles’ staple and a darn effective one. Reich brought this design with him to Indy and so far it’s paid dividends.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.The reason this fits so well with what the Colts do is that they love to pull rookie guard Quenton Nelson and run off his butt. Seeing that action puts linebackers in a bind. As you can see from the play above, Preston Brown keys this pulling action and fires across the formation. With the wham block taking the 3-tech out of the play there’s plenty of space for Jordan Wilkins to rip off a chunk play.The Colts used this again in Week 2 against the Redskins Youth Chris Long Jersey , this time with Hines, who shows off some impressive contact balance and finishing for a smaller back.RUB CONCEPTSAlong with the mesh-sit, the Colts used a variety of other intersecting route combinations to exploit the Redskins defense. It got to the point where Luck was checking into them at the line because the Redskins had no answers and serious communication issues throughout the game. Below we see another example of the Colts favoring the pass on 3rd and short for a key conversion on a drive that would ultimately put the game out of reach.There were several examples of this throughout the game, but one was particularly telling. The Colts are not concerned with hiding the fact that they are going to pick your defensive backs... at all.The Eagles defense is, as we know, typically fine with allowing the opposing offense to operate their quick passing game. They’ll put the onus on the Colts to execute and sustain long drives before clamping down in the red zone.How Jim Schwartz deals with these concepts and match-ups will tell a large portion of the story. After last weeks leaky performance, the bright side of this battle of old work buds is that Schwartz is incredibly familiar with how the Colts will attack. Then again, Reich is equally informed.

Posted on February, 12 2019 09:04:45 AM

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