Is the Eagles offense in trouble? These shocking stats show how fixable the problems are…

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Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts celebrates after scoring on a 1-yard run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Eagles have lost 2 games in a row, and have been held to an average of 23 points per game while allowing 36.3 over the last 3 weeks. A lot of factors are to blame; heavy snap counts, turnovers, the level of competition, undisciplined football resulting in penalties, and ineffective playcalling.

It is time to address all of the elephants in the room. 

So will the real play-caller please stand up?

Play calling

A lot of heat has been thrown in Brian Johnson’s direction, and as offensive coordinator some is warranted, but not all.

It does not appear that Brian has the autonomy to call what he wants in every situation. He can and has been overridden during the season. They have admitted it publicly once when Nick defended Johnson from criticism after the Washington game. Brian had dialed up a pass play on 3rd and 11 and Sirianni wanted a run. The Eagles ran the ball.

Brian has alluded to the offense being Nick’s. 

“Nick is the head coach, and if he wants us to run something, our job is to play to his vision and how we attack defenses.” 

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

But the problems don’t end with play-calling. Play design, game-planning, and offensive philosophy are all contributing to the collapse. That falls on the Head Coach.

Their offense is funneled through three players by design and this largely ignores how efficient they have been in running other plays out of different formations.

So whoever is calling the majority of plays has not maximized their potential.

Inside the Eagles offense

The Eagles’ offense has become stagnant and too reliant on AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. In fact, versus the Cowboys, those 3 players are the only ones who saw a target from Jalen Hurts. This formula is not a recipe for success.

Hurts, AJ, and Smith, all fumbled in Dallas’s territory. Killing drives and leaving points on the field and off the scoreboard.

This result is not an outlier. The Eagle’s offense is 22nd in the NFL in turnovers per drive, losing the ball 13.9% of their drives.

They have too many options to be so restrictive.

Julio Jones was brought in to be a threat in the red zone, and in fairness, he does have one touchdown, but since his arrival, he has only been targeted 8 times, contributing 5 catches for 16 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown (11) runs a route during pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Olamide Zaccheus had one target versus Dallas, and that was from the punter. He is too good to not be a part of the offense.

They also have a running back, D’Andre Swift, waiting to get his hands on the ball through the air. 

Head Coach Nick Sirianni openly admits that the offense goes through the three stars, but there is also a time to spread the ball around and now is the time for change.

Succesful Formations:

When Dallas Goedert went down the Eagles used the bye week to implement a new wrinkle into their offense and used “10 personnel” (1 RB 4 WR) for the first time all season, and it worked out well! Jalen Hurts was 6/7 for 85 yards. 

The Birds opened the game versus the 49ers with a few designed “slant” routes for AJ Brown. A play they have been very successful with all season. After a couple of nice first-down gains, the play disappeared after the first quarter which added to their already low usage rank, 22nd in the NFL, despite being 7th in the league in success.

And it doesn’t stop there.

The Eagles rank 1st in success rate when their receivers run “Curl” routes, and despite AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith running them to perfection, they’re 28th in usage.

When the Eagles have run “Running Back screens” this year, they are doing so with the 4th highest success rate in the league. Unfortunately, they are 28th in the league in utilizing them. Last season they were 31st in RB receptions and with the addition of Swift many thought this would heavily increase, but alas, it has not happened.

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift (0) runs with the ball as Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (22) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Lastly, when the Eagles run “Pony Personnel” which is using 2 RBs on the field, they are doing so with the 6th highest success, but, yet again, success has not translated into more usage. They are 31st in the league in this formation.

Not sustaining drives has not only been a detriment to the offense, but it has also put a heavy burden on the other side of the ball. 

Which glass do you see?

If you are a glass-half-empty person. even if the Eagles do turn things around and clean up the mistakes it will be against lesser competition and against teams that will not be in the playoffs. So would you trust that the team is ascending and a true contender?

If you are a glass-half-full type of person there is a lot to be hopeful about. Delving inside the numbers showed that there were a lot of plays waiting to be unleashed, others that needed to be used at a higher rate, balls that if went undropped were going to lead to big plays and drive-killing turnovers that would have likely resulted in points.

All of these issues are things that the Eagles can control. There is no outside variable causing them. These are correctable, self-inflicted wounds, which if cleaned up lend hope to a strong finish.

Whichever glass you see, the Eagles will probably be the favorite in every remaining regular season game, and if they win out and get a little help, they could still secure the coveted number one seed and an extra week of rest.

All the Eagles want for Christmas is a Baltimore Ravens win over the San Francisco 49ers. 

As always, thank you for reading.

Follow me on X @PHLEagleNews 

Stats were compiled via SIS Sports Info Solutions

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel