“Run with the ball”
Entering the 2021 season, the Eagles lacked an offensive identity. That’s not entirely surprising with a new coaching staff and a starting quarterback. At the beginning of the year, the offense still didn’t have a complete identity. They started out wanting to be a shooting team. Due to the lack of success, or my choice, pressure from the fans pushing the Eagles to run the ball, Sirianni moved to a run-first football team. Last season Eagles Led National Football League with 2,715 rushing yards (159.7 yards/game) and 25 rushing touchdowns.
What should their identity be?
It will be interesting to see the Eagles offensive personality this season. They were the best running team last season, but with the addition of AJ Brown and expected growth from Jalen Hurts, we could see them throw the ball more. They have one of the best wide receiver duos in the league, but let’s not forget that Brown was already the star receiver in a run-heavy offense.
I honestly believe that the most significant conflict with this decision is optics. Of course, everyone wants to watch a high-flying offense put the ball down the court. Not only is it more fun, but it makes people feel better about the offense. On the other hand, if they are the first team, Hurts will always be distrusted by the fans and the media.
Play to your strengths
At the end of the day, does their identity matter? hurry up pass? Who cares? The goal is to win football games. If this team’s strength isn’t the passing game, why should that be the identity of the offense? I’m a big believer in playing to your team’s strengths. The biggest strength of this Philadelphia Eagles football team is the offensive line. We are fortunate to have the best O-line in football. We saw this offensive line blow up opposing defenses game after game last season as the Eagles made the playoffs.
Our best running back, Miles Sanders, didn’t even throw a touchdown, and they still led the league in rushing touchdowns. Also, a strength of our defender controls the football. He is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks with the ball in his hands and is an additional weapon in the run game. One of the favorites from last season, including this performance.
The Eagles have an elite trio of talent in Brown, Goedert and Smith. That’s probably the biggest reason they can be a passing team. These are three dangerous players with the ball in hand. Despite how much they ran the ball last year, DeVonta Smith was the first Eagles receiver since Jeremy Maclin to reach almost 1,000 yards. Undoubtedly, the “Eagles” will throw more balls this season. The real question is how much longer.
I also believe that the passing attack can be more explosive and dangerous than last season, even as a dominant team. The run threat will keep the linebackers and safeties in the backfield, opening up space in the secondary for the Eagles playmakers. Successfully running the ball will also create play action that will hopefully lead to bigger plays from the Eagles offense.
Either way, the 2022 Philadelphia Eagles could have one of the best offenses in the NFL. A balanced offense is always best, and the Eagles should be well-balanced with a dominant offensive line and playmakers everywhere.
Hopefully there is growth from Jalen Hurts, which will take the offense to another level. However, if they are the first team, parts of the fan base and media will always distrust Hurts. Running the ball is this team’s strength regardless of its receivers.
A gritty, in-your-face football team highlighted by this nasty offensive line is perfect for the city of Philadelphia. Once the running game is over, they can spread the ball around. Look for the Eagles to have a balanced offense next season, but I believe they will still be the No. 1 team in 2022. Running the ball is what drove this team last season and it will continue to drive the team this season.
Photo Credit: Brynn Anderson/AP Photo