With two preseason games in the books, we have seen some of the same problems that the Eagles faced last season: short yardage and the red zone. The Eagles first team offense has yet to score an offensive touchdown in the preseason thus far. We need to see some improvement here.
In Friday’s game against the Bengals and the Eagles, the familiar 3rd and 1 problem came up again. The Eagles had the ball on the Bengals 45 yard line in the 1st quarter when they tried to run LeSean McCoy behind Max Jean-Gillies. I’m not sure if the Bengals knew the play the Eagles were running, but the Bengals defensive tackle, Tank Johnson, was 3 yards in the backfield to tackle McCoy for a 2 yard loss. The offensive line was beat right off the snap.
The Eagles really struggled last season in this area and if they want to be a serious contender they better improve in this area. The addition of Mike Bell should really help but he has to get on the field first. I would like to see them use Weaver as well because he runs hard and is a load to bring down.
Another area that has bothered me this preseason has been the struggles in the red zone. We need to see more urgency down there. I understand that teams do not show much in the preseason, but you still need to have some success.
With a shortened field, Brent Celek and Jason Avant will become primary targets. DeSean Jackson is not going to score many touchdowns in the red zone because his speed is minimized due to the shortened field. In Friday’s game, the Eagles scored a touchdown against the Bengals when Kevin Kolb hit Avant, but it was mitigated because of a penalty. The Eagles ended up settling for a field goal. What happens in the red zone can be the difference in winning or losing. The Eagles need to start putting 6 up on the board not 3.
I would like to see more of Michael Vick this season as the Eagles get closer to the end zone. His ability to scramble is a big plus and he looks like he has re-gained his speed this year. This should become Avant’s and Celek’s territory. They have great hands and they can use their big bodies to create some space. The Eagles must figure out these problems quickly or we could be in for a long season.
What are your thoughts on the Eagles red zone and short yardage problems?