Inside the Numbers: An Eagles’ Slant
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The slant was the Eagles' biggest weapon in their 34-7 blowout win over Arizona on Sunday.
Carson Wentz completed six of seven of his slant passes against the Cardinals for 58 yards, an impressive 8.3 yards per attempt with a touchdown to Zach Ertz, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
With that success to no surprise, the slant was Wentz's favorite route of the afternoon, outpacing hitch routes (5), crossing routes (5) go routes (4) and everything else (7).
As for the deep ball, Wentz was 2-of-5 with the home runs to Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor and has now gained 362 deep pass yards on the season, which is third in the NFL.
As for the rejuvenated Agholor, Wentz had a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeting the third-year wideout. No other WR had a perfect passer rating when targeted this week entering "Sunday Night Football." Among receivers who have been targeted at least 20 times this season, Agholor has the second-best passer rating when targeted (152.7) behind only Oakland's Michael Crabtree (154.4).
As for the running back rotation without Wendell Smallwood, Veteran LeGarrette Blount had the most work (26 offensive snaps) followed closely by undrafted rookie Corey Clement (23). Kenjon Barber finished with 17 offensive snaps.
Leading up to the game Doug Pederson explained the rotation at left guard with Stefen Wisniewski Chance Warmack.
"Chance's strengths are Wis' weaknesses and Wis' strengths are Chance's weaknesses, so they really feed off of each other and they don't miss a beat," the coach claimed.
That proved to be prophetic against the Cardinals. Wisniewski again got the majority of the work (42 reps to 25 for Warmack). The latter, however, was better as a run blocker (72.2 run block grade to 39.8 for Wis). In pass protection, Wisniewski (78.1 pass protection grade) outperformed Warmack (44.3.).
Defensively Jordan Hicks finally looked like the 2015-16 version of himself, grading out at a season-best 85.7.
Malcolm Jenkins, meanwhile, got his wish and got a lot of opportunities to match up with Larry Fitzgerald in the slot. Jenkins lined up across from Fitzgerald on 52.6% of his pass routes run and was in coverage on seven of Fitzgerald's eight targets, allowing six catches for minimal damage (51 yards).
Jim Schwartz really came after Carson Palmer seven times with six-or-more rusher, generating pressure on 57.1 percent of those tries. With five rushers the percentage was 16.7 percent on six attempts and when sending the common four-man rush, the Eagles' pressure rate was a solid 33.3 percent on 33 plays.
Patrick Robinson also continued his strong season, allowing only 55.6 percent of targets to be caught in his coverage and compiling a 91.5 game grade by PFF.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen