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Recommended Reading: Chip Kelly and the Eagles’ Paint-By-Numbers Offense

Aug 13, 2013, 3:34 PM EDT

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We have another brilliant read about the Chip Kelly offense today, this time by Sheil Kapadia over at Birds 24/7. Sheil’s piece breaks down one play the Eagles used to score two touchdowns in their preseason encounter against the Patriots.

Don’t remember the Eagles using the same play to score twice? That’s because one time it was a run, then the next it was a pass.

How can a running play be the same as a passing play? It’s actually very simple. Whether the play is going to be a run or a pass is determined before the ball is snapped, and the quarterback’s decision is based on where the defense has the majority of its personnel lined up under the so-called “packaged play” concept.

Here’s Nick Foles explaining why he handed off to Bryce Brown for an eight-yard scamper in the second quarter.

“It was a two-safety look, and the inside backers were out,” Foles explained. “So you get a five-man box, you’ve got five guys to block five, you really want to take it. You want to take your O-Linemen on any five any day.”

Foles’ other option on the play was to throw the quick screen to either side. But with two safeties back, the Eagles would have been faced with a 3-on-2 disadvantage on the perimeter.

Now here’s Matt Barkley telling us why he threw the wide-receiver screen to Greg Salas, who slipped the defenders on his 12-yard dash into the end zone.

“You’re looking for numbers,” he explained. “They can’t win because if they put enough guys on the perimeter, then you’re gonna have an advantage if you run the ball. And they had one extra guy in the box so, I mean, that’s a play I’ve run since high school. So you kind of learn to see that and just get the ball out there.

“There should be an answer on every play, and so it’s just your job of making sure that you make the right decision of putting the team in that right play, whether it’s the read on that play or whether it’s an audible where you change into the right play. But there should be a favorable answer on every play.”

Has anybody coined the term “paint-by-numbers offense” yet? Because that’s exactly what this seems like. It sounds so easy, too – go where there is less defense. Why didn’t I think of that?

Kapadia’s breakdown has plenty of game photos, so you can see exactly how the X’s and O’s work, and more importantly, where the math is being done. Just goes to show for all the complexities that are often built into NFL schemes, sometimes simple can be effective.

>> How the Eagles Scored Two TDs on the Same Play [Philly Mag]

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