The Eagles will have a different quarterback under center tonight with Nick Foles relieving Carson Wentz who is out with a stress fracture in his back.
An offense that needed to change the script for Wentz and a struggling offense will need to adjust for Foles who hasn’t played since the second week of the season.
Doug Pederson should help Foles get going the same way he needed to with Wentz.
Heavy dose of up-tempo
Like Wentz, Foles has thrived when the Eagles go to no huddle offense. It was the foundation of Chip Kelly’s 2013 offense that featured Foles throwing for 27 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.
When Pederson has decided to go fast this year, the offense has moved the ball.
It will help the hot and cold Foles get comfortable.
Going fast can also keep the defense from making substitutions. In Week 3 against the Colts, the Eagles were able to use no huddle with 12 and 13 personnel to dominate the short passing and run game.
The two and three tight end sets against the smaller defensive looks are ideal in the run game. Keeping the defense in base packages can create mismatches through the air with talented pass catching tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
The same logic can be used when the Eagles use 11 personnel. Regardless of what package Doug has on the field, no huddle can help to exploit certain defensive looks.
Quick throws, RPOs and PAs
Part of getting Foles settled after 11 weeks on the bench will also include getting the ball out fast. Foles doesn’t have the mobility to escape if Aaron Donald gives the offensive line problems.
Quick throws, and moving the pocket will help get him and the offensive line into the game.
Keeping it simple is key for a rhythm-centric QB.
Play action can also help create deep passing plays. Especially to Nelson Agholor who has feasted on PA crossing routes.
Agholor has six 35+ yard receptions which is good enough for 6th in the NFL. Four of those six deep plays came off play action.
Success on first down
The slow offensive starts in the first quarter have plagued the Eagles for multiple reasons. One major factor has been the lack of success on first down.
In the games where the offense started fast (vs Colts, @Giants, vs Redskins), the Eagles turned first down plays into 5+ yard gains consistently.
Getting chunk yardage on first down helps to avoid third and long situations.
First down plays in first quarter vs Colts:
- 11 yard run by Wendell Smallwood
- 6 yard run by Smallwood
- 8 yard reception by Zach Ertz
- 13 yard reception by Ertz
- 8 yard run by Smallwood
First down plays in first quarter vs Washington
- 11 yard reception by Ertz
- 5 yard run by Josh Adams
- 19 yard reception by Golden Tate
- 6 yard reception by Ertz
- 8 yard run by Adams
- 20 yard reception by Ertz
- 39 yard reception by Nelson Agholor
Although the Eagles will have a different signal caller under center against the Rams, the ways Doug Pederson can get this offense and his quarterback back on track remains the same.
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