As fans clamor for Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg to fix a stagnant Eagles offense that ranks tied for 28th in points per game, one of the common complaints we hear is the coaches aren't dialing up the screen pass like they used to. On Wednesday, Pro Football Focus debunked that myth.
In their weekly 32 Observations column, PFF took a look at one one wide receiver, tight end, or running back from every team around the league, revealing a tidbit about how each performed in specific passing situations. For the Birds, it was LeSean McCoy and how he's been utilized in the screen game. The numbers might surprise you.
Philadelphia Eagles: Halfback LeSean McCoy has had the most running back screens at 13. However, those passes have gone for only 39 yards. On five of them McCoy has lost yards, but on two he has scored touchdowns.
The two where McCoy reached paydirt were both inside the red zone -- 15 and 7 yards out.
The numbers require little explanation. The Eagles are intent on using running back screens, more than any other team in the league in fact, but have only had success in the red zone.
The reasons why aren't too difficult to diagnose, either. Defenses know the Eagles like to get the screen going, and thus are game planning for it. However, the bigger problem is undoubtedly the absence of Jason Peters and Jason Kelce, two of the NFL's premier blockers when out in space.
If there is one built-in excuse for the Birds this year, there it is. Michael Vick has been a turnover machine, but a big reason why the offense has been so ineffective is because the line was decimated by injuries. Not sure that's going to save Reid's job though, not with everything else that's gone wrong.