February 09, 2020
In 2019, including the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles allowed 16 pass plays of 40-plus yards, or just a hair under one per game. No team allowed more. To get an idea of what went wrong, I found all of them, in addition to some other big plays that were just shy of 40 yards.
You can view them all in this Twitter thread, if you have the stomach for it.
In 2019, including the playoffs, the Eagles allowed 16 pass plays of 40+ yards, or just a hair under one/game. No team allowed more. I found all of them, plus some other big plays that were just shy of 40 yards. (Story, and thread): https://t.co/sFoQ3VUdJ0— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) February 9, 2020
Done? Cool. And there was no shortage of other potential big plays that should have been made, but were missed by the opposing offense! Basically, you can place blame wherever you choose.
• The corners, notably Rasul Douglas and Jalen Mills, were too slow to keep up with opposing wide receivers.
• The one guy who could actually run with them, Ronald Darby, could not locate and/or make plays on the ball down the field, or he was simply out-jumped or out-muscled on 50-50 balls.
• The safeties were unable to cover sideline-to-sideline in single-high looks, and even in non-single-high looks, they too often "bit the cheese" on underneath routes.
• Tackling in the secondary was a mess at times, with Darby being the biggest culprit.
• Jim Schwartz probably put his slow corners in too many situations in which asked them to cover fast receivers man-to-man, with little-to-no help.
I lean more toward the personnel being the problem than the scheme. At some point, your defensive backs are going to have to cover. You can't always give them added help, or you'll just die in some other way defensively.
The Eagles desperately need to get faster in their secondary this offseason, both at corner and safety.
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