a prime time audience. For the Philadelphia Eagles http://www.authenticsnewyorkgiants.com/cheap-kerry-wynn-jersey , their struggles on both sides of the football are well documented. On defense they are having issues in the secondary and Jalen Mills is a frequent target of concern, as is their difficulty to handle the play-action passing game. On offense it starts up front. In his return to action following knee surgery quarterback Carson Wentz has performed well, completing more than 67 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and just one interception. However, he has been under siege in the pocket, having been sacked 12 times in just three games. Despite the pressure, Wentz does seem to be knocking the rust off in the wake of his injury. I spoke with Michael Kist, who covers the Eagles for Bleeding Green Nation and is one-half of the Kist and Solak Show, and here is what he told me about the Eagles’ young QB:Kist’s mention of Ertz is going to transition us to the focal point of this piece. While this is the “Scouting the Signal-Callers” series we are going to take it in more of a scheme direction this week, and look at how the Eagles utilize — and align -- their tight ends. This makes sense when you consider that Ertz is their most targeted receiver on the year, and rookie Dallas Goedert is seeing more and more looks now that Wentz is back in the lineup. Y-IsoGiven the usage that Wentz gets out of his tight ends, it should be no surprise that the Eagles use a few different formations to scheme Ertz and Goedert open in the passing game. One of those is Y-Iso, a 3x1 formation that has a tight end as the single receiver to one side of the field. Philadelphia will use this with multiple personnel groupings, so even if both players are on the field they might still go Y-Iso with one of them isolated on either the left or the right.These formations, particularly when done using 11 offensive personnel, put the defense into a situation where they might have to dictate pre-snap the coverage. Should Wentz see a linebacker walk outside to cover the isolated tight end, he can be pretty sure the defense is in man coverage. Similarly, should he defense keep a cornerback on the outside over Ertz or Goedert, he can be confident some sort of zone scheme is in play. Defenses can disguise that look by then playing man coverage with a CB on a tight end, but that might open up a mismatch elsewhere on the field for Wentz to exploit. Here an example of the Eagles using this formation here in 2018.This play comes from Wentz’s 2018 debut, against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are a Cover 2 heavy team, so Philadelphia looked to attack the “turkey hole” behind the cornerbacks and between the safety and the sideline early and often this game. On this play they align using the Y-Iso formation and with 11 offensive personnel. Goedert (No. 88) is the isolated tight end on the right, and he runs the corner route on a Flat-7 Smash concept, a well-known Cover 2 beater. Running back Corey Clement (No. 30) releases to the flat. Backside the Eagles run a Levels concept:Pre-snap Wentz sees the two deep safeties http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-will-hernandez-jersey , as well as the cornerback aligned across from Goedert. That gives him a good indication that the Colts are in Cover 2 here, and he looks right to Goedert in the turkey hole:This next example comes from the Eagles’ loss in Week 5 to the Vikings and is an example of Philadelphia using Y-Iso despite having multiple tight ends in the game. They align with Goedert as the single receiver to the right, but Ertz (No. 86) is part of a three-receiver alignment on the left:Goedert and Ertz run matching curl routes, and Wentz does a very good job of sliding and buying time in the pocket before hitting Ertz with a big gain:Against the Tennessee Titans in Week 4 the Eagles used Y-Iso to get Ertz matched up with safety Kevin Byard (No. 31) on the backside of a 3x1 formation. Even though the Eagles were backed up in their own territory, they came out throwing and Wentz looked to Ertz on the out pattern:Y-Iso is, as we will see, just one way the Eagles align their tight ends to get some favorable opportunities in the passing game. They will use it with either Goedert or Ertz, and will use this formation anywhere on the field. Wing alignmentsThe Eagles also align their tight ends on the wing a great deal, and even employ a Double-Y Wing alignment with both Ertz and Goedert that they can use to attack defenses in the passing game with both tight ends on the same side of the formation. For example, they used the Double-Y Wing alignment on this Divide concept against the Indianapolis Colts, coming out in this formation:As you