One of the major things to watch in 2014 in the continuing evolution of the Chip Kelly offense is the evolution of the packaged plays. We've discussed them extensively on the blog and they have been a regular feature on other sites when talking about Chip Kelly's offense. To open the Top 10 we are going to focus on a series of packaged plays which feature a minimum of 3 reads in the same play. As you will see, in these plays there is both a run and "pass" option built-in. The offensive line will block as though it is always an inside zone running play, but there are built in "pass" options. Let's start with this goalline touchdown against the Redskins:
Of course this ends up being an actual running play. However, based on the reaction of certain defenders on the play, Foles has other options.
In the image below you can see Foles' three options on this play. His first option is to hand off to McCoy (Yellow). The second option is for him to keep himself (red). The third option (while technically not a pass) is a pitch-out to Jackson (blue). Speaking of Jackson, this is set up because as you can see in the animated gif, Desean is sent on "ghost" motion pre-snap to both distract the defense, as well as to become an option on this play. Notable here are the 2 edge defenders in red who are kept unblocked and honest by Foles' read. As a result, check out the numbers advantage the Eagles have built along the OL. McCoy has 2 double teams in front of him. From this still, it is clear what the right choice is for Foles:
You see a huge lane for McCoy to walk through as Kelce and Peters peel off their double teams to take out additional defenders. Easy TD:
And this shot just to see the other options Foles has on the play if he chooses to keep. If for example those edge defenders crashed down the line to protect against McCoy, Foles and Jackson would have isolated one man at the top:
Let's have another look down on the goalline. This was against the Detroit Lions and it is actually a 2 point conversion attempt.
Same concept although this time Cooper is also lined up on the top of the screen to occupy a defender. Desean runs the same pre-snap "ghost" motion. First thing to point out is the numbers game. What we see is quite common in a goalline defense. The Lions have more defenders on the line than we can block. The Eagles are in a 2 tight end set but still only have 7 blockers against 9 defenders. How can they run against this?
Here are the options Foles has on the play as it unfolds. #1 to Brown (yellow), #2 is the keeper (red), and #3 is the pitch to Jackson (blue). Watch the edge defenders freeze on Foles at the mesh point:
And here you can see how the zone read gives the Eagles the advantage in the run game. Look at the the 3 Lions defenders completely unblocked on this play as they are frozen by Foles's read and Jackson's motion. As a result, the Eagles get a blocker on every defender in the box. Again, the right choice is to hand-off to Brown:
The most important thing to note on these plays is how Chip Kelly has designed the play to stretch the defense horizontally and freeze those unblocked edge defenders. Of course the book on Nick Foles running Kelly's offense was supposed to be, "Crash on McCoy and let the slow Foles get his 3-4 yards on the keeper". Of course, that philosophy is flawed in short yardage and goalline situations. However, even more important is Jackson's motion as it forces the defense to respect the edge of the field (much like Vick would have on the keep) to "block" those edge defenders and allow the Eagles to gain blockers on the play side.
Let's see how a similar concept works in the intermediate areas of the field (bonus: check out Jason Peters' block on this play):
Several interesting things about this play. First, let's look at the formation. The Eagles have a 5 man line on 4th and 2 on a play they want to run on. Check out the right tackle, it is tight end Brent Celek. Where is Lane Johnson? He's split out in the slot on the top of the screen:
Once again, Jackson's motion is the key on this play as they are setting up the bubble to him on the top of the screen with 3 blockers in front of him. However, note Patrick Peterson is following Jackson in motion indicating man coverage so they don't get a numbers advantage on top. Nonetheless you can see the options Foles has on the play:
On this one, the order changes slightly. The hand-off to McCoy is option 1 (yellow), bubble to Desean is option 2 (red), and the keeper for Foles is option 3 (blue). And note the unblocked edge defender and the blocking up front McCoy gets to convert the 4th down:
Let's look at another to highlight just how these concepts evolved as the season went along. In #14, we highlighted this play to show how Chip assigned a blocker to that edge defender on a "sift" block that comes across the formation to the back-side. Again, similar principles are at work:
Note this time, there is no pre-snap motion from Jackson. So the play initially is quite simply a basic zone read where Foles has the option to hand to Polk (yellow) or keep (red). This time, there is no unblocked defender as Casey does a nice job:
However, as Foles hands off check out Riley Cooper at the top of the screen. Instead of blocking his man downfield, he stops against the off coverage and turns back to the ball expecting a potential pass his way with a good 7 yard cushion:
Which brings us to the last set of plays against the Raiders. Here's you'll see a packaged read-option with a bubble forming on the bottom to Jeff Maehl:
Here are the three options:
and Foles chooses the hand-odd to Bryce Brown as every man in the box is accounted for. Also note #53 who is protecting against the Foles keeper or bubble screen wide (It needs to be respected):
Same idea with different personnel:
And the 3 options:
This time, the unblocked edge defender crashes hard on the run game, and Foles keeps, momentarily:
However, with the ball in his hands, he still has 2 options based on how the defense reacts. He can keep (red) or pitch out to Riley Cooper on the outside (blue). As the defense collapses he chooses the latter for a big gain down the sideline: