Game Review – DET 24, PHI 23 – The Offense

Posted: October 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 49 Comments »

The Eagles offense gained 346 yards and scored 23 points. They played well enough to win on most days.

Unfortunately the defense struggled so much in the 1st half that the offense needed to play at a really high level to win that game. That didn’t happen. Penalties, turnovers and general errors proved too much to overcome.

The Lions had one of the worst pass defenses in the league. I don’t think the Eagles exploited that as much as they needed to. TEs had lit Detroit up all year, but Doug Pederson either didn’t make them a big enough part of the gameplan or Carson Wentz just didn’t get them the ball enough. Brent Celek didn’t have a catch. He wasn’t even targeted. Trey Burton and Zach Ertz combined for 4 catches for 42 yards.

I do think falling behind 14-0 and then 21-7 affected the gameplan. The Eagles only ran the ball 21 times. Pederson never abandoned the run game, but it was too sporadic. I was happy that neither Pederson nor Wentz panicked. The Eagles didn’t start throwing a bunch of desperation passes. They stayed methodical. There was one sequence that bothered me.

The Eagles were down 21-17. Matt Stafford fumbled the ball and the Eagles got it at the DET 16-yard line. I wanted Pederson to run the ball here and take control of the game, physically and on the scoreboard. He threw for the end zone on 1st down. Incomplete. Then a short run. Then another throw to the end zone. Incomplete. I understand the desire to go quick strike after a turnover. I also understand the desire to grab the lead. I just thought it would have been smarter to put in Matt Tobin and the 3 TEs. Run the ball and then throw a play-action pass if you want. The Lions have struggled all year with TEs. Instead, Pederson focused on the WRs, the weakest group on the Eagles team.

I previously wrote about the 3rd down run play for Mathews at the end of the game.

I wasn’t a big fan of the 3rd down play the Eagles ran where Ryan Mathews fumbled the ball away. He was having most of his success between the tackles. To suddenly toss him the ball and ask him to run outside felt weird. I would have preferred a rollout with Wentz where he had the run-pass option. That puts more pressure on the defense. Still, Mathews cannot fumble that ball away. He had it in his inside arm and that didn’t help matters. Getting the 1st down there is huge, but the one thing you can’t do is give them the ball with a turnover.

I also covered the final play in that post.

Wentz played a very good game up until the end. He made a bad decision and compounded that with a bad throw. You can yell and gripe all you want about Nelson Agholor, but watch the play. That ball is to the outside. He’s looking over his shoulder and trying to get outside to the ball. He can’t because the CB is right there in perfect position. That ball needs to be away from the CB, which is to the inside. Agholor certainly didn’t help matters, but that is a bad throw.

It was also a bad decision. Wentz had a clean pocket and got greedy. Instead of finding an underneath receiver or even throwing the ball away, he decided to heave the ball downfield. Dumb. You just don’t do that in that situation. When you trail by a point, have a hot PK and 1:20 or so on the clock, you don’t have to force things. Play smart.

If Wentz, Mathews and the team learn from those late game mistakes, losing to the Lions could actually be a good thing. Better to make those mistakes against them early in the season than in a division game or in a critical matchup in December. We’ll see.


Carson Wentz played well. Good passing numbers, 25-33-238 with 2 TDs. Rating of 102.8. First INT of the season came on the final offensive play. Ran twice for 14 yards. Both were read-option plays. Wentz made good reads on those runs and later made a good read when he handed the ball off on a zone-read.

Made some terrific throws in the game. Best came on 2nd/25 when he hit Matthews for a gain of 27. Lions were well-blocked. Wentz rolled right to buy time. Signaled to Matthews what he wanted him to do and then fired a strike to him along the sideline. Wow. That’s a play Nick Foles just can’t physically make. Good Sam Bradford…maybe, if there wasn’t a checkdown option in front of him. Mark Sanchez doesn’t have that kind of accuracy…or patience. 

Wentz hit Matthews late in the game on 3rd/6 to move the chains. Put that ball down and away so that only his guy could get it. Impressive and clutch throw. Loved his short TD to Huff. Wentz took a step to give himself a better angle and then threw the ball with the right combination of velocity and touch. Michael Vick had an explosive arm and sometimes struggled to dial that down in the Red Zone. Wentz seems to be able to adjust his passes pretty well. There was another throw to Matthews that wasn’t as critical, but was really impressive.

Wentz missed on a couple of throws and was high on a couple of completions, but overall had a strong game. There were a couple of delay of game penalties. Pederson chose not to call timeouts. The penalties came when Wentz made adjustments and then there was a delay in getting everyone lined up correctly and the ball snapped. Wentz was aware of the clock on both plays, furiously clapping for the ball to be snapped. Pederson will talk to Brooks and Kelce about trying to speed up the signaling/snapping process in some situations.


Ryan Mathews had an okay game up until the end. 11 carries for 42 yds. Led the team with 5 catches (33 yds, 1 TD). Had some good pass blocks. Best play on the outside came when he caught a short pass and then fought through a tackle to turn that into a nice game. Got 16 RAC yards on that play. Had a terrific 23-yard run late in the game that was wiped out by a bogus holding call. If there is an issue with Mathews right now, he’s either not seeing the holes well or he’s indecisive. Had no chance on the final run. DET was all over that. Still, he can’t fumble. Go down and let Donnie Jones pin them deep. The Lions might drive for the winning score, but giving them the ball at midfield was a brutal mistake.

Darren Sproles had a terrific game. 5-45 on the ground, 4-23 in the air. Did get called for a bogus chop block, but that didn’t end up killing the drive. Had a 15-yd run up the middle. Ran 10 yds up the middle to set up 1st/Goal on TD drive. Needed more touches. Other RBs played just one snap each on offense.


Jordan Matthews was expected to have a huge game since the Lions have struggled with slot receivers. Matthews was only targeted 4 times, but went 4-65. Wentz and Pederson probably should have focused on getting him the ball more. The 27-yd pass play was a thing of beauty. Matthews reacted to Wentz’s scrambling and gave him a target, using his body to shield the ball from the defender. So smart. Went down for the ball on late 3rd down catch. Clutch play.

Nelson Agholor had 2 catches for 27 yards. Also had 5 yards on a “run”. That was essentially a swing pass, but he was behind Wentz so it went down as a run play. Best play was an 18-yd catch. Wentz was late getting him the ball and the DB was there. Agholor went up high and made an impressive catch. I thought that might help build his confidence. Was open over the middle on another play and the ball was out of range. Was targeted on 1st down after the fumble. Didn’t seem like he and Wentz had their timing down on that. As for the final play, Agholor has to understand the critical nature of that situation. If there is any doubt about making the catch, he must become a DB and focus on breaking up the play. Tackle the CB if that’s what it takes. This all happened in about 1 to 2 seconds so that’s nowhere close to as easy as it sounds, but that’s life in the NFL.

DGB had a nice game, going 3-43. I love watching him toss DBs and even LBs down. Such a big, strong, physical player. Pederson should use him on a shallow cross at least once every drive. DGB is very hard to tackle when he’s got the ball and is on the run. Had a chance to catch a TD pass after the Stafford fumble, but the CB got a hand in there. Not a pure drop, but DGB needs to make that play. Josh Huff was 3-5 as a receiver. One was a TD. Good hands on that. Plucked the ball with ease. Please throw a pump and go to him to get DBs to back off. Ran twice for 10 yards. One went for 10, the other nothing. Came close to breaking the 10-yd run for a big gain.


Brent Celek only played 23 snaps. Kinda weird. No targets. Didn’t look like he had a good block on Mathews late run. Did a good job on DE on run play that should have been good gain by Mathews. Zach Ertz was 3-37 as a receiver. Was open on some other plays and Wentz just didn’t see him. Called for OPI once for pushing off a LB. Ertz had some good blocks. Sealed DE on a run by Wentz that went for 10 yds. Got upfield and sealed defender on Huff’s long run. Trey Burton played 11 snaps. Didn’t see him much until the 4th Qtr, which was odd. Why then? Targeted twice and went 1-7. Had another throw his way wiped out by penalty.


The line mostly had a good game. The Eagles averaged 5.5 yards per carry and Wentz was sacked 3 times on 36 dropbacks. That usually signals that the big guys won the battle up front. The comments below will focus on mistakes.

Brandon Brooks had his best game so far. He was stout in pass pro and had some quality run blocks. He and Kelce combined on a real good combo block. Kelce occupied the DT initially, then passed him off to Brooks who sustained and sealed. Does a great job of sealing off backside defenders on runs that go away from him. Blocked MLB on run that opened 2nd half and went for 6 yds. Got downfield on Mathews long run and blocked defender. Guy threw his arms up in the air and the officials fell for it, throwing the flag. Ugh.

Jason Peters gave up a sack when he was cleanly beaten to the inside. Peters had some terrific run blocks. He can still punish DL and LBs on some plays. Funny to watch some defenders avoid him in space. They want no part of JP. Did a great job on blitz to get just enough of LB to let Wentz stay clean and get the ball off. Not all good blocks have to be pancakes. Allen Barbre was up and down. Didn’t give up a sack, but was manhandled by Ngata on pass play and that led to sack by DE. Called for holding late in the 1st half. Failed to block DT on 2nd down run at end of game. If he gets the DT, Mathews has a chance on that run. Excellent combo block on 15-yd run by Sproles. Doubled on DT, then peeled off and sealed LB. Run went to that hole.

Jason Kelce was also up and down. Missed a block on a GL run. Not sure Mathews would have scored anyway, but had no chance with MLB on him. Kelce got out in space on screen, but whiffed on defender. Got blown up by NT on 2nd down run after Stafford fumble. Had some great combo blocks on run plays. He and Brooks are developing real good chemistry. Lane Johnson had another good game. Caved in DE on run play. Lane really fires off the ball. Had a couple of bad plays. Beaten to the inside by DE on pass play. Can’t let that happen. Got upfield on Huff’s run and let DB run by him. If Lane hits that guy, the run had a chance to be a big play. Still might have been limited, but there was a chance.



49 Comments on “Game Review – DET 24, PHI 23 – The Offense”

  1. 1 Game Review – DET 24, PHI 23 – The Offense - said at 6:30 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor The Eagles offense gained 346 yards and scored 23 points. They played well enough to win on most […]

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 6:41 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    “I would have preferred a rollout with Wentz where he had the run-pass option. That puts more pressure on the defense.”

    Me too! I loved that old McNabb roll out and pass to Chad Lewis play.

  3. 3 Dave said at 9:20 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    I hated that play. Many times he would roll out and all three receivers were covered and he had to throw it away as he could not buy any time as the backside pass rushers were closing in.

  4. 4 The original AG said at 10:16 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    Wentz is more decisive. He can throw receivers open, whereas McNabb could not. If they weren’t completely open, generally McNabb didn’t throw it.

  5. 5 Howie Littlefinger said at 1:09 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Or he threw a worm burner

  6. 6 anon said at 1:35 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    we havent seen wentz do shit that’s hard honestly. he looks great for a rookie. but let’s not pretend he’s putting a bad team on his back

  7. 7 The original AG said at 1:46 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    No. Just no. Wentz is playing at a level like a veteran. This is why he keeps earning league honors. Please check out how well he’s doing against the blitz. And yes, with sub-par receivers he’s on pace to hold the single season passing record for the team. That’s with receivers not named TO, Quick, or Carmichael.

    Let’s not pretend that he’s not light years ahead of where McNabb was when he was a rookie.

  8. 8 anon said at 2:17 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    “check him out against the blitz” what’s his hit rate or his sack rate? OL has been great in pass pro (ironically) and when there’s a blitz that means there’s someone open. again he’s been great for a rookie, game’s not too fast for him, but the defense has generally given him a great situation.


  9. 9 BlindChow said at 2:48 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    *sees your hashtag*

  10. 10 FairOaks said at 8:56 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    He has been punishing teams when they blitz. I’ve wanted a QB who could do that for so long, it’s hard to believe we may have one.

    He was 11-12 vs the blitz on the Lions, and 27-32 for the season. So when they blitz and he decides to throw, he’s deadly. Even if all his sacks are vs the blitz those are still great numbers.

    Bradford, as much as I do like him, was not this good vs the blitz.

  11. 11 BlindChow said at 10:50 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    According to this, Sam Bradford completed only 50% of his passes against the blitz last year. The only person worse? Nick Foles.

  12. 12 BlindChow said at 2:34 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Are you kidding me?? Jesus, you really had a hard-on for Bradford, didn’t you?

  13. 13 D3FB said at 8:02 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    But air yards brah, air yardzzz

  14. 14 Media Mike said at 6:43 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    “Wentz was aware of the clock on both plays, furiously clapping for the ball to be snapped.”

    Great awareness Kelce.

  15. 15 CrackSammich said at 9:15 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    They were in silent count. Brooks gives the thigh tap, he snaps. Watch it again. Brooks gives him the tap late, and Kelce snaps it as soon as he gets it.

  16. 16 Dave said at 9:18 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    Both times Brooks tapped Kelce a 2nd time as Kelce was looking at the defensive alignment during the first tap. You might not have seen the first tap.

  17. 17 Howie Littlefinger said at 1:09 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    was it a 2 tap snap count? I was putting it on Brooks more than anyone… Maybe Pederson because it happened twice

  18. 18 Media Mike said at 6:17 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    I’ll be leaving that on Kelce.

  19. 19 Media Mike said at 6:17 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Correct. Brooks and Wentz did their jobs.

  20. 20 D3FB said at 8:01 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Not all silent counts are first tap.

  21. 21 A_T_G said at 8:41 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    538 says it is anyone’s game tomorrow.

  22. 22 Dave said at 9:22 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    I believe Nate had us at 50/50 last week too.

