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Vita Vea's Interior Penetration, Eagles' Rushing Attack and More | Brianna's Blitz 

With a rearview glance at the previous contest and a look at the looming Week Three prime-time matchup with the Eagles, here are key topics

Bri's Blitz Sept 22

Eagles' Ground Attack 

With a run-pass-option-based attack with zone and gap schemes, along with traps and counters sprinkled in, the Eagles' offense is predicated on the run game, maximizing the dual-threat ability of quarterback Jalen Hurts. Once defenses allocate resources to the run game, it provides advantageous matchups on the outside for DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown to exploit. Many teams have begun using man coverage or utilizing a single-high safety against the Eagles, with a spy on Hurts, however, that makes a defense susceptible to verticals and rub-routes. With Hurts' dynamic skills, D'Andre Swift's tempo and one-cut agility, Brown's in-breaking prowess, Smith's ability to exploit space and Dallas Goedert's craft at winning underneath, Philadelphia is loaded with talent, and it all starts in the trenches with their offensive line. 

"It's tough," Head Coach Todd Bowles described on the Eagles' offensive attack. "They've got a heck of an offensive line, they've got three backs that can go get it, they've got two All-Pro receivers and the tight end. The quarterback is playing outstanding football. We've got to be disciplined; we've got to play our assignments. They can hurt you in a bunch of ways. They kind of take what you give them. If you try to load up for the run, they throw it; if you try to stop the pass, they run it. It's going to be a good challenge for us."

Vita Vea's Interior Pressure 

Vita Vea accumulated 1.5 sacks in Week Two against Justin Fields and through the first two games of the 2023 slate, has consistently found his way into the backfield. For a nose tackle, who is the prototype for eating up blocks and two-gapping, Vea possesses above-average pursuit quickness for his size. He overwhelms at the point of attack and has the range/block-shedding capability to make tackles up-and-down the line of scrimmage with his range. Vea bullies the opposing team's interior and this week's matchup will likely be won in the trenches. His pursuit skills in 2023 drew praise from guru, Todd Bowles. 

"I think with the other guys – with [Calijah] Kancey and Logan [Hall] and us getting a little quicker down there, he's no longer the quickest D-lineman anymore. I think he takes that personally. His quickness factor has exceeded what we thought it would be. He's really getting in the backfield quicker and we really like that about him – and [he's] using his hands more."

Baker Mayfield Experience: A Wealth of Knowledge 

Through two weeks in the 2023 slate, Baker Mayfield has completed 47-of-68 attempts for 501 yards and three touchdowns for an average of 7.4 yards per attempt. His overall 82.6 grade ranks third among quarterbacks. Mayfield commanded the offense with precision against the Bears in Week Two and overall, the Bucs' offense generated 437 yards of offense, converting on eight of 15 third downs. Against Chicago, Mayfield consistently maneuvered out of the jaws of should-be sacks. He eluded tacklers, keeping plays alive with several sensational Patrick Mahomes-esque side-angle, off-structure passes. He kept his eyes downfield and delivered the ball with accuracy. With poise, Mayfield rallied the offense and showcased quick processing from read-to-read. The Oklahoma product displayed improvisation talent and a fiery competitiveness. Experience has attributed to Mayfield's rise in Tampa Bay, as well as his football IQ, garnering recognition from Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales.  

"I feel that he's seen every defense that you could possibly run at this point in his career," described Dave Canales. "He's seen every blitz; he's seen every pass concept. He's had nine playcallers. He's got such a wealth of knowledge in the pass game – answers for different things, different pressures. Playing in that division, when he was in Cleveland for as long as he [was]. That was a gnarly division, defensively. I know when we were in Seattle, whenever we would play any team from that division, it was an all-out, no-holds barred, gloves off defensive pressures and things like that. He's accustomed to it. He's cool. He regroups. At the end of the day, he's trusting us. We're not having to prove anything, right? Just complete the pass. He did a fantastic job. I think we were 12-of-13 completions on third down last week, which gives you a chance to have success."

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