With our old pal Fitzy in Minneapolis for Super Bowl 52 Barstool Sports’ Jerry Thornton stepped in to co-host with yours truly. Nick checked in via phone, we talked Tom vs. Time, the Eagles run-pass option and so much more. It’s the final episode of Patshow before it all goes down in Minn!
Archives for January 2018
By now you’ve probably seen some mention of the Eagles and their vaunted Run-Pass Option, also known as a packaged play. It’s one of the latest trends in football and Philly has used it to excellent effect this season, starting with Carson Wentz and continuing with backup Nick Foles.
Here’s a quick look at what they look like:
Here is a look at two examples of the Eagles RPO game and how they freed up Alshon Jeffery on the Slant. On clip one look at the great spacing on top of the numbers. On clip two see the use of the pick route. #NFLPlayoffs
Diagrams by @KlipDraw https://t.co/UiOXuZSNmh pic.twitter.com/IiYAXV20eF
— Mike Rowe (@coachmikerowe) January 29, 2018
As you can see it’s tough to defend for a similar reason to why the Patriots offense is tough to defend in general — both adjust post-snap to what the defense does and exploits where they’re weakest.
Here’s the Patriots getting burned by the Jags and their own RPO.
I went down to the Patriots sendoff this morning, which was a good time though a bit of an extended wait for the good stuff. The area and stairs around the Hall were absolutely mobbed with reports of the first fans arriving at 3am!! I wasn’t quite that passionate but got there around 8:30, well ahead of when the actual Patriots appeared.
One thing is for sure, Patriots fans are as rabid and hungry for another Super Bowl as ever and the creativity in their signs and costumes was outstanding. You’d never have known it was a Monday morning with so many apparently skipping work and school to see their favorite team head off.
The cheerleaders got the crowd fired up until Zolak and Socci took the stage amazed that this was their third sendoff in four years. From there it was a bit of a wait, and with a crisp, cold wind blowing through, I started to regret not packing a nip or two to warm me up. But soon enough the Patriots emerged from their locker room door. Jonathan Kraft spoke first, then Belichick and it was all short and sweet. “Thanks for coming, see you there maybe, if not, then next Monday” kind of thing. Oh well, what did we expect?
With one week to go until Super Bowl 52 the Patriots-Eagles matchup is becoming pretty clear. Any consolation Patriots fans might’ve taken from facing Nick Foles instead of Carson Wentz went(z) out the window after Foles systematically destroyed a vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense in the NFC Championship.
Then came this quote from respected analyst and former Patriots staffer Mike Lombardi:
“[The Eagles] really don’t have an identity offensively. They are very unpredictable and they play left-handed. Belichick is so good at making a team play left-handed, but it is kind of hard to make a left-handed team play left-handed.”
Hmmm, that’s not good for my pregame stress levels.
Let’s take a look at how the Eagles stack up against the Patriots previous seven Super Bowl opponents by my favorite stats — points and DVOA efficiency.
I enjoyed watching the below video, taken from a presentation at Notre Dame that Matt Patricia gave. James Light has posted numerous excerpts from it, they’re all fabulous, but this one sparked my attention to a detail that has really flown under the radar with this Patriots defense — their lack of takeaways.
New England Patriots Turnover Circuit: pic.twitter.com/q1az9khnpP
— James Light (@JamesALight) January 28, 2018
Outside of not forcing a turnover in their 2010 divisional loss to the Jets, this is the first time under Belichick the Patriots have failed to get a takeaway in the playoffs. And it’s not really that surprising for this Patriots defense. They’ve had just two takeaways in the last seven games, including zero in their last four.
I’ve spent the last few days taking a look at a bunch of Eagles games and, like last week watching the Jags, it’s been an enjoyable experience. I get so caught up trying to decipher the Pats game film each week of the regular season that I never get much of a chance to check out another team. Now with a couple weeks to prepare it was nice to not be under the gun and immerse myself in the other team in the Super Bowl.
It should be a fantastic matchiup which should make any bet on Superbowl LII an interesting one.
The games I focused on were primarily toward the end of the season, once Nick Foles took over for Carson Wentz, including a special focus on the two playoff games. Here’s a bunch of things that stood out to me and how I could see the Eagles matching up with the Pats.
Here’s Mike Petraglia (aka @Trags) and Jimmy Toscano discussing why the Eagles are a tough matchup for the Pats. Things sure don’t get any easier for Tom Brady, facing as tough a front as he’s seen all year and one that has insane depth with eight players who can all produce for the front four. We all know pressure with the front four is what it’s all about against the Patriots defense and the Eagles should cause plenty of problems.