1) Using the dummy snap count to fake going for it before halftime
Seems like no one on Twitter wanted the Eagles to actually go for it here, 4th-and-(a long)-1 from their own 44, up 28-10 with 1:06 left in the half. Yet Brian Burke’s 4th Down Calculator suggests going for it probably would’ve been the optimal call (estimated Win Probability of 95% vs 93%, in favor of going for it). And even if we account for the fact that the Eagle faced a long “one to go” by inputting 4th-and-2, that still outputs a 94% Win Probability (still greater than the 93% WP from punting). So it really wouldn’t have been too crazy. And sure enough, the Raiders did score a last second FG after the Eagles punted it away.
2) Eagles Onsides Kick Deterring Kickoff Return Formation?
Why is Brandon Graham sometimes up and to the side and sometimes back? I haven’t ever noticed him starting up and to the side before (doesn’t mean it’s never happened before). Was he there to deter an onsides kick? Is that a normal thing to do?
3) Shotgun Kneel Downs
I was sad to see the Eagles reverted to a traditional kneel down formation against the Raiders. I thought I made a very convincing argument, using both numbers and intuition, that they should use a shotgun kneel down formation regardless of opponent.
1) Illegal Formation of the Defense
This was actually a blown call. The rule is for Illegal Formation on the Defense is:
When Team A presents a field goal or Try Kick formation, no more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap.
The Eagles only had six. You can see the official on the left trying to count, and he clearly just miscounted.
2) Intentional Grounding?
Why did Kelly call a timeout prior to the Raiders FG attempt right before halftime? I can’t tell if he was trying to ice the kicker or to give the officials more time to discuss the idea that Terrelle Pryor perhaps committed intentional grounding on 3rd down. Kelly was talking to the officials about something after the timeout, but the broadcasters didn’t even entertain the possibility that he may have been talking to them about intentional grounding. A grounding call would’ve taken the Raiders out of FG range, and as I see it, Pryor never got outside the tackle box and the ball wasn’t near a receiver. You can’t assess a penalty after a timeout, though, right?
3) DeSean Jackson could’ve been called for a second dumb penalty
Shouldn’t DeSean Jackson have been flagged for an illegal spike after his play at 14:32 in the 3rd quarter where it was ruled an incompletion? He spikes the ball in frustration and it even roles far away from any officials. Thought that was a 5-yard penalty, no? He had a dumb 15-yard facemask penalty earlier in the game.
4) How do Offsetting Penalties work?
With 14:27 remaining in the 3rd, there was a play with 3 penalties:
- Offensive Holding on PHI
- Defensive Pass Interference on OAK
- Roughing the Passer on OAK
These apparently all offset to create a “No Play, repeat down”? Is that right? Wouldn’t DPI and holding alone offset? So if a defender could somehow recognize that flags had been thrown on both teams for DPI and holding, you can tee off on the QB at no additional cost?
5) Demeco Ryans’ Chuck
Demeco Ryans was called for DPI for hitting Rod Streater within the 5 yard “chuck zone,” but while the ball was in the air. Yet this picture shows Ryans initiated contact while the ball was still in Pryor’s hands (and right at the limit of the 5-yard chuck zone).
I’m not trying to belittle the officials with this point. Just pointing out that Ryans wasn’t really making a dumb mistake.
All REAL Eagles fans know Shady and DJacc’s secret handshake…