Work to be Done

Posted: October 26th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Work to be Done

The Eagles are 6-0 and the best team in the NFC. They’re pretty healthy and the team has a good vibe. There aren’t any major issues that we know about. Despite having a loaded roster and playing well on both sides of the ball, there are still some issues to work on. Self-scouting is important. The problem is that to do it right you need time. That makes it perfect for the bye week or coming off a Thursday night game. The Eagles did this last year and found ways to improve.

If the coaches can improve on a few areas, this team can be even better. 6-0 is great, but there is always room to improve. If this team can do that, they have a chance to have a special season.

Special Teams

Snapper Rick Lovato and kicker Jake Elliott are excellent. Arryn Siposs is 21st in gross punting and 22nd in net average. He is 11th in punts downed inside the 20, which can be a key stat.

Things get erratic after that.

The return game is below average, coming in at 23rd on punt returns and being dead last on kickoffs. Britain Covey has improved. He can make the first defender miss, but doesn’t have the speed to explode up the field. Quez Watkins did nothing when he was the KOR. The blocking is less than ideal and that certainly doesn’t help. The long PR is 15 yards. The long KOR is 23 yards. I never thought I’d long for the days of Reno Mahe.

The Eagles had a field goal blocked in the MIN game. It didn’t hurt them, but showed a vulnerability. They have changed personnel to get better at blocking on the edges. We’ll see how that holds up.

The coverage units were solid until the Dallas game. They gave up a 63-yard KOR that led to a field goal and gave Dallas life. There was a 15-yard punt return as well. A longer punt return got nullified by a penalty.

Football Outsiders has the Eagles ranked at 25th in special teams DVOA. Obviously that needs to improve. There isn’t one player or schematic fix. The overall group must perform at a higher level. Adding a more dynamic presence as the returner would help.

Hopefully the time off during the bye week allowed the coaches to get some ideas on how to fix the blocking and coverage.

Handling the Blitz

The Eagles have faced two of the most blitz happy teams in the league (DET, ARZ). The Eagles scored 31 offensive points against the Lions and 20 against the Cardinals. They won both games. It isn’t as if the blitz is completely overwhelming the Eagles and leaving them helpless.

That said, there are issues. The blocking needs to be better. This is an experienced OL. They have been sloppy against the blitz at times. Jalen Hurts has been able to make up for that with his mobility, but the blocking needs to be cleaned up a bit.

Hurts needs to improve vs the blitz. When the other team attacks, there are plays to be made. Hurts hasn’t done enough of that with his arm. Running is good, but the big plays come when you hit the right receiver in the right blitz look.

The coaches have fault in this as well. When you see the All-22 against blitzes, the hot routes don’t always seem ideal. Hopefully this is something the coaches can fine tune. The Eagles need to do a better job of burning the blitz through the air and not just with Hurts legs.

3rd Down Defense

The Eagles defense is outstanding in almost every metric. One where they struggle is third downs, where they rank 29th.

A recent trend has been giving up too many conversions in the second half of games.

WAS – 1 of 7 in the 1st half … 5 of 10 in the 2nd half
JAX – 1 of 5 in the 1st half … 1 of 2 in the 2nd half
ARZ – 3 of 7 in the 1st half … 5 of 7 in the 2nd half
DAL – 1 of 6 in the 1st half … 3 of 4 in the 2nd half

Teams fall behind and play a bit more desperate. Maybe the Eagles are too conservative at that point. I’m sure Jonathan Gannon and the defensive staff are working on this issue. This isn’t luck or some anomaly. There is a bad pattern that must be addressed.

Gannon did mention recently that he’s not as worried if the other team is playing small-ball and having long, methodical drives. That eats up clock, which is something the Eagles are keeping in consideration when playing with a lead. The biggest thing they fear is giving up explosive plays. And that is something they have done a good job of limiting.

2nd Half Offense

The second quarter offense is going along at a historic pace. Unfortunately that doesn’t carry over to the second half.


The Eagles are averaging 5.83 points per second half. That’s not ideal.

They have had at least a 14-point lead in every game. The Eagles need to do a better job of building on those leads by scoring in the second half. They need to put teams away. They let the Cardinals and the Cowboys get back in games. The Eagles still won both of them, but that won’t last. Some team will make a key play or two and pull off the upset. The Eagles can prevent that by scoring more.

The funny thing is that the Eagles have tried to be aggressive. That hasn’t worked. They’ve tried to be methodical. That hasn’t worked. There seems to be a timely mistake each week that kills a drive. One week it’s a sack. One week it’s a penalty. Maybe a dropped pass. The blame goes all around. It feels like this is more about execution than scheme, but the coaches won’t leave any stone unturned in trying to fix this problem.

This will be a point of emphasis for Nick Sirianni and the staff. Really good teams close games out. The Eagles have come up with clutch drives to help win multiple games. If they would score more in the third quarter, they wouldn’t need those late drives. It will be interesting to see what the Eagles do in the second half in the next couple of weeks.


No real trade rumors to pass on. The Eagles are being vaguely linked to multiple pass rushers, but nothing sounds like a hot situation to watch.

If Howie does want to do a deal, he’s got the cap room to work with.

By making adjustments, the Eagles are #3 in available cap space. They have the room and the resources to get something done. The key now is to see if they can find the right player at the right price.


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