All 22 review of the Bills vs. Eagles 2nd Qtr
The 1st quarter ended with the ball in the Bills’ hands. There were a couple turning points that occurred in that quarter. The injury to Clay and the offensive line began to struggle.
This can be seen on the second play of the 2nd quarter.
On 1st and 10 they run a trap with Glenn. Gragg blocks down on Cox and trap with Glenn. This play has worked well all year especially vs. 3-4 defenses. It didn’t necessarily fail here, it gained 3 yards. But look at the blocking by Gragg on Cox. That is a mismatch. Gragg isn’t a blocker and he definitely doesn’t have the strength to block Cox by himself. Not having Clay, again, hurt the Bills in the run game.
On 3rd and 5 the Bills bring in 11 personnel, 5 wide formation.
The play was designed to go to Shady, the secondary WR is probably Sammy crossing but he is walled off by a defender who drops into coverage from the defensive line so Watkins was covered pretty well. Taylor gets forced to move off the spot because OLB Graham who is lined up at DT just makes Incognito look silly. Keep in mind, 3 man pass rush…Taylor possibly could have run it here…
The defense starts off vs. the Eagles, inside the Eagles 10. The Bills get stops on the first two downs and put them in 3rd and 4. The Eagles try getting the ball to Huff but Rambo makes a heck of a play…
The Bills grabbed back the momentum by getting that three and out. They even grabbed some field position. Things look really good at this point. Eagles punt and Thigpen fumbles it.
That gave the Eagles the ball on the Bills 37 yard line. The Bills decide to play coverage. Why? Teams typically take their deep “shots” from around the 40 yard line. So on 1st down they play coverage by dropping eight into coverage.
The Bills are in their 3-3-5 defense and shut down every WR on the Eagles by playing sound zone coverage. A holding call vs. Hughes begins to set the Eagles back in down and distance.
But later in the drive on 2nd and 26 the Bills give up the big play deep to WR Agohlor.
It’s difficult to say the exact coverage that the Bills are in. Cover 4 or Cover 3 variation? Hard to know. It definitely is a single high safety coverage. But I don’t know if Darby is pattern reading or straight man. If you watch him he is reading the WR to the #2 guy, the TE. Bradford stares Darby down to hold him, steps up in the pocket, and throws deep to the WR. Graham gets out maneuvered.
On the Bills next drive after the TD, they open up with a counter trey to Shady, but it is shut down by a missed blocking assignment by Jordan Mills. But on second down they were quite successful
The Bills bring out 21 personnel with a trips set to their right.The Bills run Gragg deep on a vertical route. The DB Maxwell thinks that Woods is going to push deep down the sideline so he turns and runs and Woods sits for an 18 yard catch and run. The Bills do a good job of getting blocking help on Cox.
On the same drive the Bills get two big plays as their offense gets rolling.
They come out in 21 personnel with Gragg in the slot. The OLB #55 is the flat defender and he drops to his zone thinking that Mccoy is going to run to the flats. Instead Shady sees zone and hooks it up and Taylor hits him for a good gain.
Same drive the Bills bring in 21 personnel and run the counter trey to the right. Watch the pull by Richie and Gragg leading. Richie kicks out the OLB, Gragg moves up through the hole and takes the DB Maxwell who doesn’t want any part of the run game. Felton does a solid job to seal the ILB. 24 yards for Mccoy.
After Taylor scrambles for another first down on the next play, the Bills lose momentum due to a false start penalty. The Eagles decide to start playing tight man coverage on this drive on 2nd and 3rd and long situations. That was the big coverage change that occurred because Clay went out with the injury. The Bills get a field goal by Dan Carpenter a few plays later.
The Bills defense holds up against the Eagles offense on the next drive because of a penalty to Jason Peters. But they were tested with the same route combo that Agholor scored on take a look…
The safety Rambo and CB Darby were slow to react to this route combo. I think partly because the safety is taught to read the # 2 receiver. On this play it’s the TE, his speed and release gave the Bills problems. If the #2 runs vertical route Rambo is supposed to take him essentially making this man coverage. If the #2 runs a crossing route or out, Rambo is a safety over the top with Darby. Well the TE releases vertically but breaks to the out route, Rambo second guesses whether he should be over the top with Darby or going to the flat. So Darby ends up one on one and the throw is over the WRs head. We will see that route combo the rest of the year, you can bet on that.
Eagles have to punt a play later.
The Bills start their next drive with a pin and pull run to the left. But the line is out of sync and they gain no yards on this play and here is why:
First, because of Graggs blocking, or lack thereof. Gragg is unable to get the reach block to set the edge for the run. Secondly, Glenn does a horrible job of pinning/ blocking down on the 2 technique DE over Richie. That DE shoots the gap and forces Shady to string it wide, which makes Mccoy not able to squeeze into the hole and get up-field. If Glenn just executes the block maybe Shady can get up inside the hole.
But it’s ok, because on the next play they use Shady in the pass game. They put him one on one with a LB and he picks up 9. The offense gets into a rhythm again.
Tyrod finds Woods on a nice flat/curl combo vs. zone. Good read, and conviction in the throw.
Bills get the ball as deep as Philly’s 38 yard line on this drive until John Miller gets the hands to the face penalty. So on 3rd and long the Bills go to the empty set formation and Cox puts pressure on Taylor, forcing an incomplete pass.
That penalty put the Bills off schedule and they eventually had to punt.
The Eagles started off with the ball at their 20 yard line with 1:28 and two timeouts. The play-calls on this drive were atrocious. They were safe, and were made not thinking about the tendencies of the Eagles’ offense. Yes, they were beat deep by Agholor early in the game, but I was disappointed in these calls. I understand the philosophy, make them dink and dunk their way down the field. But if there is anytime to blitz, its on this drive. Make Bradford get rid of it quickly and make the tackle.
Instead they rush three and drop eight into coverage on 8 out of 10 plays, and they give up this play to get the Eagles in field goal position.
The Bills are in a 3-3-5. They only rush three players, but what really ticked me off here is the play by Mckelvin and Duke Williams. The defense could be some coverage variation to prevent the Eagles from getting into field goal positions.So what I drew up may not even be exactly it. BUT, look at Duke Williams. He is the circled player, he is not situationally aware on this play. He gets to his zone but doesn’t read the WR to his side who runs the deep out. My guess is that he was either the hook/curl defender near the 30 yd line or a flats defender. If he was a flats defender then he blew this coverage. he didn’t get to the flats. If he was a hook to curl defender, who is coming into your zone? No one!!! Find the WR to your side and get in the passing lane. Pair that with Mckelvin not being able to plant his foot and break on the ball, like Darby does, and you you have a completion to steal 3 points at the end of the half…
Bad play-calling, bad situational awareness and bad execution led to points for the Eagles going into half time. 3rd quarter analysis later…Stay tuned…