Blame Chip Kelly’s Play Calls?

Posted on September 29, 2014

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By Allen Rodriguez

In yesterday’s game against the 49ers, immediately following the two-minute warning, the Eagles faced 3rd- and 4th-and-Goal from inside the 2-yard line.

Chip Kelly called two passing plays and the Eagles failed to score the go-ahead touchdown. Both plays looked doomed from the snap and fans on Twitter were not happy about the play calls.

Play Call SF 1 2

What a terrible call! No chance a play that has Foles drop back to the 13-yard line works from the 2!

Play call OAK 1 2

OK, the 4th down call is inexcusable though. Foles isn’t a threat to run the ball!

Play Call SF 2

But…

Play Call OAK 2

Both those plays sure worked great last year on the other side of the bay.

Now, you can argue the Eagles’ past success with these plays made the plays predictable, and you can argue Foles was extra slow yesterday. But would you rather have seen the Eagles run something that hadn’t worked before?

Perhaps they should have run the ball. Studies on two-point conversion attempts (basically exactly what both of yesterday’s plays were) show that run plays tend to score at a higher rate than pass plays. But the Eagles’ ground game was even more inept than their passing game yesterday. And while a run play on 3rd down would have at least left the 49ers with less time to strike back (provided the Eagles scored on the following 4th down), the Eagles earned an additional possession after these plays failed in part because of how much time was left on the clock. Then again, the fact that it worked out that way shouldn’t completely color our evaluation of the decision to pass. But I think you can make a strong argument these plays should have been runs.

Ultimately, play calls are smart when they work, and terrible when they don’t.

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Posted in: Eagles