The winning formula: The Eagles must be able to convert on 3rd down
9 January 2018 Eagles News
With Carson Wentz on the field, the Eagles were the best team in the NFL on third down. Without him, they have struggled to keep drives alive and convert on these crucial downs.
The Eagles are not the same team as they once were this year. Since Wentz went down, the offensive magic is gone and their ability to sustain long drives and convert third downs went down with him. Most recently against the Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles were able to convert just two of the 11 third-down attempts they had. Even worse than that, against the Oakland Raiders, the Eagles converted just one of 14 third-down plays. The one game in which Foles was exceptional was against the New York Giants, where the offensive was five of 13 on third downs.
With all that being said, it would be a big boost to the Eagles offense if they are able to convert on third downs versus the Atlanta Falcons. It is important for them to get into good situations on first and second down so third down is not a long play. The Eagles run game needs to be used to set them up on these important downs. In most games, the team that is able to convert on third down and stays on the field is the one who wins, a lesson we have seen before our eyes with this Eagles team this season. You can win without converting on third down, but you make life a lot more difficult for your defense by doing so.
For the Eagles to win in the playoffs, the offense needs to control the ball and stay on the field. Keeping the defense fresh will be a big factor especially when it is crunch time in the game. The winning formula goes back to the basics and that is the time of possession and staying onto the field. The Eagles need to put themselves in manageable situations and they must not turn the ball over. Playoff football is a new beast, but one the Eagles can conquer if they go back and do what they are best at, converting third downs and controlling the clock.
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