The first two weeks, Doug Pederson threw multiple offensive formations and looks at opposing defenses. In Week 3's win over the Giants, it paid off in the running game and specifically got LeGarrette Blount going.
Below is a personnel grouping called 13 Heavy, or Big 13. Brent Celek and Zach Ertz lined up to the right of the line, with Halapoulivaati Vaitai lined up as a tight end on the left, and Corey Clement in the backfield.
Having Vaitai, a natural blocker, at the tight end position does two things: It allows run plays to go to the weak side (where the numbers typically favor the offense) and it generates a real push from that position. Vaitai pushes the defensive end to the second level, giving space for the center and guard to loop around and pick up their blocks on the first and second opposite color they see. The result? Clement goes left for the 15-yard touchdown.
Staying on personnel groupings, in the fourth quarter with the Eagles down three, Pederson utilized 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) to his favor. Ben McAdoo’s defense never adjusted. Below you see the Eagles in a trips right formation with Ertz and Trey Burton both in. The Giants counter with their nickel package. The problem is, that takes one linebacker off the field, which weakens a team's run defense.
On this play, first down from their own 25, Carson Wentz threw to Wendell Smallwood for a 9-yard gain.
Pederson stuck with 12 personnel (one RB, two TEs), but now, he lined one tight end in the box and utilized him as a blocker. With the Giants still in the nickel, the Eagles rattled off three consecutive runs for a total of 35 yards, which put them in position for the game-tying field goal.
Utilizing the read-option was another wrinkle. On the first of the three straight runs, Smallwood broke a 20-yard run.
For Pederson, the biggest negative was the decision in the second quarter to go for it on 4th-and-8. Only a fourth-down stand by the Eagles' defense (and drop by Sterling Shepard) prevented the Giants from scoring. However, the Eagles went 2 for 3 on fourth down and ultimately won, so all things considered — specifically the balanced offense and the effectiveness of the run game — Pederson had a good day.
Final Grade: B+
Bill Griggs is a producer for "Eagles Extra" who also played college football at Delaware State.