Eagles fans will hear these numbers a lot in the upcoming week — 54 called passes to 13 runs.
That’s the ratio the Eagles implemented in their 27-20, a 69.4 percent clip in favor of the aerial attack, the third highest in the NFL among teams having played two games thus far.
Sophomore quarterback Carson Wentz has thrown 85 passes, the third most of any NFL passer and has been sacked eight times, the second most of any quarterback.
The Eagles’ franchise and its future depend on the health, growth and success of Wentz at quarterback. He’s shown to be taking advantage of the new weapons he has at skill positions like Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and even rookie Mack Hollins. But the offensive line hasn’t done him any favors, as he leads all NFL QBs in hits with 19. He’s also fumbled an ugly 17 times in 18 NFL games. It’s only a matter of time before something terrible finally happens.
“You don’t ever want to throw the ball that many times, you want to have more of a balance,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who called the plays Sunday, said. “At the same time listen, you end up sort of doing what the game dictates. Do I want him to drop back that many times? No, but at the same time I have to look at the whole picture, the whole pie.”
The odd thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. The Eagles average about four yards per carry, good for ninth of all NFL teams, even though they have run the ball third fewest in football. LeGarrette Blount had no carries in the Week 2 loss and no one seems to have an explanation for it.
The one-sidedness showed, as the Chiefs defense focused in on the pass as the game went on and made the offensive line less effective, thus putting immense strain on Wentz under center.
“Running game wise we have to do better,” Eagles guard Brandon Brooks said after the defeat. “That’s two weeks in a row we haven’t run the ball well. Pass protection-wise, there are things we can be doing. We don’t want our quarterback to get hit.”
It’s also worth mentioning that Wentz himself is the Eagles’ leading rusher with 61 of the team’s 165 yards on the ground.