The NFL Is About to Outlaw the Eagles’ Biggest Offensive Weapon
The Philadelphia Eagles were the best team in the NFC this season and made an incredible run to the Super Bowl. That’s because general manager Howie Roseman built the team the right way, through the trenches. And that showed this season as the team had the best offensive line in the game and produced the third-most sacks in NFL history with the defensive line in 2022. That O-line dominance also gave quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles a nearly unstoppable QB sneak play last season, but now the NFL wants to outlaw it.
The Eagles QB sneak was unstoppable in 2022, now the NFL wants to outlaw it
When the Eagles offense got in a short-yardage situation in 2022, the opposing defense mind as well have started walking backward before the ball was snapped.
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense were 36-of-40 (90%) on QB sneaks in 2022, per NFL stats (h/t USA Today). The team also converted six first downs in Super Bowl via sneak and scored two touchdowns on the play.
One thing that made the Hurts QB sneak so unstoppable was the Eagles offensive line. Pushing for a first down behind center Jason Kelce, guards Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo, and tackles Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata made things easier.
However, the team also figured out a QB sneak style that made the play deadly. Philadelphia would line up backs, receivers, and tight ends behind Hurts, and they would get a running start to push the QB over the first down or goal line.
While pushing ball carriers has been legal since 2005, this is the piece that teams around the NFL take issue with.
Now, after complaints from other teams around the league, the NFL competition committee will look at this move in the offseason and possibly outlaw it in 2023 and beyond.
Former NFL vice president of officiating and current Fox Sports rules analyst Dean Blandino told The 33rd Team, “I think the league is going to look at this, and I’d be shocked if they don’t make a change.”
Blandino also predicts the committee will just outlaw pushes on sneaks and not elsewhere on the field.
This ruling will slow down the effectiveness of the Eagles QB sneak in 2023, as will the potential retirement of Kelce and the possible free-agent departure of Seumalo. However, the team will still have an excellent line, and Jalen Hurts under center, which means that even sour grapes from other teams can’t take away a lot of what makes that play so effective for the Eagles.