Without Carson Wentz at QB the Eagles’ offense is an open book. Let’s face it—with good old Nick Foles at the helm, the opposing defense can throw out the Run/Pass option, the QB waggle and bootleg and such from their strategic concerns…Whether it’s Atlanta, Carolina or New Orleans, the enemy defense will then diagnose the screens and traps which the Eagles will call to try to offset Nick’s lack of mobility. They will look at our alignment pre-snap and pretty much know what is coming.
And they’re going to toss some strategic blitz pressures against him, stuff they wouldn’t dare do in certain situations against Wentz.
For instance, per ESPN here are some takes from anonymous coaches who have had some success against Foles when he was with both the Eagles and the Rams:
On how to blitz Nick Foles: “We felt like we wanted to get pressure in his face, so we’d get up in the A and B gaps against him. That was our plan of attack, and it got him off his spot. He’s the kind of guy who likes to hit his back foot, and the ball is coming out most of the time. He’s fairly athletic for being a quarterback, but not on par with a guy like Carson Wentz. He can be mobile, but he’s still a guy that does his damage in the pocket and a guy you want to get off his spot.”
Wentz could care less if you got him off his spot. But he ain’t playing.
And if Nick is counting on his slot receiver for some quick relief?
On how to stop Nelson Agholor in the slot: “With his being in the slot a lot more this year, you have to be patient against him because he has so much more room and a lot of field to use. They did that well with him, too, using a lot of the field. And you have to be aware of his make-a-play ability. Once he gets his hands on the ball, he can take it the distance. He’s explosive, and the way they use him, there are a lot of different route concepts he can do. The biggest thing is to limit his yards after the catch. If he does get you, you want to make the tackle. If you miss and he gets going, it’s hard to catch him.”
And if the Eagles’ offensive game plan is to limit Nick Foles’ and the offense’s exposure to risk, and rely upon our defense to provide the offsetting cushion?
On how to combat the Eagles’ front seven: “They tackle the running back on the way to the quarterback. So they have a defensive line that will really rush up the field. If you can protect and hold them off, it will negate some of what they want to be about. I think draws and screens can help because they are rushing so hard up the field that hopefully you can slow them down or get them to chase up the field and go over their head on a screen or a draw. Stay in manageable third downs where you can get the ball out quickly so you don’t have long dropbacks to where they can pin their ears back and rush. You have to use a good snap count to keep them guessing so they can’t tee off and come a million miles an hour, knowing when the ball is being snapped. If you can run the ball, that helps, but I don’t know many teams who can do that. You want to run the ball, but you don’t want to waste plays. You want to be selective with your runs because if you’re getting to second-and-10 every time on the run, you might as well scrap it.”
Well there, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Seems like for everyone who has written the Eagles off as a long-shot underdog because Wentz is out of the picture, there are enough of us who feel the Eagles can adjust enough across the board to minimize the loss. That’s what I call the “Live and Let Die” approach.
It means cut the crap. No cute stuff. Stand and deliver. They know we are down to the basic molecular structure of a pro offense. So let’s give it to them. Let’s go Lombardi on ’em. Here’s the power sweep that’s coming, so prove you can stop it. Here’s LeGarrette Blount blasting off tackle, good luck with that. Here’s Brent Celek sitting down in the middle of your zone defense on 3rd and 5, stop it if you can. And if you think you can creep up on us with 8 in the box, get to know the frustration of Alshon Jeffery’s pulling down a jump ball 20 yards downfield against textbook single coverage.
Block, run, catch, tackle… do these things better than they do. Get a little crazy. Play the game like there’s nothing to hide. We want it more than you do. Who needs Carson Wentz when you have Bart Starr…I mean, Nick Foles?
Go old school NFL football like there’s no tomorrow. Live and Let Die.