Steichen explains the anatomy of marathon drives


In back-to-back weeks, when the Eagles really needed to put together long scoring drives in the fourth quarter, they imposed their will.

In Arizona, the Eagles put together a 7:58 field goal drive to kick a game-winning field goal. And on Sunday night, they went on a drive that lasted 7:37 and got in the end zone to seal their 26-17 win.

Is that a mindset going into those drives?

“It's a feel thing there, honestly,” Steichen said to reporters on Tuesday. “It was really similar to Arizona last week. It really was. It was kind of like, shoot, we started running it and popping it and it was like, all right, good, let's keep this thing going. When something is working you want to stay with it, and that's what we did in that drive.”

In that drive in Arizona, 13 of the Eagles 17 plays were rushing plays. Against the Cowboys 10 of 13 came on the ground.

This season, there are just 17 total drives across the league that include 10+ rushing plays. The Eagles have two of them to seal victories in back-to-back weeks.

When the Eagles go on these long scoring drives, it tires out their own offensive linemen but not like it tires out opposing defenses.

“You can see it too. It gasses me up,” Jordan Mailata said. “Alright, I hope the next call is going to be a run. And then it’s a run and I’m like ‘Yes!’ You can just feel it. … Toward the end there, they were just tired.”

The Eagles this season are averaging 3:08 per drive, which is the highest average in the NFL.

“I think it's really the guys up front, the conditioning part of it,” Steichen said. “Those guys are ready to go in those situations.”

The Eagles lead the NFL in rushing attempts with 225, which is obviously skewed a bit by having a running quarterback like Jalen Hurts. But there’s no question the Eagles have the ability to be a running team the traditional way too. We saw it in the second half last season and they’re able to go to that whenever they really need a drive in 2022.

“I think there’s urgency throughout the whole game, not just that drive,” Steichen said. “Obviously, towards the end of the fourth quarter you're up there and you’ve got a chance to go up two scores and it's kind of like, ‘Hey, guys, we’ve got to go here.’”

Nick Sirianni on Sunday night praised his offensive line. Even without Lane Johnson at right tackle (he was out with a concussion) in the second half, the Eagles still have a stout offensive line. And you can credit Stout — Jeff Stoutland — for that.

The Eagles have plenty of good players on the offensive side of the football, but their strength is still the line. A lot has changed in 2022 … but that hasn’t.

“You lean on what your strength is in that scenario to get you out of ruts,” Sirianni said on Sunday night. “I’ve been taught that from the very beginning. You're in a rut, get it to your playmakers. Our playmaker in that scenario was our offensive line.”

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