Week 6 for the Philadelphia Eagles was a big week. The team played Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, falling short after a comeback, and lost Zach Ertz — the franchise’s best tight end after trading him to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Eagles now have extra time to spare as they figure out how to proceed into Week 7. With a 2-4 record and an altered roster, Philadelphia will need to make changes if they want to succeed the remainder of the season; however, play-calling won’t be one of them.
NO PLANS TO CHANGE PLAY-CALLING
Following Thursday night’s game, Nick Sirianni stated that he felt comfortable with Philadelphia’s current play-calling. So comfortable, in fact, that no changes would be made.
“We feel like we have a good process there of how we go through it,” Sirianni said. “I am fortunate that on this staff I have guys that have experience calling games, which is helping me throughout games, so we’re going to continue to stick with it, and I have a lot of confidence in that. We have got to execute and do better.”
“We have been heavy pass as we all know, but we always want to get that closer to at least 75% and never be above 75% in anything because we know that’s where defenses take a look at that and make plans off of that,” Sirianni continued. “We have more time this week to not only go into the run-pass ratio of things but also into marrying some plays together and also go into just what you do well as a team and what your identity is as a team and who you are as a team and what you’ve succeeded in as a team.”
If you ask any Eagles fan, it would seem as if Philadelphia is teetering on 75% for passes. In Thursday’s game, running back Miles Sanders had nine total carries, eight of them in the second half.
The run game has been so stagnant that an Eagles’ running back doesn’t even hold the lead for rushing yards; second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts does. With 300 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns, too much pressure is being placed on Hurts to make plays each week.
The bottom line is that Philadelphia’s players aren’t being utilized correctly. Sanders falls behind Hurts with 270 rushing yards, and Kenneth Gainwell following with 100 rushing yards. Boston Scott has not logged any.
IS IT TIME FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO CALL THE PLAYS?
As much as fans want Sirianni’s to change his play-calling approach, he himself said he’s not. So, when is it time for someone else to take over?
In Friday’s interview, Sirianni stated, “Do we know a heck of a lot more than what we knew Week 1? Of course. Do we know a heck of a lot more than what we knew Week 4? Of course. We are getting to those things. We didn’t play well the last two weeks, so I know how it can look. I get it, guys. It could look like, ‘Hey, they don’t know what their identity is.’ We are growing, we are finding it out more and more each week, and obviously, we’re accelerating that as much as we possibly can to put our guys in the best position we possibly can put them in.”
Sirianni is right, the Eagles are building, and if he wants to put his players in the best position possible, he needs to let Sanders and Gainwell do what they’re good at.
Both running backs are averaging 4.94 yards per carry, the 4th-highest in the league at their position. However, they only average 13.8 carries per game which is the fewest in the NFL. Can you imagine how high Philly would rank if they had an opportunity at more?
Former Eagles’ coaches Andy Reid and Doug Pederson both gave up sole play-calling duties during their time in Philadelphia. Not only did it have a collaborative effect, but for Reid, it gave him time to focus his attention elsewhere, which is something Philadelphia needs right now.
Jalen Hurts needs a rhythm, the offense needs consistency, and the defense needs structure. As for Sirianni, he needs to do what’s best for his team, and Philadelphia can only hope he figures that out before it’s too late.
The Eagles tackle the Las Vegas Raiders next on Sunday, October 24 at 4:05 PM.