can see, Goedert breaks to the outside on a corner route while Ertz attacks the middle of the field on a post route. Once more the Colts are in a Cover 2 coverage, meaning that the middle of the field is open (MOFO) on this play. A post is a perfect route to use to attack a MOFO coverage, and that’s where Wentz goes with the football:The Eagles also use this alignment to help with pass protection, and for a team that is struggling to keep their quarterback upright, it can provide a boost in creating a stout pocket. On this first-and-10 play against the Colts, Goedert and Ertz align in the Double-Y wing with a receiver outside of them. The Eagles run a flood concept to the left, and Goedert is tasked with blocking the defensive end first before releasing to the flat:Goedert executes his block and then releases to the flat. Despite the play taking a long time to develop, Wentz is operating from a clean pocket, helped in part by Goedert’s block and release. That gives the left tackle time to set up and then engage the defensive end, and the rookie TE is then open in the flat for an easy seven-yard gain.The Eagles also run a number of spacing concepts, and even when they look to stretch a defense horizontally they will use the Double-Y wing formation to condense the defense prior to running the concept. This is an example of this, from Philadelphia’s Week 5 tilt against the Vikings:As you can see the formation condenses the defense http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-janoris-jenkins-jersey , bringing the cornerback down near the dual tight ends. Both of them release vertically, but Ertz runs a deeper curl route while Goedert breaks to the outside. The CB decides to jam Ertz, which creates an opportunity for Goedert to get separation on his quick flat route for an easy pitch and catch for Wentz.Finally, when the Eagles use a single tight end in a wing alignment, that does not mean you can take their eyes off of them. Philadelphia will use this alignment with either Ertz or Goedert to get them chances in the passing game. Wentz and the Eagles narrowed the gap against Minnesota late last week on a corner route to Ertz in the red zone, with the TE coming out of a wing alignment:In addition, they will use wing alignments to help get their tight ends involved in their RPO-based passing game. On this play against the Titans Ertz is aligned in a wing to the left. The Eagles show run inside, even pulling a lineman to set up the run look. But Wentz pulls and looks to throw to his tight end. As the linebacker vacates underneath, Ertz is wide open:As we have seen, part of the goal around these formations and packages is to get open looks for Wentz and his tight ends. This is just one more example of the Eagles achieving that goal.Thursday night pairs two teams who are struggling right now. While the defending Super Bowl Champions might be teetering a big given their protection struggles and some mounting injuries, it is clear from studying Wentz -- and his tight ends -- that their offense is just a few steps away from rounding back into form. Whether that happens Thursday night or not remains to be seen. Saquon Barkley knows how you probably describe is running style and he’d like that to change.“I don’t think my play is boom or bust,” he told Big Blue View at a Visa Financial Football event aimed to teach high school students money management skills. “I think that I’m a guy who could make an explosive play happen at any moment. I think you could make that argument in college, but so far in the NFL, it’s not like I’m back there dancing around — running this way, running that way. I’m not doing that. I’m taking what the defense gives me, trying to move the sticks.”Barkley is correct to an extent. So far in the NFL, he’s not dancing. Per Next Gen Stats, Barkley has averaged 3.51 yards run per positive yard gained. That’s the 11th-best among 48 running backs with at least 35 carries. On some runs, he’s taking what the defense gives him but to this point, it hasn’t been much. Through six weeks of his rookie season, Barkley is sixth in rushing yards with 438 — 261 of which (59.6 percent) of which have come after contact, per Sports Info Solutions.Per Football Outsiders, the Giants rank 32nd in adjusted line yards http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-connor-barwin-jersey , which gives rushing credit to the amount that’s blocked by the offensive line, but they also rank first in open field yards, which measures the percentage of runs that gain 10 or more yards, which gets credited to the running back.Because of this discrepancy between the quality of the line and the quality of the back, 27.6 percent of Barkley’s run this season have gone for zero or fewer yards while 13.8 percent have gone for 10 yards or more. It’s part of the reason why the Giants are 32nd in rushing marginal efficiency (play-to-play success) but first in rushing marginal explosiveness (big play potential).But Barkley’s boom has outweighed the negative runs to this point. It’s why he ranks second in Football Outsiders’ Defensive-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR, a counting stat) and third in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA, an efficiency stat), despite ranking 30th among 37 qualified running backs in success rate.So how does a back keep fighting through the runs when he can’t do anything, knowing he can break free at any time?