The Eagles' offensive playcalling has come under scrutiny this week after there were only four called rushing plays in the first half of the Eagles' 27-6 loss to Arizona. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg defended the play calling on Thursday, noting that the Eagles only had nine first-quarter plays, which limited the sample size. Then, in the second quarter, the Eagles called 11 passing plays in the two-minute offense, which is typical.
In the second half, when the Eagles ran the ball more, they were playing catch-up and could not dedicate themselves to the run.
"On paper, it looks really odd," Mornhinweg said. "But if you go through the situational part of it, it balances out a little bit.”
Mornhinweg said he's reviewed the play-calling several times and took responsibility for the offense's inability to score points. He also said he would call the game differently if they could play it again.
"In hindsight, I would have done it a little differently," Mornhinweg said. "I certainly thought going in we had a heck of a game plan.”
Still, don't expect many widespread changes. Mornhinweg emphasized the offense's philosophy to be aggressive. He said the way the Eagles called the game against Arizona was "not unusual for us," and that there were, in fact, opportunities down field. Those opportunities were hindered by communication and blocking issues.
The run/pass questions were present in past weeks, too. Mornhinweg defends it each week, and he said the Eagles are following their season script so far.
“We’re right to where I want to be overall; we’re 62 percent overall,” Mornhinweg said. “We’re somewhere around 50/50 on first down, run and pass.”
The statistics may be skewed each week, and the Eagles will run more if they're holding a lead and pass more when they're coming from behind. Plus, the game plans change depending on the defense. That's why Mornhinweg said he judges the season stats more than the game-by-game stats.
"Philosophically, I don’t care as much about balance in any particular game,” Mornhinweg said. “If we have to run the ball 50 times to win the game, that’s what we’ll do. If we have to pass the ball 50 times, that’s what we’ll do. Now, if you take the whole season, you’d rather somewhere around 60/40 – you’re usually going to be a little higher, 60 to 65 percent passing.”