Shane Steichen Explains Decision to Run the Ball (and use Boston Scott) on Sunday’s Game-Winning Drive

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the gripes we had after the Eagles’ 17-16 Sunday win was the macro-level decision making from Nick Sirianni, Shane Steichen, and Jalen Hurts. There were several instances of funky situational awareness and down-and-distance management, which was uncharacteristic of this team over the first nine games.

Specifically, Steichen was asked at his midweek press conference why the Eagles ran the ball almost exclusively after getting that huge gain on the defensive pass interference with Miles Sanders on what ultimately became the game-winning drive:

Q. What led to all running plays after the RB Miles Sanders penalty? (Zach Berman)

I think we had some momentum there, so we got the big penalty, felt really good. When we got that, I felt really good that we were going to go down and score there, and I think that happened with a little bit over three minutes there. I was like shoot, if we can control this clock here and leave them as little time as possible with the ball back, that was the thought process going in.

We ran it good. Jalen had a hell of a play on that 4th down, 4th and 2 to get us there. They did some line stunts inside, so he was going inside and then he popped it and got the 1st down. Hell of a play by him, and then obviously to end the game with that 3rd and goal at the 7 with the quarterback draw, it was huge.

It’s a plausible explanation, killing the clock.

For some context here, that penalty on Sanders put the Eagles on the Indy 28 yard line with 3:38 remaining in the game and two timeouts left. They then ran the ball five times in a row, doing this:

  • Sanders up the middle for 6
  • Sanders up the middle for 5
  • Boston Scott right end for 3
  • Scott left tackle for 3
  • Scott up the middle for two
  • Jalen Hurts huge 4th and 2 conversion

That got them to 1st and goal from the six with 1:34 remaining on the clock.

It was a little risky, but ultimately did chew up a lot of time, with Indy getting the ball back with 80 seconds remaining in the game. For me, I was less flabbergasted by the running and more flabbergasted by the decision to give the ball to Boston Scott three times in a row. That seemed like a such a strange move in a key situation.

Roob asked about that:

Q.You used RB Boston Scott in some high-leverage snaps there. Hasn’t played a lot this year. What was the thinking? What went into that?(Reuben Frank)

I think some of those, too, we were going fast a little bit and we weren’t subbing there so it was kind of we just kept rolling with him there a little bit there at the end. But I love Boston. Everything he stands for, the way he goes about his business.

I love the running back room. All three of those guys are capable of getting it done.

There’s your explanation. Reasonable? Yes? No?