“I think that’s where I’ve improved,” Barkley said. “I think a perfect example is the Jacksonville game. We weren’t really getting anything going in the running game and I remember just saying to myself ‘stay patient, stay with it, take what they give you. You have the talent to split it at any moment’ and I was able to split a 68-yarder at a crucial time in the game.”The Giants had 19 rushing attempts against the Jaguars just past the 11-minute mark in the fourth quarter, two of which had gone for more than five yards. But Barkley got the ball on a 2nd and 2 and took it 68 yards for a touchdown. By Win Probability Added, it was the second-biggest single play of that game.There hasn’t really been an adjustment period, either. So far the speed of the game hasn’t scared the rookie.“Everyone says the speed is different [from the college game],” Barkley said. “I don’t necessarily agree with that from my case. People told me I couldn’t bounce it and beat them with my speed — I’ve been able to do that so far.”While the physical speed of the competition hasn’t jumped out at Barkley, the mental speed has.“It’s how smart defensive players are,” Barkley said of the biggest difference from college. “It’s just now, everyone knows where they need to be. You’ve got guys like Luke Kuechly and Sean Lee who are able to call out some of your plays before you even run a play because they’re so in-tuned with watching film and studying the game. They’re pros. That’s the difference.”Even with the increased quality of competition, Barkley knew he belonged immediately.“I always believed in myself and had the confidence I could do that,” Barkley said when asked when he first knew he could break a big run at the NFL level. “But I guess you could say it solidified my first carry of the preseason.”His first carry came in a preseason Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns. On the Giants’ opening play from scrimmage, Barkley took a handoff, started up the middle http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-b.j.-goodson-jersey , and cut to the outside for a gain of 39 yards.What truly makes Barkley dangerous and a player considered as the best overall in this past April’s draft is his receiving ability — through six weeks he leads all running backs with 373 receiving yards. How valuable Barkley becomes as a player could have more to do with what he does as a receiver than a runner — by Expected Points Added, Barkley’s contributions have been significantly more positive through the air (0.28 EPA per play) than on the ground (minus-0.01 EPA per play).That receiving production has also come with a less than ideal route chart for the back. Through this point in the season, Barkley’s main role has been that of a check down option, instead of a back who can run some of the same routes receivers do. Only four of Barkley’s 51 targets (7.8 percent) have come from the slot or outside, per Sports Info Solutions. Compare that to other similar backs like Todd Gurley (11-of-30, 36.7 percent), Alvin Kamara (12-of-51, 23.5 percent), and Christian McCaffrey (9-of-40, 22.5 percent). Even David Johnson, who has been vastly misused under a new coaching staff in Arizona has been in the slot or outside on five of his 27 targets (18.5 percent).A more diverse route tree and spread of where those routes come from would only help the player and the offense. The increased receiving workload isn’t something new to Barkley, nor is it something he’ll shy away from embracing.“My mindset is to try to be an all-around player,” Barkley said. “Any point in the game, being able to make a play for my team, whether it’s catching the ball or running the ball. I feel comfortable lining up wide, I feel comfortable lining up in the slot, in the backfield. I feel comfortable blocking, which I can also grow in that area of my game. But I do feel comfortable in all those things and whatever the teams needs me to do.”With the way the Giants’ season has started, the team has needed him to do a lot. And to this point, Barkley has been everything the Giants could have expected.