The Eagles have mastered the simplest play in football


Jason Kelce was animated last week explaining his belief in the QB sneak.

Then the Eagles ran a ton of them on Sunday.

“Shoot, yeah,” offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. “If you listen to his podcast, it's all about the QB sneak. What did we run? Up to seven of them I believe, and we got six of them. Need one yard, QB sneak."

Yup, the Eagles converted 6 of 7 attempts on QB sneaks Sunday and Jalen Hurts got into the end zone twice with the play.

Kelce’s passionate belief in the QB sneak was expressed on his podcast, New Heights, which he hosts with his All-Pro brother Travis. Both brothers gave a play call for 4th-and-1 with the game on the line. Jason Kelce chose the sneak.

Does Kelce think his words might have influenced the Eagles’ play calling on Sunday?

“Maybe. I don’t know,” Kelce said after Sunday’s 20-17 win. “We’ve been really good at them. Credit to (the Cardinals), they were making it very difficult today. We still executed on most of them. On one of them we got stopped on less than a yard but still being an efficient play. It’s definitely a physical play to say the least.”

There’s no question that the Eagles are good at the QB sneak and they’ve been especially good at them with Hurts as their quarterback. In fact, since he entered the NFL, Hurts has 39 rushing attempts in 1-yard-to-go situations. He has converted 32 times with 9 touchdowns.

It’s not hard to figure out why this is a successful play for the Eagles. They have a great offensive line and a 225-pound quarterback who can squat 600 pounds.

“Jason Kelce’s been doing it a long time,” Hurts said about sneaks last month. “He’s been doing it for a really, really long time. The O-line, their technique and how they do it, I give a lot of credit to them.”

There’s no question that push from the offensive line is key. And sometimes you need a player like Dallas Goedert to help pull Hurts into the end zone like he did on Sunday.

Earlier this season, Steichen explained that some quarterbacks are better at the sneak than others. Steichen pointed at Hurts’ strong lower body but also his feel for where the gaps are and how to hit them.

“They were good at it before I got here,” Hurts said last month, “so I’m not going to take too much credit for it.”

But since Hurts became a full-time starter last season, just two players have converted more times in 1-yard-to-go situations. I you take a look at the top 10, Hurts is the only non-RB on the list:

James Conner (39)
Jonathan Taylor (34)
Jalen Hurts (28)
Joe Mixon (27)
Jamaal Williams (26)
Derrick Henry (25)
Damien Harris (24)
A.J. Dillon (23)
Leonard Fournette (22)
Ezekiel Elliott (22)

The next closest quarterback on that list is Ryan Tannehill with 17 conversions.

And when it comes to touchdowns, just Conner (10) has more in these situations. Hurts, Mixon and Henry have eight apiece.

“It's very efficient,” Steichen said. “You need one yard. Quarterback sneak is the way to go.”

That has to be music to Kelce’s ears.

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