Are we seeing signs of life in the Eagles’ long-dormant offense?
We just may be.
The Eagles piled up a season-high 436 yards Monday night in their 28-13 win over the Redskins.
They held the ball for 39½ minutes, converted 54 percent of their third downs, ran for 130 yards led by rookie Josh Adams, spread the ball around, scored in the first quarter and despite two drives inside the 5-yard line that didn’t generate points, they still managed their second-highest point total of the season.
With 25 points against the Giants and 28 vs. the Redskins, they’ve scored more than 21 in back-to-back games for the first time since the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl.
I think the guys have really taken it upon themselves to kind of clean up a lot of things and just focus on the details, on the little things, and when you do that, great things are going to happen,” Doug Pederson said. “So it's a confidence builder moving forward that we're capable of doing that.
You still feel like they should be doing more. The Eagles have been piling up yards and not scoring enough points all year.
But Monday night against a legit defense was a step in the right direction.
“We're really playing well together, really meshing together,” said Carson Wentz, who threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns Monday night. “We have to clean up some things in the red zone for sure, we left some plays out there no doubt, but we are kind of starting to mesh a little bit offensively.”
It’s nowhere close to last year, but things seem to be moving in the right direction.
It just takes time,” Zach Ertz said. “We have different faces, and Carson didn’t start the year. We’re grinding for three days during the week trying to get this thing right. We understood that the talent level on offense wasn’t matching the production. Guys were not panicking, we were just focused on being better from the previous week and I think it’s finally starting to click.
Surprising that the Eagles this year are only averaging five fewer yards per game than last year — 366 to 361.
But points are down from 25.9 to 21.9, and the challenge moving into these last four games is to bridge that gap.
The Eagles are on pace for 5,772 yards but just 344 points. That would be the 12th-fewest points in NFL history among the 215 teams with at least 5,772 yards.
It’s no coincidence the offense has been at its most efficient these last two weeks when Pederson has stuck with the running game and Wentz has spread the ball around.
“You have to run the ball,” Pederson said. “You have to have that balance. We had it … the last two weeks, it's been positive. It opens up a little bit more in the play action world and getting the quarterback out on the perimeter, getting Carson on the edge and where he's been good at seeing the field."
The offensive line is as healthy as its been all year, Darren Sproles is back, Wentz is moving around better than he has all year, and the Eagles do seem ready to finally get back to playing the brand of offensive football they played a year ago.
“I think you're seeing flashes of it,” Pederson said. “I think the flashes are a little more consistent now. Still some mistakes we need to clean up, but I think what you're seeing now is the offense kind of coming together, rhythm. I think it's (taken) a little bit longer than expected, obviously you should be playing your best football down the stretch and hopefully, this is the spark that kind of gets us going.”
Things get much tougher this weekend, when the Eagles travel to North Texas to face a Cowboys defense allowing the second-fewest points in the NFL.
“I think we are close, I think we’re really close,” Ertz said. “Obviously, if we scored two touchdowns inside the 5-yard line tonight, we’re putting up 40 against a really good team.
“I think we are close to reaching our ultimate potential as an offense.”
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