NY Giants Defense Will See Wildcat-ish Looks
A true Wildcat formation features a direct snap to someone other than the quarterback, an unbalanced offensive line, and motion across the formation. The regular quarterback is usually lined up in a traditional receiver position.
What the Eagles do most often with Hurts may look like a Wildcat, but it rarely uses an unbalanced line and does not have the typical Wildcat motion. That said, Carson Wentz will be lined up to the outside and Hurts will take the snap. Of course, he’s a quarterback too, so call that what you will.
For the most part, though, it appears that the Eagles are utilizing Hurts to man the QB position for run-pass option plays that can utilize his speed and running ability. Here’s a look at a series of plays from the Eagles last game that featured Hurts, put together by Eagles X’s and O’s content producer Fran Duffy.
One thing that stands out to me is that Hurts has good instincts as a runner. Notice how he sets up his blocks in the first run. As Duffy points out, in the second run the “mesh point” or the potential handoff is drawn out – this freezes defenders and opens up a running lane that Hurts then darts through. Hurts is almost like a field general, utilizing his timing and movements behind the line of scrimmage to manipulate the defense and create a seam to run through.
Hurts ran a 4.59 40′ at the NFL Scouting Combine, so the NY Giants defense must respect his speed. If he’s going to set up his blocks effectively, the Giants need to shed blocks quickly and make sure to flow to the football to get multiple defenders in position to make a play. This isn’t really anything new, though. Everyone in the NFL is used to defending various forms of the RPO by now.