Collected Insights from the Packers vs. Eagles Week One Film:

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I know a lot has changed from Week 1 till now, but there’s still stuff to glean from watching the Packers vs. Eagles film from that time and seeing some of the general tendencies of the teams. Here’s what I saw.
I hope the people who study film at 1265 Lombardi Ave. are seeing some of these things (certainly they’re massively more qualified to say if they are ‘things’ or not) and acting on them.

-Clay Matthews was unstoppable, as we know, but matched up against Brent Celek he was pretty much transcendent. Whether the Eagles’ No. 1 tight end was chipping him or assigned to block Matthews one-on-one, he trashed him nearly every time, including on the game-ending sack of Vick on fourth and one. If Capers can get Matthews matched up on Celek, look for him to make plays.

-Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton were awful against Trent Cole and Juqua Parker. Both Parker and Brandon Graham (since placed on IR) were able to blow past Tauscher with speed, or bull-rush him with power, or chop his hands down at will. Bulaga will have to be much better then Tauscher was in pass protection.

As for Clifton, Cole did a good job of getting his hands inside of Clifton’s, and partially as a result, Cole was able to power him back to Rodgers multiple times (two sacks). The Packers also had awful production running the football on the offense’s left side; both Colledge and Clifton were repeatedly stacked up and either Grant or Jackson would get creamed. The few times Jackson made any hay off the left side, late in the fourth quarter, were by ploughing through would-be tacklers on his own. When the Packers run left, don’t expect much. A called rollout to the left was also blown up.

They were able to run decently behind Josh Sitton. The inside handoff to Kuhn worked as a surprise play twice, although after a season of running it, the Eagles will be prepared this time for it.

Rodgers’ two interceptions were more of bad decisions-forcing it into triple coverage for Finley, an inexplicable wild throw-then any particular ability of the Eagles’ secondary. Asante Samuel jumped a run-pass option slant to Donald Driver and should’ve picked that off as well, but most of the time, Rodgers did a fine job of making the Eagles’ secondary look bad. In particular, when Greg Jennings matched up against Ellis Hobbs (since placed on IR), Rodgers beat him all over the field. The Eagles still haven’t named a cornerback to start opposite Samuel, from what I can tell.

LeSean McCoy isn’t a power runner. He’s sort of a shiftier Matt Forte: he makes good cuts inside and is exceptional on screen passes. The Eagles gashed the Packers at least twice on well-run screens where they blocked half a dozen Packers defenders away from the play. Vick will make use of the screen game against the Packers, count on that.

The Eagles have no center, no left guard and their right guard is questionable. Raji stormed through a double team in the second quarter with an arm-over move. He nearly sacked Vick then and got pressure a few other times with bull-rushes. Raji against the Eagles’ interior is a mismatch.

Green Bay Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins (77) and defensive tackle B.J. Raji, lower right, tackle Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Miles Kennedy)

One thing I noticed about Michael Vick’s passing in this game: He took a lot of short, underneath throws and only rarely went down the seam. I can’t remember him going deep down the middle for Jackson or down the sidelines. He was very quick to take the short square-outs and shallow crosses. I know all the success he’s had going to Jackson and Jeremy Maclin downfield, but against the Packers, he didn’t. Something to think about.

Finally, when Vick scrambled in that game, he almost always went to the left. And it almost always worked because the ROLB would blow contain. The time when Raji pressured him up the middle, he skated around the outside of Cullen Jenkins, around the OLB and was gone for 23. It’s more natural for him to go to the left, which means Cullen Jenkins should be cognizant that he has to contain Vick as much as rush him. Containing Vick and keeping him in the pocket works; we’ve seen that this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Matthews rushing from the right side of the defense a few times, so as to force Vick to roll to his right.

Rolling right forces Vick to turn his body awkwardly to throw a pass, making him much less dangerous through the air. The one time he tried, he was hustled out of bounds at the line of scrimmage because of that. A called draw play off right tackle gained 13, but his scrambling wasn’t much to speak of. Keep Vick from rolling left and you make him a lot less dangerous.

