EAGLE EYE IN THE SKY
BY FRAN DUFFY
In the Eagles’ Week 9 win over the Chicago Bears, there were two critical elements
that the offense did to secure the victory. First, the Eagles were clutch on third down.
Second, the offense did a masterful job of negating the effectiveness of standout pass
rusher Khalil Mack. Those two things, in particular, were very closely connected on the
team’s final drive to help ice the victory late in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Carson Wentz threw three completions to convert third-down
opportunities, and the most impressive play design came on the final one, a screen
pass to Dallas Goedert on third-and-long to move the chains. Here’s how the
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 29
Fran Duffy is the host of the Eagle Eye in the Sky
podcast, fueled by Gatorade, an Official Eagles
Entertainment podcast. Download new episodes weekly.
Before the snap, wide receiver Nelson Agholor comes in Jet motion
from right to left. Agholor’s role is to distract the defenders at the
second level. This is meant to be window dressing. The defense
must respect Agholor because the Eagles previously showed that
they would give him the ball in this situation. Not only does a
defender run with Agholor in man coverage, but the linebackers
slide toward that direction as well to mirror that motion.
At the snap of the ball, Wentz fakes a handoff to running back
Jordan Howard. The Eagles provided Chicago with a heavy dose of
the run game in this contest, so the Bears are aware of this threat
because even though it is third-and-long. Goedert, lined up on the
right side of the formation, runs across to the left to “block” the
backside defensive end, Leonard Floyd, just as he would on one of
the Eagles’ staple zone run concepts.
But Goedert isn’t blocking the defensive end. He instead chucks
him upfield and settles down right between the hashes. Look at
the giant void right through the teeth of the defense! With half
of the defenders reacting to the Jet motion from Agholor and the
rest playing the run fake to Howard, no one is there to account
for Goedert, who takes the short pass and sprints 16 yards for a
The Eagles mixed in several tactics to keep Mack at bay in this game.
Screen passes and play-action were a big part of the game plan.
The Eagles will need a similar effort this week against Jadeveon
Clowney, who had his best game in a Seahawks uniform the last
time this team took the field against San Francisco. It will be a key
to the offense’s success today.