Pass-to-Run ratio is a tricky question for the Eagles right now

Pass-to-Run ratio is a tricky question for the Eagles right now

Eagles

Pass-to-Run ratio is a tricky question for the Eagles right now

The Eagles have lost the services of running back Jay Ajayi for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, but Ajayi’s mouth is still running great.

“Doug’s not running the ball enough,” said Ajayi on Monday. “We wanted to be able to run the ball early and establish that rhythm early in the beginning of the game. If I remember correctly, we had only three carries by the end of the first quarter [against the Vikings].With the offensive line we have on this team, which is designed to run, not running the ball like that, that doesn’t make sense to me.”

Ajayi, who was playing with a transverse fracture in his back, didn’t receive his first carry until the second quarter, and the Eagles called just four meaningful runs over the first half while falling behind 17-3. Maybe he has a valid point, based on hindsight. If your offensive line is struggling in pass protection, but is still athletic enough to pull out on run plays, why does coach Pederson call 35 pass plays to 17 runs despite the backs averaging close to five yards per carry on the ground? When the Eagles did go run-heavy to start the second half against Minnesota and found immediate success, Ajayi then lost a fumble at the Vikings’ 5-yard line. It was then as if a switch went off in Pederson’s head—down 14 points, time to pass, pass, pass….

It was a similar story two games ago in Nashville, with the Eagles dialing up 50 passes to 22 rushes (5.3 yards per attempt) in a 26-23 loss to the Titans.

To be fair, the ideal of a “balanced offense” has pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur. Around the league there are a lot of teams winning games by throwing the ball 40 times or more. The Steelers won last week with Big Ben putting the ball up over 60 times.

It used to be argued that if you threw the ball 50 times or more, you probably lost the game, assuming that the only reason to put the ball in the air that much was if you were playing from far behind.

That old mindset appears to be out the window now. Ajayi must be an old-school guy, so it would be natural for him to question Doug’s pass/run ratio as a playcaller. But Ajayi’s not the only one, as thousands of fans are asking the same question in the wake of two consecutive losses by the team.

They are having a similar conversation down the road in Baltimore. Former Eagles OC and current Ravens OC Marty M. is getting roasted in the gills this week for a game plan which featured 52 passes and only 25 called runs in a 12-9 overtime loss to the Browns. Just like the Eagles, when the Ravens did run, they averaged over 4 yards per carry.

Not surprisingly, Ravens HC John Harbaugh rose to the defense of his old buddy Marty.

“You want to talk about balance? There are maybe 75 offensive snaps in every game. You’re down to two healthy running backs with experience in most games. I think running backs taking 35-40 snaps is not necessarily a good thing. That’s just the way the game goes in today’s NFL. You talk about the balance … you put the ball in one guy’s hand for 35 plays, I don’t know if that’s balance. We need to spread the load, and you want fresh guys out there playing hard.”

What Harbaugh seems to be suggesting to guys like Ajayi and fans like me is— the question should be less about the number of runs and more about doing more with the runs which do get called.
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BRISUKSEGG Fantasy Football League update:

EAST
TEAM W L T PCT GB
BAD JEWS BEARS 4 1 0 .800
The Amish Mafia 4 1 0 .800
Bri Suks More Than Just Eggs 1 3 1 .300 2.5
Bri’s Fantasy Boys 1 3 1 .300 2.5
Monkey Nuts 0 5 0 .000 4
WEST
TEAM W L T PCT GB
NFC East Mr. Jinks 4 1 0 .800
PRIME BEEF 3 2 0 .600 1
The Bri Slapper 3 2 0 .600 1
Chocolate Bri 2 3 0 .400 2
Squid’s Sleeves 2 3 0 .400 2

 

(2-3)J Hop
140
(4-1)Ben Gold
106
HOP
Line:
Top Scorer:
+10.7
BJB
Line:
Top Scorer:
-10.7

 

(3-2)Jared Nixon
90
(2-3)The Don Pardo
121
Nads
Line:
Top Scorer:
-4.5
DP
Line:
Top Scorer:
+4.5

 

(4-1)Chris R
120
PRIME BEEF (TBON)
(3-2)T BONE
63
ATV
Line:
Top Scorer:
-8.7
TBON
Line:
Top Scorer:
+8.7

 

(0-5)Spiffo
122
(1-3-1)Brozer Eight
128
SPIF
Line:
Top Scorer:
-1.8
Broz
Line:
Top Scorer:
+1.8

 

(1-3-1)Rodney Vander Veer
107
(4-1)Jeffrey Dotterer
124
HO
Line:
Top Scorer:
+7.6
TAM
Line:
Top Scorer:
-7.6

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