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Andy Tisdel’s is an occasional guest author for AllGreenBayPackers.com. More of his writing can be found here: by Tisdel’s Tirades

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  • Pete Kliman

    Good observation,I forgot about his tendency.Still,Vick wears out the front three.Wish we had more depth.However,we’re in the PLAYOFFS and are SERIOUS contenders!

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tisdels-Tirades/128720290477889?ref=ts Andy Tisdel

      Can you imagine what Howard Green might look like late in the game, lumbering after Vick?

  • Taryn

    The first game was schemed against Kolb and as for Vick not going deep was IMO simply not practiced by Vick since he was not the starter and Reid was still in a doubt of Vick’s passing,which previously has always been suspect.

    However,Vick has made strides there but seems more prone to revert to a “one man show” mentality which hurts the Iggles and makes Vick hurtable and as seen, much more turnover prone.

    What I feel is the key in this game isn’t so much the fixation on Vick but what our secondary allows the Iggles WRs to give Vick to utilize.They have through out his starts gone deep often in the early series on offense and when they connect on the big play early,it takes away a certain part of any defense.

    The Packers need to create a couple of coverage sacks when not blitzing,this will only make Vick feel more insecure with the big play and try to then run or short pass alot whereas this benefits the Packer defense as like Cutler,too many short plays equates more to an INT by jumping the slant or quick curl route.

    Most will want a never ending blitzkrieg toward Vick,even though not as quick as Rodgers to kill the blitz,it will only take a couple of catches when he does,to see a “possible”drastic change of play on defense.The fastest way to victory is take away what one does,and for the Packers it’s the blitz.

    We win the close one,but with the drops and WR fumbles,we may see another…last play lost.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tisdels-Tirades/128720290477889?ref=ts Andy Tisdel

      Taryn, that’s what I thought as well. If I were Andy Reid and my starter had just gone down that I spent the offseason tailoring the offense around, my reaction would be “Oh God, Oh God, dink and dunk it.”
      The Packers were able to pretty much corral DeSean Jackson the first time around by putting Williams on him and assigning Collins over the top. One thing that hurts Jackson is he doesn’t play in the slot much that I’ve seen (I may be wrong, though). He’s not as dangerous as Jennings in that way, he’s just more of a burner.

      One interesting thing that I kinda noticed during the game, and then had it confirmed by Kevin Seifert of ESPN, is that the Packers rarely blitzed Vick in Week One. It might have only been something like four of his drop-backs. Which, again, is probably a function of Capers figuring out how to deal with him on the fly. I expect him to have a full package ready for Vick this time.

  • Chad Toporski

    I still haven’t seen anyone make mention of the fact that the Packers will have 4-6 healthy defensive lineman to work with this game (depending on how many they activate). Contrast that with the situation in Week 1, and I think it’s going to make a noticeable difference.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tisdels-Tirades/128720290477889?ref=ts Andy Tisdel

      That’s a darn good point. Plus, you can bet that Cullen Jenkins will have a massive chip on his shoulder. He owes the Eagles one from breaking his hand in Week 1.

  • Ron LC

    The defense will do their job. It’s MM’s lackluster offensive tendencies that worry me. Too many games this year where the offense failed to perform. If they don’t come out of the locker room smoking, it sould be a very long day. If Philly gets a two score lead? I’m affraid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tisdels-Tirades/128720290477889?ref=ts Andy Tisdel

      This is true, but I don’t think we should panic if we come out flat. We should panic if it’s Arizona redux, but one thing about Rodgers is that he doesn’t stay flat for entire games. Sooner or later he catches fire, and I think the defense could hold Vick down until Rodgers finds his groove.

    • Pete Kliman

      I think you should worry more about dropped passes and the penalties we get on O and D.