3rd and Long Ain’t That Hard

Posted: May 10th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

Defenses live to get offenses to 3rd down, especially 3rd and long. Offenses tend to struggle on 3rd and long and that means you turn the ball back over to the other team.

That’s the plan anyway. Things don’t always go according to plan.

Here are a few clips of Carson Wentz on 3rd and & 6+ throws. Great examples of his strength, vision and playmaking skills. Rare talent.

A post shared by Daniel Jeremiah (@movethesticks) on

As you watch those clips, a couple of things stand out. First, escapability. Wentz can move around to avoid rushers. He also buys time for his receivers to get open. Mobile QBs put tremendous pressure on both pass rushers and coverage guys.

The other thing really makes Wentz special and that is vision. He is hitting guys that he shouldn’t be seeing. They’re downfield or on the other side of the field or pretty well covered. Wentz finds them and then is able to get the ball to them.

Wentz has a strong arm. He can throw from different platforms. He can put good touch on his passes, making them more catchable.

This isn’t just anecdotal appreciation for Wentz.

That stat, 48 percent on 3rd & 8 to 10 yards, is hard to believe is real. It should give you an appreciation for just how amazing the Eagles offense was last season.

It certainly is fair to question whether this can be repeated. Stats like that tend to be anomalies.

Then again, the Eagles did a lot of special things last year. How many teams put up 72 combined offensive points in the championship game and Super Bowl with a backup QB, backup LT and no elite skill players?

The Eagles have a creative scheme, terrific coaches, gifted QBs, good protection, versatile players and multiple weapons. They ate up the best defenses in football. That’s no accident. That tells you they weren’t just getting lucky.

To be fair, defenses will have all offseason to scout the Eagles and figure out what they did. That’s what will make this such an interesting season. If the Eagles can repeat their offensive success (don’t focus on the Super Bowl in this specific instance), we could be talking about them as one of the great units.

*****

Good stuff here from Sheil and Joe. I disagree on the 5th round. I think you can find good players in the 5th round on a regular basis. The 6th and 7th rounds are a different story. That’s when the odds go down.

One problem I’d have with Joe’s comments is that the Eagles did a poor job with 6th and 7th round picks for a lot of the Reid era. If they did this study in 2007 or 2008, that might make sense. If they did this study in 1998 or 1999, I’ve got questions.

*****

I can see the Eagles being interested, but cost is an issue. The Eagles were looking at cheap DTs on Tuesday. McClain actually has multiple teams going for his services. He isn’t signing some minimum deal.

PFT has an update on McClain.

McClain’s injury might increase the Cowboys’ interest in free agent defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who visited Thursday but has one more visit to take.

Could that other team be the Eagles? I have my doubts because of the cost. That said, if any team can get creative and make it happen, the Eagles are that team.

From McClain’s perspective, there is an argument for and against the Eagles. For, he’d be playing on a good team that would have the lead most of the time. That would let him attack up the field on a regular basis. He’s a great scheme fit. The downside is that the Eagles already have a lot of D-linemen. McClain won’t get a ton of snaps and he isn’t likely to post big numbers. If he signs in Philly, it will be a one-year deal that puts him back on the market next March. Would the Eagles give him a good chance to get a big deal next year?

_