3. Balancing time of possession and explosive plays
Since the start of the Pederson era, much of the Eagles’ offense has been predicated on time of possession.
More from Inside the Iggles
- Eagles captains earn high praise on roster blending veteran leadership, youth
- How former Eagles star Cre’Von LeBlanc helped Renegades upstage Cowboys
- Eagles 2023 schedule: Every WR duo Darius Slay, James Bradberry will battle
- Imagining better names for Jason Kelce’s Good Guy Award
- Bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles offense in 2023
In 2017, the Eagles led the league in time of possession, and maintained the strength in 2018 (fourth overall), along with 2019 (second overall).
For the 2020 season, it’s unlikely Pederson’s signature scheme strength will actively disappear. But with the newly infused speed element from the aforementioned draft picks, the addition of Goodwin, and the return of DeSean Jackson, the over-arching emphasis of possessing the ball may not be as crucial.
Despite ranking second in the league in time of possession last season, the achievement was due to a combination of circumstances.
Beyond Pederson’s scheme preferences and quarterback Carson Wentz’s low interception rate (fifth lowest in the league in 2019), the team’s time of possession strength was also a result of minimal explosive plays.
With Jackson on the sideline for the majority of the season due to injuries on top of disappointing efforts from Nelson Agholor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, the offense was often stagnant.
However, in the 2019 season opener victory over the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City model might be more visible.
In the 32-27 victory, the Eagles came back from a surprise 17-point deficit largely on the back of Jackson, who caught eight passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
During the Week 1 victory, the team averaged 6.1 yards per play. The jump from 5.2 to 6.1 may not seem significant, but on a league-wide scale, 6.1 yards per play would rank near the top in the NFL, right below the Baltimore Ravens and, you guessed it, the Chiefs.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the Week 1 effort would end up being Jackson’s only healthy appearance in 2019, although the Eagles hope to see the veteran return to his explosive ways this upcoming season.
Then again, with the addition of Reagor, Hightower, Watkins, and Goodwin, Jackson could end up feeling less pressure in the passing game.