The Eagles were supposed to be a high-scoring offense, a juggernaut capable of putting up 30 points week in and week out.
Obviously, that hasn’t happened, not even close. Philadelphia has the 23rd-ranked offense in the NFL as Doug Pederson’s squad has been averaging 22.1 points and 338.4 yards per game through the first 11 weeks.
Granted, injuries have played a huge factor in derailing their aerial attack. The Eagles were forced to trot out an underachieving rookie and practice-squad member as starting receivers last week. Still, it is a concerning trend.
On the flip side, the Eagles’ defense has been outstanding. The unit has only allowed 15.2 points per game since Week 8, including giving up less than 225 passing yards in five straight games. The return of cornerbacks Avonte Maddox, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills has bolstered a secondary that doesn’t appear to need Jalen Ramsey anymore.
Doug Pederson Admits Playing to Strength of Defense
Safety Malcolm Jenkins made a comment that maybe the Eagles needed to get used to playing in tight games. No one wants to actively root for field goals over touchdowns, but it might be the best strategy considering the recent dominance from the defense.
Head coach Doug Pederson admitted that tweaking his offensive philosophy slightly to accommodate for low-scoring games was on his radar. He doesn’t want to get too conservative in his play-calling — he isn’t advocating for “three yards and a cloud of dust” — but something has to change.
“I do think that our offense, we talk all the time [about how] we want to finish every drive with a possible kick, whether that’s a punt or a field goal, or an extra point,” Pederson told reporters Monday. “Those are the things that we talk about. But right now, and the way our defense has been playing, I think you have to play to that strength.”
While playing to the strength of the Eagles’ defense might work in the short run, it probably won’t get them any playoff wins. The offense is going to have to put points on the board in order to win a Super Bowl.
“At some point, though, you’re going to have to explode,” Pederson said, “and be 30 plus points a game as you go down the stretch, especially if you get into the postseason against some of these other teams.”
Malcolm Jenkins Sends Message to Eagles Offense
It wasn’t meant as a shot or a sign of disrespect. No, it was a reality check.
When Malcolm Jenkins said he thought the offense should “stay patient” and “take a field goal or a punt” instead of going for the splash play, he was being honest.
“The way our defense has been playing, our offense doesn’t have to be frustrated by punting or kicking field goals,” Jenkins told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia, after Sunday’s 17-9 loss to Seattle.
This Eagles team is better constructed to get into low-scoring, grind-them-out games and try to eke out wins the old-fashioned way. Running the ball and playing sound defense has been doing wonders for the Patriots.
“As long we end it with a kick, I think we’re good because it’s been one-score games and tight games,” Jenkins added. “We’ve got to get comfortable as a team to win those games that are 12-9 or 9-6 without getting frustrated, especially being short-handed as far as injuries on offense.”
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