After leaving a Colts team that focused heavily on the run, Nick Sirianni was expected to bring the same kind of flavor to Philly in his first Head Coaching gig. We witnessed a flash of this in the first game against the Atlanta falcons where it seemed as if the Eagles had been over-prepared and were building towards a new offensive identity. Against the 49ers, the Eagles favored the run and the outside receivers against a defensive line that was breaking through consistently. Then came Dallas.
The Cowboys defense is nowhere near the upper echelon in the NFL but the Eagles found a way to make them look elite. To make matters worse, the Eagles only called three run plays because Nick Sirianni was expecting a shootout against the Cowboys. If you’re keen on the NFL, whether you’re a fan, pro analyst, Coach, owner, or even a water boy then you know that the only way to stop a hot offense is to control the clock. You have to control the time of possessions but how could you do such a thing?
Well, I’m glad you asked because this answer may blow your socks off. All you have to do, you ready? This one is a doozie. All you have to do is run the ball with one of the better running backs in the league. I mean, the Cowboys understood that and put up over 150 rushing yards against one of the better defenses in the league.
So why didn’t Nick understand that?
The gameplan against the 49ers was predicated on attacking the outside corners, so it left the middle of the field empty. Jalen Hurts should’ve been attacking the middle consistently with Goedert or a slot receiver. While this is a by-product of a strong thesis, gameplanning for a shootout in hopes you can keep up, absolutely isn’t.
Everyone knows that if you have a good offensive line, it can help the run game. An elusive running back that was already averaging 13.5 yards per carry can also be used to stop the bleeding. A versatile option to help keep the defense on it toes gives the Eagles more than enough ammunition to run the ball efficiently. Trying to work out why they didn’t is perplexing at best.
Why would he put his team in a position to lose when they’re missing their starting right guard and starting left tackle? Why would you allow Jalen Hurts to rely on his arm instead of the fresh-legged running back that stood beside him for most of the game? What was the strategy?
The Eagles are three weeks into the regular season and no one has a clue as to what the offensive identity of this team is. Are they a run-first team? Or are they a pass-heavy team? Do they rely on play-action? Is the RPO their bread and butter?
No one knows. Not a single fan or media member knows what the offense is supposed to look like and the scary part about all of this is that even the coaches don’t know. Nick Sirianni is showing his lack of head coaching experience and desparetly needs some help. He game-planned in favor of what the other team does in hopes that it would work for them but instead, it backfired.
You can’t win in the NFL by doing what works best for your opponents. You just can’t win that way. The biggest test for this offense will be against the Chiefs this Sunday. We all know the Chiefs would love to run up the score by chucking the ball around but the only way to beat them would be to keep their offense off of the field. How do you that you ask?
By running the ball consistently, Doug! Sorry, I mean Nick.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire