Shane Steichen is a name unfamiliar to almost everyone outside of the Eagles fanbase. The former Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator came to Philadelphia in 2021 with Nick Sirianni, making the lateral move from Chargers OC to Philly’s. He started out without much of a role, working with Sirianni in game planning but not calling the plays. However, around the midway point of the 2021 season, Steichen was given the opportunity to call plays for the Eagles offense, an opportunity which he has clearly made the most of.
Eagles Offensive Uptick
It’s unconfirmed (as far as my research goes, anyways) when Steichen specifically took over as the Eagles play caller. Given the Eagles offensive struggles early in 2021, however, it is fair to assume that Steichen got more involved around week eight when the Eagles travelled to Detroit. In that game, the Eagles leaned heavily on the run, ending the game with 236 rushing yards and 44 points. This game was clearly a step in the right direction for an offense which was anemic through seven weeks.
From that game on, the Eagles offense started finding its groove. In fact, the Eagles offense was so good that they became the best rushing team in football, leading the league with 2,715 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns. From weeks 8-18, plus a playoff game, the Eagles averaged 27.2 points a game. Compare that to 22.7 they averaged in the first seven weeks, where they scored 38 (at least) total garbage time points, and the offensive improvements were clear. Steichen was proving to be one of the brightest young offensive minds in the league.
Early Carry Over into 2022
Through two weeks, the Eagles offense is averaging 31 points a game. Not only that, but the offense looks as balanced as ever, totaling 576 passing yards and 379 rushing. Especially in the Vikings game, the Eagles moved the ball at will, showing passing prowess not seen since 2017. Speaking of, Jalen Hurts looks largely improved as a passer, currently holding a 69.8% completion percentage and 70.8 QBR compared to his 2021 numbers of 61.3% and 54.6. The rushing attack seems to have kept its momentum from 2021, as four different rushers have scored touchdowns for Philly through just two games.
Another offensive stat worthy of note is the amount of leads the Eagles have taken into halftime since the beginning of 2021. From weeks one through seven during 2021, the Eagles took one lead into half. In six of the first seven games of their season, they were clawing back from an early deficit in the second half. What do those numbers look like since then? Three. The Eagles have been losing at halftime in three of their last 13 games. That turnaround is beyond impressive, and it is mostly due to Steichen’s involvement.
Steichen Won’t Be Around Much Longer
Now here comes the sad part: Shane Steichen’s future in Philly may be short lived. Given his success with an offense which was predicted to be among the league’s worst two years ago, he appears destined for a head coaching role after 2022. And it’s much deserved. Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur–many teams have found success with young offensive minds at the helm, and Steichen is likely the next. Assuming the Eagles offense keeps up its current pace, it seems all but certain that Philly will be searching for a new OC next summer.
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