  23. 23 Insomniac said at 9:06 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    DGB needs to start full time.

  24. 24 Dave said at 9:22 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    Anything that’s not a screen tends to be a wasted play on Huff and Algholar. DGB at least gives them a fighting chance when Mathews is covered.

  25. 25 BlindChow said at 2:30 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Well, except for that 18-yard reception in the 3rd. In fact, Agholor’s had several clutch catches this year. It’s like you people don’t even watch the game.

  26. 26 Dave said at 1:21 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Freddie Mitchell had several clutch catches too and was eventually replaced by Greg Lewis, an UDFA. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ags gets leapfrogged by UDFAs Bryce Treggs or Paul Turner in the lineup by the end of the season.

  27. 27 FairOaks said at 8:58 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Agholor? He’s made many catches downfield. He’s just not great when a defender can get hands in there.

  28. 28 The original AG said at 10:14 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    I think when it’s all said and done, he could be our best WR. Problem is that reporting says that he doesn’t know the plays and he doesn’t run routes well (including not knowing where to be).

    I also would prefer to see Treggs.

    After watching Agholor dog it on his route, then not play the ball, I just don’t really want to see him much.

  29. 29 anon said at 1:34 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    ags was getting passes b/c he was open

  30. 30 BlindChow said at 2:25 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Agholor wasn’t open on his 18-yard reception. CB was all over him.

  31. 31 Insomniac said at 7:53 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    I hope so but it doesn’t look that way right now. So much potential but so little flashes as of now. If Treggs is going to get some snaps then I’m going to trust Doug.

  32. 32 A_T_G said at 11:30 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    I wonder about DGB’s ability to learn the playbook. They seem to be adding him in very slowly for a position that seems to be plug and play for many guys. Combined with his previous team’s frustration with him, it makes me think he might be a slow learner.

  33. 33 A_T_G said at 9:53 PM on October 15th, 2016:

    “The comments below will focus on mistakes.”

    When I first read that, I thought you were scolding us for being too negative.

  34. 34 BlindChow said at 2:10 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    No, but luckily for us, PacificPurl is here to take care of that…

  35. 35 Media Mike said at 6:39 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    The Purl, Chip, Chuck Noll 3 way is vile.

  36. 36 蒂欧娜 said at 10:07 PM on October 15th, 2016:


  37. 37 anon said at 1:33 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    umm when you hold an offense to 45 YARDS in a half and gets a TO your offense needs to win

    biggest q is whether schwarz wants a job or a tittle. if he wants a job eagles are going to suck for a while.

  38. 38 Bob Brewer said at 5:52 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    How many receivers in the NFL would you take over Matthews as a #1? 15? 20? 25?

  39. 39 Media Mike said at 6:28 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Assuming healthy status and in no particular order

    Antonio Brown
    Julio Jones
    D Thomas
    D Hopkins
    Brandon Marshall
    Keenan Allen
    Larry Fitz
    Brandon Cooks
    Amari Cooper
    Allen Robinson
    Jordy Nelson
    Stephon Diggs
    Alshon Jeffrey
    AJ Green

    I got to 18 before I got into mental debates about Decker, Maclin, DeSean, Baldwin, Crabtree, and one or two others.

    All of that aside, I don’t think we need to go hog wild chasing a #1 WR with a high draft pick or with money just yet. I’d like to see us make strategic additions to that position and let those guys grow with Wentz.

  40. 40 xmbk said at 7:05 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Middle of the road seems about right.

  41. 41 iceberg584 said at 10:32 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Eh…I’d rather have JMatt than Edelman. Nice player, but overrated.

  42. 42 Insomniac said at 7:50 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Huh..let me get back to you on that after I get home from Wawa’s.

  43. 43 Anders said at 10:08 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Agree on the list except for a few guys and you forgot a few

  44. 44 A_T_G said at 11:30 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    No one listed Agholor? Hmm…

  45. 45 SteveH said at 9:34 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Quietest lead up to a division game ever… Fuck Dan Snyder and fuck Washington.

  46. 46 HawaiianEagle said at 10:14 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    Fletcher is playing?

  47. 47 A_T_G said at 11:33 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    I didn’t hear definitive, but reporters and Fle…

    I got a text as I was typing this from the Eagles app. He is not on the inactive list, so it seems he is a go.

  48. 48 Gian GEAGLE said at 10:56 AM on October 16th, 2016:

    “A coach from the Lions can’t look at Ebron without thinking that they passed on Aaron Donald”- Shefter
    Yeah that must suck lol

  49. 49 GermanEagle said at 11:38 AM on October 16th, 2016:


    And I thought the Eagles were playing the Redskins today…