Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sixteen straight passes?

What was Andy Reid thinking?

Sixteen straight passes?


You may have heard that I generally don't think this play-calling business, this Andy Reid penchant for throwing the ball, is that big a deal. Truth is, I like a pass-first offense. I think it's more productive. When Reid talks about "situational running," I don't laugh like a lot of people. I get it. I agree with it.

All of that said, I still cannot figure out what the hell he and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg were thinking when they called 16 straight passing plays between the middle of the third quarter and the last drive of the Eagles' 10-3 loss.

I'm not like most people around here. I don't think that play calling was the main reason the Eagles lost. Up until the middle of the third quarter, they ran it a representative number of times -- 61 percent passes, 39 percent runs -- for a reasonable-but-unspectacular number of yards (12 carries, 44 yards). But then the play-calling went completely off the rails.

Sixteen straight passes, most of which were thrown when the Eagles were trailing by seven points. It was too early just to give up on it, especially when you consider how much trouble they were having executing in the passing game. Between the dropped balls and the off-target throws, why not run? I have no particular confidence that it was going to work, but you had to give it a try.

More coverage
POLL: Is it time for Chip Kelly to go?
Download FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone!
FORUMS: Will the Eagles make the playoffs?
Latest NFL odds
SHOP: Eagles Training Camp sportswear

Why give up on it?

Was it just the seemingly-genetic itch to throw that Reid and Mornhinweg seemingly have? Maybe it is as simple as that, but I don't know.

Was it the series of long fields the Eagles were facing and the concern that they would never see the ball again?  That would seem overstated, given how well the defense has been playing.

Was it a worry that the offense, executing so badly, could not conceivably sustain a long, multi-play, ball-control kind of drive, and that it needed a big play? Reid did not say that but, again, it seems over-thought if that was the reason.

I don't get it. And while I think that both of DeSean Jackson's dropped passes, as well as Asante Samuel's dropped interception -- all in the fourth quarter -- were all bigger reasons for the defeat, the play-calling is on the list. It has to be. Even if, most weeks, it is more symbol than substance, the play-calling against the Redskins could not help but make you wonder.

Daily News Executive Sports Editor
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

Rich Hofmann Daily News Executive Sports Editor
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter