Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni petitions NFL not to ban the ‘brotherly shove’

Eagles HC petitions NFL not to ban the ‘brotherly shove’
from Michael Gallagher, with
When the Philadelphia Eagles need to pick up one yard, they turn to a play that almost never fails.

The Eagles ran their “brotherly shove” quarterback sneak four times in Sunday’s 31-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. They converted every time, and all four conversions either scored a touchdown or led to one.

Just because Philly executes the play better than any team in the NFL (its conversion percentage is nearly 20 points higher than the league average), head coach Nick Sirianni says that’s no reason to outlaw the play.

“Every first down, it’s 1st-and-9,” Sirianni told reporters after the game. “Knowing that if you get to 4th-and-1, shoot, (we have) a lot of faith in that play. … Jason Kelce starts it off, Jalen Hurts just being able to drive (the ball forward). You’ve seen it across the league, people can’t do it like we can do it. So, I’m making my plug right there — don’t ban this play. If everyone could do it, everybody would do it.”

Sirianni has a point.

The “brotherly shove” or “tush push” isn’t a play specific to just the Eagles. The other 31 teams are allowed to run the play, and some do with mixed results. The average success rate for those teams on QB sneaks is 77.8%, per The Athletic, but the Eagles are successful 93.3% of the time.

Many have argued that the QB sneak is so successful because the Eagles have a hulking offensive line (the average height of their O-linemen is 6-foot-5 and average weight is 325 pounds) and one of the better running quarterbacks in the league (Jalen Hurts).

Sirianni even admitted as much. Twice the Eagles relied on the QB sneak against the Dolphins in short-yardage situations on their side of the 50 — instances that, it could be argued, other head coaches don’t have the gall to go for it whereas Sirianni does.

“I thought to myself, well, I would be crazy if I don’t go for it on 4th-and-1 with the type of guys we have,” Sirianni said. “Again, goes back to the dudes that we got and making the play.”

The NFL discussed banning the play next season at the fall league meeting last week.

Concerns have been raised that the “tush push” increases the likelihood of injury and also gives Philadelphia a competitive advantage over its opponents. However, the league has no evidence of either.

So, why punish one team simply because it’s just better at executing the play than everyone else?