Doug Pederson Needs to Revise How He Runs the Dual QB Offense
The Jalen Hurts experiment in Philadelphia hasn’t gotten off to a great start. The issue with the two-QB formation isn’t on the player though.
Doug Pederson has done a horrible job trying to execute this offensive set through seven weeks. Coming into the season I felt this could have been deadly for Philadelphia, but honestly now when they line up it hurts them. There is one glaring adjustment that they need to make, and if they do so it can ease a lot of their problems with this set.
Through seven games, Hurts has 69 yards rushing on nine attempts and one pass for 18 yards. On paper, it doesn’t seem to be that bad. But if you take a look as the games go on though, opponents have figured out what the Eagles are doing.
When Jalen lines up at QB nearly every time it is some form of an option play. There has been almost no passing threat when he lines up in the backfield. Hurts isn’t even to blame for this they won’t let him throw.
While option plays do work, you need to have a counter for the upcoming defensive response. When you see a different QB line up in the backfield who has only thrown once, the easy decision is to stack the box. If you aren’t aware of what that means, it is when the defense puts about eight defenders between the offensive tackles. This is primarily to stuff a continuing run game.
Any coach worth their weight would know that when a defense stacks the box, especially on a specific set you need to counter with something else. This is where I get confused. Doug Pederson isn’t a bad coach, he has had controversial play calling but he definitely isn’t a bottom tier coach.
For any NFL coach, it would be an easy adjustment. It isn’t like Jalen Hurts was a running back at Oklahoma, he was drafted to throw the football. Why isn’t Jalen Hurts throwing more in these sets?
The Ravens and most notably the Giants shut down Hurts by stacking the box so Hurts had nowhere to go. If Pederson had Hurts throw just a little more, it would open the formation right back up. If Doug limits him to just read and speed options, the two-QB set will do nothing. It is no different than lining up Miles Sanders under center with Boston Scott.
Hopefully, Doug has more up his sleeve he doesn’t want to implement just yet. Pederson is going to need to reveal some of it the next time he uses this set or defenses will shut it down right away. If Hurts throws a little more the two-QB offense will be deadly and I absolutely believe it has the potential.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports