Eagles News: NFL may ban ‘Quarterback Push’ next season
The play that made Jalen Hurts virtually unstoppable on 3rd and 4th-down this season may not be available to him in 2023.
Philadelphia’s altered version of the QB sneak sees Hurts taking the snap from a victory-like formation and has two players push him from behind over the first-down marker. On 41 QB sneak attempts, the Eagles converted on 37 of them and scored nine times, accounting for 15% of their total touchdowns this season.
In the Super Bowl alone, Hurts rushed for ten first downs — six of them coming on QB sneaks. Pushing a ball carrier forward to gain additional yardage has been legal since 2005; the Eagles are just the first team to find the loophole in the rule.
Players around the NFL have voiced their displeasure with the maneuver, deeming Hurts’ overpowered sneak to be ‘illegal,’ and it appears the league will take a closer look at it this offseason.
“I think the league is going to look at this, and I’d be shocked if they don’t make a change,” said Dean Blandino, a rules analyst for Fox Sports. “I was talking to [Denver Broncos coach] Sean Payton during Sunday’s game, and he said we’re going to do this every time next season if they don’t take it out.”
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If the “tush push” is so effective, why doesn’t every team deploy it? Simply put, not every QB poses the physical threat that Jalen Hurts is. Hurts is stronger than the average defender, dating back to his days as a powerlifter, giving the Eagles a tremendous advantage in short-yardage situations. Having the best offensive line in football doesn’t hurt, either.
There’s a good chance Jalen Hurts would be effective on critical downs even without the QB sneak. If the play is indeed outlawed, Nick Sirianni will have to find other creative ways to utilize Hurts’ dynamic ability.
The Double Cheek Push might be the most unstoppable play in football pic.twitter.com/ktneY1JkgA— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) November 28, 2022
Mandatory Credit: Chris Szagola | Associated Press