Eagles’ Defense Preparing for Rams Offense that’s Committed to Run
The Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angels Rams have faced off a twice during the Doug Pederson and Sean McVay era. Their quarterbacks, the top two picks of the 2016 draft, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, have faced off just once, back in 2017. Wentz was injured for the 2018 meeting.
The two quarterbacks will meet for the second time, when the teams meet this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field at 1 p.m.
However, Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz knows his defense can expect to see some new wrinkles from this years Rams offense.
"They expanded their options a little bit more in some of their run and pass game," Schwartz said on Tuesday. "We're going to have to make some adjustments based off of that. No different than any team. Probably a little bit more high profile.
"Didn't play them for a whole year, so it's probably a little bit more noticeable than if you just had played them four weeks ago or half a season ago."
Despite the challenge of facing an offense with that has been explosive in the passing game during the McVay era, they ran the ball with a ton of success on Sunday against Dallas, rushing 40 times for 153 yards.
"They're committed to the run, I think they always have been going back with Todd Gurley," Schwartz stated. "They just leaned on him. They have a different cast of characters now, but it really hasn't changed their philosophy."
While the Rams ran the ball well, but still have plenty of weapons in the passing game. Wide receivers Robert Woods, who caught six passes for 105 yards and Cooper Kupp who caught four balls for 40 yards on Sunday. Tight end Tyler Higbee is also a big part of the Rams offense, which is triggered by Goff.
"One of the things I'd probably say that really stood out more when we started watching him was his increased mobility," Schwartz said when asked what areas Goff has improved. "They're using a lot more bootleg passes. He's not just easing into those. Sort of in years past he would run the boot, but he was just really sort of buying time to find guys that were open. Now he's getting up on the boot and he is sprinting full speed, really putting a lot of pressure on the width of your defense."
"I think that's probably the biggest change. He's an outstanding play-action passer, always has been. That's been a big thing. He really executes those fakes really well. It makes it difficult on the defense if they're looking at the wrong thing. They look at him, you're not going to be able to tell the difference between run, boot and play-action."
"I think he has, a little bit like we talked about their scheme taking a step in the last calendar year or so, he certainly added to his game. He's not afraid to scramble. He's hard to hit because he'll just slide and get down. Doesn't subject himself to a lot of hits."
"But his mobility is an added thing that sort of puts pressure on the defense."