Everybody is wondering about what happened to the Eagles prolific running game. It was fairly simple after looking at the game tape. The Eagles blockers took turns letting Dallas defenders knife through the blocking and deep into the offensive backfield. They had no answer for it. The defenders are stunting, which means moving along the line of scrimmage inside or outside at the snap of the ball. Atlanta did it, Dallas did it and everybody else is going to do it, until the Eagles react to it properly and block it.
I heard Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson say after the game, that they needed to get used to playing with each other on that offensive line. How many times have you heard me and others point that out? Chip should have hung onto Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans until the other guys proved that they can do the job and were used to playing with the other guys on the offensive line.
Offensive lineman need to get used to playing with each other because it’s utterly vital that they be on the same page. It’s obvious that these guys aren’t on the same page right now, it’s cost them two games. Right now the Eagles offense is the laughing stock of the entire league.
Troy Aikman said he had never seen as bad of a performance during all of his time in the NFL.
I pointed out that the guards, Barbre and Gardner, haven’t played very long with the other three Kelce, Johnson and Jason Peters. Barbre and Gardner aren’t great players, but they don’t need to be in order to get the job done. They just need to be competent, but the entire line isn’t competent right now. They look unsure of what they’re supposed to be doing.
You can’t play aggressively if you’re unsure of what you’re supposed to be doing. They seem to be unsure when the defensive line stunts. They’re supposed to be ready for this because this is a common defensive strategy. They run defensive line stunts in high school.
Eagles tight Brent Celek is on the field because of his blocking. He’s not as much of a pass catching threat as he was in the past, but he’s getting pushed into the backfield when he tries to block. On other plays, he’s letting defensive lineman stunt inside of him and into the backfield. I think that’s why Zach Ertz got the chance to play so much on Sunday.
Kelce has been letting defenders knife by him and into the backfield. He’s also getting pushed into the backfield. Barbre and Gardner are getting pushed around.
Peters has looked unsure of himself at times and so has Johnson. They haven’t been as big of culprits as everybody else, but it’s been pathetic the way this offensive line has played.
The Atlanta Falcons have shown the rest of the league, that all you need is one guy to get penetration on each play and it will stop Chip Kelly’s running game because all of the runs are lateral. DeMarco Murray’s foot quickness isn’t his strength. LeSean McCoy was quick enough to make that first guy miss, but Murray gets tackled by that first guy.
It’s also a problem that Murray isn’t headed forward when he gets the football, he’s always going laterally. If you get to him when he’s headed laterally, it’s an easy tackle.