Pressure from the chairman and restless Philadelphia Eagles fans may have finally driven head coach Andy Reid to deviate from the passing game to which he has so fervently adhered.
As it turns out, this kind of deviation works.
Reid has long relied on a pass-first, pass-often philosophy, a plan that led the Eagles to a frustrating 8-8 record in 2011 and to a subsequent preseason ultimatum issued by Philadelphia Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie: Improve the Eagles record “substantially” or else.
Then, this season, despite being 3-1, the Eagles’ precarious wins have seemed more like narrow escapes from defeat than sound victories.
After the Eagles' only turnover-free game of the season in Week 4 against the New York Giants, among the factors examined was the Eagles’ number of pass-run plays and the difference it produced. Yes, Philadelphia beat the Super Bowl champion Giants by only two points, but it was a solid win. No interceptions. No fumbles. No turnovers. One clean Philadelphia win.
So, what was the difference? Plenty.
Here’s a look at How to Play the Eagles' Running Game.