Eagles’ Sirianni on passing game: ‘We’re not in a panic mode’

Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles offense was prolific. Philadelphia finished the season with a franchise-record 477 points, including club records in total touchdowns (59), scrimmage touchdowns (57) and rushing touchdowns (32).

In addition, the Eagles’ 32 rushing touchdowns are tied for the fourth-most in NFL single-season history.

However, the Eagles have gotten off to a slow start this season on offense, especially in the passing game. In 2022, after two games, Hurts averaged 9.2 yards per completion; after two games this season, he’s averaging 6.5 yards per completion. 

Fortunately, the Eagles ran for 259 yards against the Vikings last Thursday night, and more importantly, they are 2-0 as they prepare to battle the Buccaneers on Monday night in Tampa.

On Monday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni explained what’s going on with the team’s passing game.

“We’re not in a panic mode or anything like that,” he said. “Have the pass numbers been down? Yeah. Does the defense play into that? Of course, it does. Fortunately for us — and not everybody has this luxury — but fortunately for us, we’re able to win on the ground, and we are able to win in the air, and so you are able to balance off what the defense does.

“I thought [Offensive Coordinator] Brian [Johnson] and the offensive staff did a phenomenal job of saying, ‘hey, okay, they’re packing this in the middle of the field right here and keeping all these guys high and having this three-down front. All right, cool. You guys are doing that. We’ll do what we have to do to win the game.’

“So, [QB] Jalen [Hurts] was, what? 18 of 23 in that game, so he was completing a high percentage of his passes. It was just, hey, we had 48 runs to 23 passes. Well, of course, your run stats are going to look different than pass stats, and it’s going to appear that your pass stats may be down. Was our first game our best game passing the football? No. But there were some similarities in that game plan as well.

‘Again, we are talking about a two-game sample size. We’re just going to keep doing what we need to do to put the guys in position to succeed, and that’s our job as coaches. We know for sure that we have the right guys in this building to go out and execute against the defenses that we see.”

To Sirianni’s point, there’s still a lot of football left. In addition, most of the starters did not play in preseason for the Eagles, so there could be some rust at this point. Moreover, they have a new offensive coordinator, Brian Johnson. The Eagles have so much talent on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the passing game, so it might take time, but in the end, this offense and passing game should be just fine.

Sirianni on Hurts playing in Houston: ‘He’ll handle that great’

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is going home, and he’s bringing his 7-0 Eagles with him. Hurts, who is coming off a career-high four touchdown passes against the Steelers on Sunday, will lead the Eagles into his hometown of Houston to battle the Texans Thursday night.

Anytime you go home, there is a possibility for distractions, but according to his head coach Nick Sirianni, Hurts will be just fine.

“He’s played in a ton of big games,” Sirianni said Wednesday. “He’s played in NFL playoff games. He’s played in national championship games. He’s played in final four games. He’s played in big high school games.

“He knows that all he can focus on is being there and being the quarterback of our team. It doesn’t matter if we’re in Houston, if we’re in Atlanta, doesn’t matter where we are. He knows about his process. He’d probably be the guy that will handle it better than anybody would because he’s just so focused and dialed in on what he has to do. We talk about this all the time, too, not letting the outside noise get to you, whether that’s you’re 7-0, you’re 0-7, you’re going to Houston, you’re going to Alaska, whatever it is.

“He’ll handle that great, and that really hasn’t been much of a discussion about it because I just know what we talk about all the time, and I know [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is the least person I worry about because he knows how to handle his business better than anybody.”

Hurts has been in many big games in his life, so to Sirianni’s point, he should be fine. However, what’s more concerning is playing on the road on Thursday night; it’s a quick turnaround, which favors the home team. On paper, the Eagles should win, but anything can happen. In the end, expect Hurts to play well and expect the Eagles to get the job done in Houston.