NY Giants Should Expect the Eagles to Use Hurts as a Decoy
On that two QB in the backfield look, Hurts ended up being a decoy – a play action fake to him led to a pass back the other way, against the flow of the defense. The Ravens were too worried about Hurts, and Fulgham had an easy pickup on a screen. But that’s not the only time that the threat of Hurts led to a big gain for another Eagle.
You might have caught the 81-yard touchdown run by Miles Sanders during a game break last week. What you might not have noticed was that it was set up by the post-snap motion of Jalen Hurts. Duffy breaks it down nicely again with video.
What I want to focus on is the role of Hurts. The Giants have to make sure that they respect the threat of Hurts, but without selling out. That’s where the Ravens went wrong. Notice about 18 to 19 seconds into the video, everyone at the second level starts to shuffle to their left. They see Hurts, and they’re worried about an end around or a toss to Hurts to set up a pass back towards the left side of the defense.
That’s understandable, but they are vacating their assignments against the run. A step or two is all it takes to let the Eagles get a major advantage in blocking up the play, springing a game-breaking play.
So what’s the key for the Giants? Trust your teammates. The Ravens had defenders in position to pursue Hurts if he took a toss and ran. There was only one receiver out on a route, and a defender was on him.
If anyone is going to get out of position, it should be a safety over the middle who might want to try to get more depth to protect against a big play over the top, while not taking themselves completely out of position against the run. This could have turned an 81-yard touchdown run into a 20- or 30-yard gain.
Preparation, Trust, and Teamwork Can Shut Down the Hurts Package
It sounds cliche, but it’s really just about staying in position, trusting your teammates to do the same, and preparing during the week for the various looks you’ll get.
“We don’t know how they can use him,” explained Ryan. “His packages seem to advance from week to week. We just have to be fundamentally sound when he comes into the game. He’s a dangerous skill player.”
I’d expect the NY Giants defense to see Hurts on the field for at least 10-15 snaps. If they can avoid any game-changing plays, they should be pretty happy – and it’ll go a long way toward giving them a chance at victory tonight.