Rich Hoffman raises a point worth debating this morning, what is to blame for the offensive consistency this year? The QBs or the playcalling?
You know the argument, the one that flared again after the Eagles' loss on Sunday to Seattle, the one that states that the way and the truth and the light was the playcalling that Jeff Garcia received last season after he took over as quarterback when Donovan McNabb tore up his knee.
It entirely misses the point. The playcalling has not changed between Garcia and this season. It is the same, and it is the same as the NFL average these days. The Eagles are not pass-happy. Coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg are not harebrained. Their offense is not lopsided by NFL standards.
He has the numbers to back it up.
And, so, the passing percentage:
Garcia . . . 59.1 percent.
McNabb . . . 61.6 percent.
Feeley . . . 59.7 percent.
NFL Week 12 . . . 61.2 percent.
NFL Week 13 . . . 60.5 percent.
Typical. Average. That is what the Eagles are. Why people cannot see it is baffling. The town seems stuck on its first impression of Reid's offense, and it just is not true anymore.
He also goes on to debunk the myth that the Eagles may be underusing Brian Westbrook. This year #36 leads the league in touches per game. Certainly you could say that 3 or 4 of the touches he gets through the air could be runs... but would that really change all that much?
In the end Hoffman is right. If we were getting better play from the QB position we'd simply be a better team. I've criticized Andy earlier this year for not putting guys in a position to be successful, but surely asking a QB to throw is not setting him up to fail? That's what QBs do! Now, asking McNabb to keep throwing against the Giants earlier this year when he got zero pass protection may not have been wise, but for the most part the offense isn't all that different from when McNabb was putting up big numbers en route to pro bowls. He just isn't executing this year. I doubt anyone was criticizing Belicheck for calling one run play in the first half of the Eagles game. Bottom line is that he Pats execute.
Finally, Hoffman points out something that our reader Andrew has pointed out many times this year. The Eagles have thrown more overall because they've chased leads. Last year with Garcia they took more leads into halftime and therefore ran more late in the game. They aren't much different from any other team in that respect.
Eagles . . . 71 percent passes.
NFL Week 13 . . . 68 percent passes.