Assigning blame for all 8 sacks Eagles gave in the opener originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles gave up eight sacks on Sunday, the most they had given up in a game since 2007.
It was ugly.
After the 27-17 loss, I asked Doug Pederson how many of those sacks were on the offensive line and how many were on Wentz.
“Well, I think it's something that first and foremost can't happen,” Pederson said. “I'd say it's a little of both.
“Sacks don't always go on the quarterback or the o-line, protection from [running] backs are included in that, tight ends are included in that and the receivers just getting open. There's a lot that goes in, I have to look at the tape obviously to make real clear determination on that but, ultimately that cannot happen.”
After re-watching all eight sacks, Pederson was right. There was plenty of blame to go around.
Instead of watching these sacks alone, I got on a quick video call with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Barrett Brooks to get his take on them as well. It’s great having a 10-year NFL offensive lineman at my disposal.
Here’s what we saw in chronological order:
“This is the rookie’s fault,” Brooks said. This one is on rookie right tackle Jack Driscoll.
This is slide protection left. Driscoll thought the slide protection was coming his way but it wasn’t. The Eagles obviously weren’t supposed to let Ryan Kerrigan come free.
“In slide protection, you have the four down linemen and the [blitzing safety] on the outside,” Brooks said. “Well, he’s blocking this like he has the outside guy.”
You can even see toward the end of the play that Boston Scott shoots Driscoll a look, like, ‘What the heck are you doing out here?’
This is a screen pass set up to Dallas Goedert but Kerrigan blows it up. He reads it pretty clearly and shows his veteran savvy by dropping into the passing lane.
On any screen, there has to be a second option, though. Barrett and I agreed that DeSean Jackson probably should have been the second read in the flat at the top of the screen but Wentz doesn’t look that way.
Either way, when the play is clearly blown up, Wentz has to get rid of the ball. Just either throw it at Goedert’s feet or throw it back shoulder to DeSean. Can’t take sack here. Wentz has to be willing to get to third down without losing yards.
Even though Kerrigan made a nice play, Wentz needs to get rid of the ball, so he gets blame for this sack.
Watching this play live, it looked like Jason Peters just got beat on a spin move from Chase Young but there’s more to this play. You’ll notice that Corey Clement chips Young and it actually spins the defensive end around Peters and gives him a straight shot on the quarterback.
Brooks pointed out that Peters was going to push Young past the quarterback before the chip.
“You are so hot because they’re only trying to help,” Brooks said.
So, ultimately, blame for this sack has to go to Peters because it’s his man. But he probably gets the job done if Clement doesn’t chip the end into the play.
On this one, the Eagles are in 13 personnel and Richard Rodgers gets one of his two offensive snaps of the game. Initially, I thought Rodgers didn’t get a good enough chip on the end … but he ended up getting too good of a chip and took himself out of the play.
“He chipped him too good,” Brooks said. “He’s supposed to let him cross his face and push him by. Instead, he chips him, slows him down. He needs to get in his route.”
Basically, Rodgers is the first read on this play and he knocked himself off balance with the chip. When Wentz sets his back foot, he’s ready to fire the ball to Rodgers, who isn’t even in his route yet. This has to be a quick release but Rodgers is late and Wentz has no where to go with the ball. Credit this one to Rodgers.
This sack is part coverage sack. Washington has a hat on everyone downfield and Wentz isn’t going to have a ton of time.
On this play, we also see some inexperience and passive play from Nate Herbig in his first NFL start.
“Herbie’s real late,” Brooks said. “He’s gotta stop the penetrator. Instead of going back, he should be hitting him and driving him. He’s got too much depth. (Jason) Kelce can’t come off on it because he’s got too much penetration into the line. So when Kelce turns around, he’s going to get blown up. He doesn’t even see it coming.”
Herbig needed to be more aggressive getting to Matt Ioannidis. Because he dropped, Ioannidis gets good penetration and by the time Washington runs a stunt, Herbig is also late getting to Jonathan Allen, who is the looper.
This is part coverage sack, part Herbig’s fault.
This is a great blitz call and a great disguise from the Washington Football Team.
“That’s actually Wentz’s fault,” Brooks said. “Bostic is hot. That’s Carson Wentz’s guy.”
This was one of the fastest sacks in the NFL this weekend. Bostic got there in 2.72 seconds.
This is waggle protection and the Eagles are trying to sell play action. As a veteran, Kerrigan clearly isn’t buying it.
“They’re trying to sell the play action, but Seumalo’s got to get there with some heat,” Brooks said. “He’s gotta get there wanting to fight.”
The shame of this play is that the linebackers were actually biting on the play action. But it’s a great play by Kerrigan and Seumalo has to get there stronger.
On this play, the Eagles give Jordan Mailata some help with a chip on Kerrigan but Herbig gets beat inside by Ioannidis.
“This is another one of those things, Herbig’s not strong enough at the point of attack so they can’t switch off the stunt because he gets too much penetration,” Brooks said.
Yeah, this play looks like Washington might have been trying to run a T-E stunt but Ioaniddis got so much penetration they didn’t even need it.
This one’s on Herbig. And You can’t really even worry about Wentz fumbling the ball. There’s three minutes left and he’s trying to make a play.