clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eagles red zone offense can rebound against the Seattle Seahawks

The Eagles will need to be sharp in the red zone against Seattle. There's reason to believe they could be.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This week's question posed by Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk is here. Find the transcription below.

To be GMC Professional Grade you must be precise. The playoffs demand precision, as the talent gap has narrowed considerably. As the last month of regular season winds down, what areas need to be sharpened to give your team an edge?

One of the biggest concerns with the Eagles heading into the final stretch is their red zone offense. These struggles have been a topic of discussion all season, and they were especially noticeable during Philadelphia's dominating victory over Dallas. The Birds could have beaten the Cowboys by a wider margin than 33 to 10 if only they managed to score a touchdown in more than just one of their five red zone trips. The Eagles are only coming away with touchdowns on 43.48% of their prime scoring opportunities. That number ranks 29th in the NFL. Compare that to last season, when the Eagles ranked 13th by converting on 53.23% of their attempts.

So why are the Eagles struggling? ChipWagon took a look at this issue earlier in the season, when the Eagles ranked dead last in red zone conversion. It's hard not to agree with their main takeaway:

"If there is a silver lining, the one thing I learned from putting together this post is that there doesn't seem to be a scheme issue in the red zone. Guys are getting favorable match-ups and getting open. They just need to do a better job of executing."

Perhaps it sounds simple, but it's true. The Eagles had the same execution issues against the Cowboys. Second-year tight end Zach Ertz dropped a touchdown pass that hit his hands. Mark Sanchez threw a bad ball on a fade route to Riley Cooper. Sanchez had Brad Smith wide open for a touchdown but the receiver stopped running his route for some reason. Late in the game, Sanchez threw too early to Cooper on a crossing route and the pass hit him before he even knew it was coming. The Eagles even tried running the ball several times but to no avail. The only time the Eagles scored in the red zone was on a nifty touchdown run on a Sanchez read option keeper.

It really seems as simple as the Eagles just need to execute better in the red zone. To Philadelphia's credit, they have found a way to cut down on turning the ball over in scoring position as often as they were earlier in the season. Settling for field goals is obviously much more ideal than taking points off the board entirely.

But to beat the best teams in the NFL, kicking field goals won't always be good enough. The Eagles can't afford to keep leaving points on the field. Luckily for Philadelphia, they might be able to get back on track this week against the Seahawks. Seattle's defense is obviously no joke; only two other NFL defenses allow less points per game. If there is a weakness in the Seahawks' armor, however, perhaps it's to be found in scoring position. Seattle's red zone defense  ranks fifth to last in scoring percentage allowed at 64.52%. The only catch here is that the Seahawks don't allow many red zone attempts. Only one team allows less scoring tries per game. On the other hand, the Eagles average the eighth most red zone attempts per game.

The pressure is on for Philadelphia to execute better in the red zone. It's not as if they need to be among the best rates in the league. Merely converting at an average rate would be a big help to themselves. It won't be easy for the Eagles to move the ball against Seattle. But if they do find a way to get in scoring position, taking advantage of the Seahawks red zone defense will be critical.


Join the #GMCPlaybook discussion at and on Twitter by following @thisisgmc & @marshallfaulk.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bleeding Green Nation Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Philadelphia Eagles news from Bleeding Green Nation