Bills vs. Eagles Analysis 1st Qtr








All 22 Review on the Bills vs. Eagles Game.

The Bills vs. Eagles game was very frustrating for many reasons. The obvious being that the Bills were in win or go home mode. Due to inconsistencies early in the season that led to losses, the Bills needed to basically win out and get some help to get into the playoffs. The Bills continued the inexcusable behavior of committing penalties which have hurt both the offense and defense. After watching the all 22 film courtesy of, what frustrated me the most was the offensive line play.

The Bills were ranked #4 in rushing going into this Eagles game. The primary reason for that success has been the play of the offensive line. They have played sound, assignment based football. It seemed week in and week out regardless of who the Bills played, the run game always showed up. This week, wasn’t any different so lets start with the 1st Quarter. The line played quite well in the first quarter, but towards the end of the quarter things started to turning.

1st Quarter

The Bills came out on their first drive and were trying to “feel out” the Eagles. They came out in 22 (2RBs-2TEs) personnel. The Bills wanted to see how the Eagles were going to defend certain packages.

So they motioned Shady out wide and the defense showed zone. So they threw the ball to Watkins on a quick hook route. Taylor read it well and got the ball to Sammy to get ahead of the chains.

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On 2nd down, the Bills again show a different look. They bring in their unbalanced line with an extra lineman to Cox’ side. The Bills run a counter trey with Richie and Glenn to the weak side. Look at Clay and Gragg work their blocks and Glenn and Richie know exactly who they are going to block. Seven yard gain by Shady.

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A reverse to Sammy and an incomplete pass to Clay in the flats were both ineffective and it put the Bills behind the chains.

On 3rd and long, Taylor and the Bills align in 11 personnel empty formation package. The Eagles had trouble defending this route. Unfortunately, Fletcher Cox blows the play up. He shucks Incognito and sacks Taylor for an 8 yard loss. The Eagles defense shows cover 2 man. At the snap you have two guys keeping an eye on Sammy up top, Woods on the bottom is the primary WR. What happened is that the slot corner drops Hogan who runs a crossing route and flies to the flats where Woods ran a deep hook route.  Taylor didn’t have time to get to his next WR in the progression.

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The first defensive drive for the Bills was not a success either. The Bills gave up a 9 play 61 yard TD drive. The drive only took 2:51 seconds off the clock.

A play that caught my eye was the sure tackling by Graham. On the second down play the Bills are playing what appears to be cover 0. Graham has the RB running the swing route and Mckelvin has the TE Ertz running the deep out route. If Graham doesn’t make the tackle who knows how big of a gain would he have.

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The play that really broke the drive open was the pass to TE Ertz.

The Eagles are in a 2×2 receiver set with Sproles in the back field. The Bills were so focused on Sproles running into the flats, someone blew the coverage. My guess is Graham left Ertz open.

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The next play is a big run by Sproles. The Eagles run an unbalanced line to the right. They run a power right at Ik Enemkpali and Sproles breaks a tackle and gets inside the 5. He gets the TD on the next play.

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The Bills next drive was a success. Watch this beautiful read and throw by Tyrod.

This play worked because the way in which the Eagles defended the Bills on the 1st drive when they motioned Shady out. The Bills again attack the zone defense. Here they motion Shady out to the right. The defense shows zone coverage. Woods and Clay are stacked in the slot, Eagles in their base 3-4 defense. The defense plays cover 2, Taylor reads the safety jumping Clay who ran a corner route, that opens the middle and Woods gets the catch for 32 yards.

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The Bills get into some trouble on this drive, on 3rd and 9 they dial up a beautiful play.

The Bills come out in 11 personnel, double stack formation with Clay in the slot. The defense is showing cover 2. At the snap, the Eagles rob the middle of the field to stop Clay. Sammy wins the route vs. Maxwell at the line of scrimmage for a TD. Taylor did a great job of using his eyes to hold the single high safety.

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The Bills forced the Eagles into a three and out on their next drive. They get the ball back and start out really well.

On 1st down they go to their bread and butter.

For some reason Fletcher Cox is not in on this play. Eagles align in their 3-4 defense. Glenn blocks down and Richie pulls and seals the ILB. 7 yard gain by Shady. The lineman are on their game right now, controlling the line of scrimmage.

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But Felton puts us back behind the chains with a false start penalty on the next play so Roman dials up a screen to Clay.

Roman brings in a new formation, a quads look by motioning Shady out wide. The Bills have an advantage number to that side. They throw the screen to Clay, good blocking by Woods and Hogan.

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The very next play the Bills seem to get back on track.

The Eagles have the play defended pretty well. Cox gets a good jump to his play-side gap, but Clay gets just enough of him. Look at how close the ILBS are to the line of scrimmage. It makes it easier to shoot the gap for Kiko. He does just that and almost blows the play up but Wood peels back and just gets enough of him. Clay sealing that edge was critical on this play.

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The next play is 2nd and 2 and it was a big opportunity that the Bills missed out on.

The Bills bring back their unbalanced line look. Taylor fakes the power run play and tries throwing the deep ball to Watkins. Clay was in the slot running a crossing route but pulls up because he hurt his back when Barwin jammed him. Sammy was open, he runs a sluggo post. It is a fake slant and go, but then he runs to the post. The single high safety jumped Clay as designed, which left Sammy one on one vs. Maxwell. Just an overthrow by TT.

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Here is the next pass play on this drive, it has brought into question the play-call on this 3rd and 2 play.

The Bills are in 12 personnel the Eagles play man coverage and Sammy gets the one on one vs. Maxwell. I don’t mind the play-call. As you can see, the Eagles play press man because they blitz. So if we run there, the play may not work. We got the match-up we wanted vs. one of the worst DBs in the league. Sammy needs to catch this in my opinion. Enough with the drops and double catching. For one reason or another, Tyrod predetermined where this pass was going.

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I think this is the point in the game where the Eagles’ changes started to create issues for the defensive line. Check out the next play. It is a good gain by Shady on the outside zone.

The Bills are in 11 personnel and they run a simple outside zone. The change that the Eagles showed was putting Cox at DE in their nickel defense. One ways that teams have slowed down the Bills’ sweep/pin and pull scheme is putting a strong, run defender on the edge. Of course not having Clay hurt our run game. He has shown the ability to block defenders one on one. Cox occupied two blockers and most of all he strung the play out, not allowing Shady to get up field.

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The Bills get two more positive plays to end the 1st quarter with the score tied 7-7.