Andy Reid is going to have to put together a game plan that will beat the two-deep coverages. The Packers played a two-deep zone pass coverage and a two-deep man-to-man pass coverage when they weren’t blitzing. This is the game plan that has proven to be successful against the Birds.
You can run the ball against either of those two-deep defenses, but it’s more difficult to throw the ball deep against them. Many times the place to throw the ball deep is down the middle to the slot receiver or tight end. You can and must run the ball against these coverages.
The Eagles were playing two-deep coverages against the Packers and that’s why they put the ball on the ground and ran it against the Birds. Understand that the Packers hadn’t run the football all season long, after Ryan Grant went down in the first game, but they ran it yesterday.
Unheard of running back John Starks ran the ball 23 times for 123 yards. They were a throwing team all year long, but they changed because of the defenses the Eagles were using.
Reid and the Birds have to know that teams aren’t going to give them a chance to throw ninety-yards touchdowns to DeSean Jackson, they’re going to have to exploit the short and intermediate areas.
Teams are going to back up their safeties which will allow the Birds to run the football down their throats. If they had a strong running game and were committed to use it, teams would have to decide to play their safeties deep to stop the deep throw, or bring them up to stop the run. It’s nearly impossible for a defense to do both.
Versus the blitz, Michael Vick has to be given more freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage. He’s got to progress in his recognition of blitzes but Reid has to be willing to let him call a lot of the plays at the line of scrimmage. The Birds must learn to adjust to different game plans on the first or second drive rather than in the second half.
Vick and the Eagles offense didn’t adjust to teams taking away the deep throws until the second half of games. He and the Birds must adjust to things quicker.
Green Bay played both safeties deep all game long, so the Birds should have run the football. Reid and the Eagles have to be satisfied with the running game, along with short and intermediate routes.
Doesn’t it say a lot when the Packers choose to run the football with an inexperienced young running back, but the Eagles won’t give the ball to a proven young runner like LeSean McCoy. He ran the ball only 12 during the game.
I don’t think this is the only reason the Birds lost the football game, but it’s one of the reasons that they lost this game and struggled during the latter part of the season.