It’s not just the offensive line. It’s not just blitz pick-up. It’s not just Jalen. It’s everybody. It's everything.
The Eagles are allowing sacks at an alarming rate two games into the season, and Nick Sirianni said there’s plenty of blame to go around.
“A sack is never just on one position group,” he said Monday. “You always go through and you break down, was this a product of the offensive line breakdown? Was it a product of a back missing a protection? Was it a mental error of a back missing a protection? Did the quarterback hold it for too long? Did a receiver have a wrong route discipline of what happened?”
The Eagles have allowed seven sacks in two games – three in New England, four against the Vikings – and that’s 6th-most in the league. But Jalen Hurts has only thrown 56 passes, and that’s 22nd-most in the league.
The Eagles are only the seventh team since 2011 to allow seven or more sacks on 56 or fewer pass attempts through two games.
Hurts’ sack percentage – one every 9.0 drop-backs – is 6th-worst in the league, the Eagles’ worst since 2010 (one every 7.2 drop-backs) and 8th-worst since sacks became an official stat in 1982.
“Early on in the season, you want to play your best ball as quick as you possibly can, but you have to go through some ups and downs to make sure you're playing your best ball when we get into October, November, December,” Sirianni said.
“With those sacks, there has been a little bit on every group, right? Even though it appears like, ‘Well, that was on Jalen’ or, ‘That was on whoever,’ it could look completely different to the eyes of our coaches.
“For instance, one of those sacks on the plus-35 this week, maybe it appeared like Jalen held the ball too long, but what happened on that play is we had a guy over the ball and then the other guy coming on a shallow (it appears to be Olamade Zaccheaus). And the guy coming over on the shallow - he knows who it is and I don't need to say it here - the guy coming over on the shallow didn't get across the field quick enough and clouded the read for Jalen.”
According to Pro Football Focus, the Eagles have graded out overall at 66.5 so far for pass blocking, which puts them in the middle of the pack – 16th out of 32 teams through Sunday’s games.
Clearly part of the problem has been blitz pickup, and not surprisingly Kenny Gainwell (32.5), D’Andre Swift (19.0) and Rashaad Penny (16.9) are all among the lowest-graded running backs when it comes to pass blocking.
As for the offensive line, Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson rank 25th and 46th so far among tackles (although Mailata improved from 62.1 vs. the Patriots to 90.3 vs. the Vikings as a pass blocker, according to PFF and Johnson from 56.3 to 84.6).
Cam Jurgens and Landon Dickerson are 33rd and 35th among guards at 66.0 and 64.1 as pass blockers, although again both improved Thursday night – Jurgens from 56.7 to 75.8 and Dickerson from 55.7 to 73.3.
Jason Kelce is the No. 6 center in terms of pass blocking with a 75.5 grade.
“Again, our job is to make sure we fix it and not assign blame to anybody,” Sirianni said. “Make sure we're fixing it.
“What's happening right now is we have had a little bit of each group. Like I said, it's never on one group, but I am super confident in our group to fix that and our coaches to fix that and play better and get better.”