The definition of insane has been said to be "to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result!" Well, so that means we should do something different the next game wouldn't you say? By looking at some of the tactics that other teams used to stop Chip Kellys' offense, we find some interesting insights.
1. The key to the Eagles engine and to Chip Kellys' offense is LeSean McCoy and the running game. Stop McCoy and Darren Sproles and you have a chance.
2. The Eagles passing attack with Mark Sanchez appears to be built on quick and short passes, ( five and seven yards ), so get pressure on the quarterback no matter what. Also quick pressure usually means there is not enough time to let deep passes develop.
3. The way to do the above requires a team to sell-out to run-blitz and pass-blitz. In other words a high-risk, high-reward defense that requires the same things the Eagles defense does and that is to put a lot of pressure on your corners so you can rush extra guys, and that many or most of those blitzes must be up the middle to get pressure on Mark Sanchez as early as possible and not allow him time to get easy looks at the short routes.
4. Play press cover-1 to disrupt the short passes.
From this article by Bucky Brooks early in the season we find these nuggets of wisdom....
"Philly didn't score a single offensive point against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4, and the offense looked underwhelming against the St. Louis Rams in Week 5. Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy, both Pro Bowlers in 2013, have put up pedestrian numbers all season. Have opposing defenses discovered the formula for stopping Kelly's spread attack?
...Against the pass, defensive play callers are using more blitzes, stunts and games to create penetration up the middle, leading to Foles throwing balls with defenders in his face.
...it was McCoy who served as the driving force of the offense.
...This season, however, McCoy hasn't been able to get into a groove as the Eagles' feature back. He is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry -- down from 5.1 last fall -- and has one run of 20-plus yards in five games. Stunningly, he has yet to crack the 100-yard mark in any game and his disappointing production has grounded an Eagles offense that was expected to rank as one of the most potent units in the league.
Poring over the tape of the Eagles' most recent games, I noticed defenses are committing more defenders to the box to slow down McCoy. Opposing coordinators are putting eight defenders near the line of scrimmage against the Eagles' two-back/heavy formations and keeping at least seven defenders in the box against one-back sets. Without a legitimate running option at quarterback, the extra defender allows opponents to clog all of the lanes at the point of attack."
When the Cowboys have the ball, instead of running Murray inside against a seven and eight man front, get Murray out in space and get him the ball there. Run more bubble screens and screens in general. Tom Landry always said that screens and draws are the best way to slow down a rush. More misdirection plays are also very good against a defense like the Eagles have.
And finally, the Cowboys need to watch what Seattle does against this offense, if they can slow it down and beat them, the next game against the Eagles will be more meaningful as far as winning the division goes and we will have more ammunition in our arsenal.
Let's hope the Seahawks win so the Eagles record comes back towards ours.