There was a strange moment in Doug Pederson’s Monday presser where he was asked about sticking with the run more in Sunday’s loss to the Giants.
It went something like this:
REPORTER: “It seemed like you made a concerted effort to stick with the run when you were trailing ….”
DOUG, PRETENDING TO BE CONFUSED: “What?"
REPORTER: “You stuck with the run …"
DOUG, GRINNING AND INTERRUPTING: “Oh! … Oh! … The run! … Oh, oh … you said the run! … WOW!”
REPORTER: “Yeah, so you stuck with the run more than you typically would ..."
DOUG, INTERRUPTING: “I’m honored! I’m touched!”
The reality is that Pederson actually didn’t run the ball anymore than he has all year Sunday.
It was more of the same.
Pederson called 42 pass plays and 21 run plays, and that 2-to-1 ratio is along the lines of what the Eagles have done all year.
And the Eagles were far more efficient running than throwing while scoring just 17 points. And one of their two touchdowns happened to come on a 56-yard run.
Take a look at some truly shocking numbers:
The Eagles are 3rd in the NFL in yards per run but 31st in yards per pass.
Yet they’re 6th in the NFL in pass plays and 26th in rushing plays.
Simply, Pederson is ignoring the thing that’s working and over-doing it with the thing that’s not.
Even though he often admits that he doesn’t run the ball enough, Pederson is sensitive to outside criticism about his play calling, so when he was asked about sticking more to the run Sunday, he went into his sarcastic, passive aggressive mode.
“Thanks for the compliment,” he told the media member that asked about running the ball more.
Even though the Eagles were at 42 called pass plays and 21 runs Sunday.
Welcome to Bizarro Doug World.
How under-utilized is the Eagles’ running attack?
They’re on pace to become only the second team in the last 64 years to average at least 5.1 yards per carry but run the ball 24 times or fewer per game. The other was the 1990 Lions.
They’re also on pace to become only the fourth team in NFL history to average less than 5.0 net yards per pass play while throwing the ball over 600 times. The others were the 2001 Bengals, 2012 Cards and 2014 Raiders.
Think about that for a second. They’re one of the most efficient rushing teams in recent history and one of the least efficient passing teams in recent history.
And yet they rank 26th in the NFL in rushing attempts and 6th in pass attempts.
And the coach of a 3-5-1 team is celebrating all of this and kind of mocking those who question his play calling?
The Eagles’ best offensive player is Miles Sanders, who just became the second running back in the last 35 years with three straight games with an average over 5.0 yards on 15 or fewer rushing attempts.
You thought Andy Reid gave up on the run? Pederson has taken it to new heights.
And there he is doing the sarcastic Doug routine a day after a 10-point loss to a 2-7 Giants team.
It’s already been one of the strangest seasons ever. And getting stranger by the day.