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The Eagles offense just knows how to win

The best teams in the NFL just know how to win games.

Regardless of how the game is won, or what happens in the game, the best teams find themselves in the winning column. That matters, especially when we get closer to the playoffs and the margin for error gets smaller.

The Philadelphia Eagles have the NFL’s best record at 10-1, and on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers they proved that their offense can win in any way they have to.

The Packers came into the game 11th in the NFL in Pass Defense DVOA, but by both DVOA and EPA/play they’ve been one of the worst teams in the NFL against the run.

The Eagles decided to simply run the ball down the Packers’ throats, to the tune of 363 rushing yards in their 40-33 victory. Philadelphia has one of the best run games in the entire league, and against Green Bay it was on display.

The Eagles offensive line coach and run game coordinator is Jeff Stoutland, and whenever Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata says where he’s from on Sunday Night Football games, he says “Jeff Stoutland University”. Stoutland’s ability to develop offensive linemen and design a run game like the Eagles is a large reason why Philadelphia is 10-1 today.

The Eagles bread and butter is inside zone and split zone. With Jalen Hurts as their QB, they can add a QB keeper option onto any run concept and gain the ability to game the box count. Because teams want to play with lighter boxes now in the run game, having a mobile QB like Hurts forces you to add a number to the box count.

It all starts up front for the Eagles, who have the best OL in football. They’re athletic, smart, but most importantly, they work together as a unit. Watch the movement C Jason Kelce and RG Isaac Seumalo get on this split zone play. They give the Eagles RB a lane to get through to create a solid gain.

Against the Packers, the Eagles used a lot of trap plays, where the line will leave the defensive tackle unblocked for a pulling guard or tackle. These work well against five man fronts, but they’re especially lethal when the pulling tackle is Lane Johnson, arguably the best right tackle in the NFL.

This play also worked well against a four man front that Green Bay would use as well. Johnson kicks out the EDGE defender, and watch how the Eagles are able to climb to the second level and make their lives hell too.

It wasn’t just trap and split zone, either. When the Eagles got into pistol with the back behind Hurts, they ran a lot of counter plays. Pulling a guard and off the ball TE, the Packers would try to “box” it with the edge defender trying to force everything inside. This works to the Eagles benefit, because now you get a guard or TE blocking a DB.

We haven’t even discussed how Jalen Hurts affects the run game as well. Hurts had 157 yards on the ground, with a good mix of scrambles and designed run game for Hurts. The Eagles like running Counter Bash, a designed QB option play with a guard and tackle pulling for the QB instead of the RB. Because teams are now running five man fronts to stop zone running, gap schemes are now able to be run with effectiveness. The Eagles battered the Packers with gap scheme runs, and included Jalen Hurts in these as well.

Of course, there will be questions about why the Eagles passing game wasn’t as effective during this game, or calling questions into Hurts’ long term ability to be the Eagles QB. I’m on the other side of the fence. Hurts’ ability to be a game-changer in the run game while making the necessary throws to keep defenses off balance is worthy of being the long term answer. The Eagles don’t try and force things philosophically on offense. If the run game is working, they’ll run it. If they can throw it well, they’ll throw.

That’s what makes the Eagles so dangerous. You can’t take away everything.

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