What a game, what a game, WHAT A GAME! I’ll keep this short and sweet and let you know up front that there won’t be much “analysis” going into this week’s All-22 review. I can’t even use any film from the first half since the snow was so bad it was hard to even make out who was who while watching it. So what I have done here is take 5 big runs from the monstrous 4th quarter the Eagles put up and will show them here from the endzone view so you can see how the line opened up the holes they did.
In the first half, I felt that Chip Kelly was calling too many east/west runs for the weather conditions. I think what we saw in the 4th quarter was a combination of the following things: Kelly calling more north/south runs, McCoy hitting the hole harder, and the offensive line getting a great push and wearing down the Detroit Lions’ defensive line. In a game in these types of conditions, it’s all about momentum. Once you can get a solid push on the guy you are blocking, it’s very hard for that player to recover and stop you from pushing him backwards. I also think that in this game, you saw the difference in conditioning between the Eagles and the Lions. When the ground is covered in snow like that, it makes it that much harder to move and you have to exert extra strength and take extra strides to move the same distance you normally would. And I think that played a big factor into why by the 4th quarter, the Eagles’ offensive and defensive lines were able to win the battle in the trenches.
First up is McCoy’s 40 yard touchdown run. Todd Herramins does a great job of clearing Ndamukong Suh out of the hole, and Lane Johnson does a great job of getting to the second level and putting a block on linebacker Stephen Tulloch, and Shady does the rest on this 40 yard TD scamper.
Next up is McCoy’s 57 yard TD run a few minutes later. The line again does a great job of opening up a running lane for McCoy, and this time Jason Avant makes a great block downfield to spring Shady for this 57 yard TD.
This next play is just ridiculous. Check out some of the jump cuts McCoy makes on this run. It’s like someone forgot to tell him that it had just snowed 6″. I literally have no idea how he was able to keep his footing on this run.
Nick Foles decides to get into the action on this next one, as he takes this read option keeper for a 20 yard gain.
Next up is Chris Polk’s 38 yard TD run to put the game out of reach and take a 34-20 lead. Tight end James Casey does a great job of getting across the line and putting a block on Lions’ safety Louis Delmas to seal off the weakside for Polk.
And finally we end with the 4th and 12 yard play to ice the game (no pun intended). This play is a simple read. Foles has two options on this play, handoff to Chris Polk, or throw the seam route to Brent Celek. On this play, Foles reads the safety, and if the safety stays back, he hands off to Polk, if the safety bites on the run fake, then throw it to Celek. As you’ll see below, the safety comes in, making this an easy choice for Foles to make an easy touch pass to Celek to end the game.
Good teams find ways to win no matter the circumstance or conditions, and that’s what the Eagles did on Sunday. And with Dallas losing to Chicago on Monday night, the Eagles are now in sole possession of first place in the NFC East as they travel out to Minnesota for next week’s game against the Vikings.