Philadelphia Eagles News

Spadaro: How does the offense get back on track Sunday?

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

What they've looked at over and over again and are excited to correct on Sunday in this Week 18 game against the Giants are the mistakes they made last week. The pre-snap penalties. The missed assignments. The opportunities not taken advantage of.

This is the nature of football: On the path to unattainable perfection, mistakes are made, mistakes are fixed, and performance is restored.

"There is no doubt we're going to get back on track. We have so much talent here and we've done it all season," tight end Dallas Goedert said on Thursday. "The last two weeks haven't gone the way we wanted them to go, but we're resilient and we have that dawg mentality and we're going to bounce back. We're sitting here in Week 18 playing for the division title, the conference No. 1 seed, and we want to play our kind of football.

"We killed ourselves last week, a lot of self-inflicted wounds against a good team, a good defense. We've just got to go out there and play good football and control what we can control and put a full game together. I'm looking at as a positive that we're in the position we're in. It would be great if we can get off to a good start and jump out early and go from there. We want to get into a rhythm on that first drive. When you go three and out, you don't have many 'tells' about what they're going to do against certain personnel packages that we put out there. It feels like you're playing catch-up the whole game when you start things that way."

There are still questions, of course, about who is playing quarterback – Jalen Hurts looked good during the portion of practice open to the media and was listed as a limited participant on Thursday – but regardless, the offense is the offense and the Eagles don't want to have the kind of game they had on Sunday any time soon. Like, ever.

They want to be more like the team that scored nearly 30 points per game before Sunday's loss to New Orleans, the one that dazzled with balance in the running game and in the passing game, that won the line of scrimmage, that kept defenses guessing, that scored on quick-strike plays and also wore down defenses with a punishing ground attack and a top-ranked performance in the red zone.

"That's Eagles football, the way we played all season," center Jason Kelce said. "When we've had those kinds of games, we've played football where we haven't stopped ourselves with penalties and mistakes. Playing against the Giants on Sunday gives me a chance to correct the mistakes I made last week, because I made a lot of them. I had a lot of missed assignments and I'm looking forward to getting back out there and playing a better game. I think we all are. There is a heightened sense of urgency here because we know what's at stake and we know we've had a chance to get where we wanted to be the last couple of weeks and haven't gotten it done."

This isn't a personnel thing and it's not a coaching thing. It's a combination of a lot of pieces that added up to a poor performance on Sunday and, hey, that happens in the NFL. It's a crazy, long season. We're into Week 18 and the Eagles have been terrifically consistent all season. The first step toward a return to normalcy is accountability and the players in the locker room have taken their share and so has Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen, who talked about it on Thursday.

"You go back and look at the film and really look at yourself, and I just didn't think I did a good enough job putting our guys in position with the calls," he said at his weekly press conference on Thursday. "We got in some second-and-pass situations, got some sacks, and then you get in some third-and-long situations that we weren't able to overcome there in the first half. It was tough. I didn't do a good enough job putting our guys in position, bottom line. So, I have to do a better job."

Everyone does. An offense that has been video-game fun in 2022 has a chance to jump back on the fast track on Sunday. A fast start would help. Minimizing mistakes is a must.

"We just have to play our kind of football," Kelce said. "Simple as that. We've done it all season. Time to do it again and do it for 60 minutes."

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