The Eagles need to rediscover play-calling confidence in week 6

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is interviewed during training camp on July 29, 2022 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

On Sunday afternoon the Eagles took on an Arizona Cardinals team that was hungry to show the world that they are better than they are. Fortunately for the Eagles, Kyler Murray made a boneheaded play on third down that cost the Cards the game. If it wasn’t for his lack of awareness (and a missed field goal) then we could be talking about an Eagles team that is 4-1 and tied for the division lead.

The reason I say this is because this was the first time this season that the Eagles were their own worst enemy. Usually, it’s just the defense but this time around it was on both sides of the ball. Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon played scared and it showed greatly.

Defense lacks aggression

The last two weeks we saw the Eagles defense bully offensive lines but that changed on Sunday. Blitzes were few and far between and a soft zone ruled the day on defense. We know that Gannon’s agenda is to prevent the big plays from happening but in doing so, he’s still allowing drives to continue and result in a touchdown. Which, from my understanding, counts just as much as a big play. The score is the score, so why not be aggressive with a physically gifted defense?

And the Eagles offense…lacks aggression?

As for the offense, it seemed like even Nick Sirianni was confused as to what was going on. While the Cardinals turned up the heat with blitz after blitz, the Eagles got scared and played Madden with an unlimited amount of screens. With all of those screens, their number one receiver was cast into the shadows because of Steichen’s lack of aggression and/or confidence.

A.J Brown finished the game with only 3 receptions for 32 yards. Jalen Hurts looked as if he was being limited due to the play-calling. In week 1, the Lions continuously blitz the Eagles and Hurts was able to pick them apart with Brown making big catch after big catch. So, why did Steichen hide Hurts?

It’s time to turn things around

The Eagles are preparing to face a Cowboys team that could end up in first place after Sunday if Gannon and Steichen play scared again. That’s not the Eagles football that we’ve seen this season nor is it the type of play that will result in big wins. While the Eagles were able to squeak by the Cardinals, the Cowboys won’t be as easy.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire