Erratic Attack

Posted: October 8th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

The Eagles offense was a juggernaut in 2017. It was anything but that last year. Five games into the 2019 season, we don’t know what to make of the offense.

The Eagles are 7th in points scored, but you do have to factor in a couple of defensive TDs. The offense is 24th in yards gained, hardly a compelling figure. While the overall numbers aren’t great, the situational numbers tell a different story. The Eagles are #2 in the league in third down conversion percentage and they are the #5 Red Zone offense. They move the chains efficiently and they score TDs when they get near the goal line.

There is plenty of room for improvement from the overall offense.

The run game shows signs of real potential. Jordan Howard averages 4.7 yards per carry and has already run for 4 TDs. No Eagle ran for more than 3 all of last season. Howard is a physical back, but he’s also smart and patient. He finds the hole and gets north-south. Howard runs hard and breaks tackles. He doesn’t have the speed to break off 50 yard runs, but he will get you 15 to 20 when the blocking is just right.

The team also seems to feed off Howard’s running. They love his toughness and physicality. I think Howard’s running will really serve the team well as the weather gets colder and nastier.

Miles Sanders is a work in progress. He does have the speed to break off long runs, but he’s still adjusting to the NFL. That means there are some four yard runs that go for zero. There are some two yard runs that go for -2. Sanders has made an impact in the passing game.

He leads all NFL RBs in yards per catch (13.3).

Sanders isn’t ready to be the key to the offense, but he is a key role player. He and Howard give the Eagles a good 1-2 punch. Darren Sproles is banged up now so we’ll see if Corey Clement can take advantage of that and get some offensive touches.

The Eagles have the best TE duo in the league in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The only issue for the coaches is figuring out how best to use them.

WR is a different story. The injury to DeSean Jackson has had a definite impact on the offense. He is the field stretcher. Nelson Agholor can get deep (as he did twice on Sunday), but Jackson is significantly better at it and makes plays. Alshon Jeffery is moving the chains, but only averaging 9.9 yards per catch. Agholor hasn’t done much the past two weeks. Mack Hollins is a solid role player, but nothing else. JJ Arcega-Whiteside has somewhat disappeared. He only played two offensive snaps on Sunday.

Judging Carson Wentz is tricky as usual. He has been great at times. In Atlanta, he didn’t have his best receivers and his LG took the night off, but Wentz still almost carried his team to victory. The receivers dropped a ton of passes vs the Lions or the Eagles might have won that game. Still, Wentz has missed some opportunities. When you are one of the most talented QBs in the league, you need to play at that level. I think Wentz will when he gets a chance to play with all his weapons again.

The O-line has been up and down. They were outstanding in Green Bay. They struggled in Atlanta. They have been inconsistent too much this year. They will look great for part of a game and then get leaky for a series or two.

Doug Pederson talked about his offense being out of sync and I think that’s a good description. The talent is there. The scheme is there. The leadership is there. Things just aren’t clicking right now. You see flashes. The Eagles average 28 points per game. Last year they didn’t score 28 points in a single game until Week 6. This offense is very different that what we saw a year ago.

The next month will tell us a lot. The Vikings, Cowboys, Bills and Bears all have Top 7 defenses. If the Eagles can move the ball and score on them, all is well. If the Eagles struggle, we might have issues. Pederson and his players will need to find solutions, stop making mistakes and start making plays for the Eagles to come through this stretch in good shape.

Pederson has normally been at his best when facing top defenses. Let’s hope that trend continues.