Philadelphia Eagles Must Continue To Lean On The Rushing Attack


In a turn of events that I did not foresee happening just a few short weeks ago, Sam Bradford has actually played well for the Philadelphia Eagles as of late. Against the Carolina Panthers, Bradford did as much as he could without the help of his receivers. Had it not been for a Jordan Matthews gaffe on a pitiful attempt to catch a slightly underthrown pass, Bradford would have had, for the most part, a clean stat sheet against Carolina.

Against the Dallas Cowboys, Bradford was a terrific. It wasn’t the kind of performance that will have his game-worn jersey displayed in Canton, Ohio, but it was a well-played contest that saw Bradford move the offense up and down the field in a semi-consistent pattern. He also gained a few brownie points for not only beating the Cowboys, but for beating them in overtime at that.

But despite the solid play of Bradford in recent weeks, the Eagles need to continue to pound the rock for as long as the running game performs the way it has been. Philadelphia ran for 172 yards against the Cowboys Sunday night and have compiled 693 yards on the ground over their last four games. Had it not been for the painstakingly slow start to the season, the Eagles’ rushing attack would probably be ranked as one of the top groups in the league.

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The Eagles have a true three-headed monster in the backfield, featuring DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. It took him a while to get the wheels turning, but Murray has finally gotten into a rhythm and is beginning to play like the back the Eagles had hoped they’d signed in free agency this past March.

Sproles, even though he only sees a limited amount of snaps, is a 5’6″ elephant wearing shoulder pads and cleats. He is a threat whenever the ball is in his hands and has earned a reputation as being one of the better change-of-pace backs in recent NFL history.

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However, the true rockstar of the group is Mathews, who has averaged 8.1 yards per carry in his last four performances with 277 yards on 34 attempts and three touchdowns. The man has arguably been the Eagles’ best weapon on offense this season and is showing no signs of slowing down. I’m not sure what it is that’s making Mathews such a playmaker Maybe it’s his super cool visor, but that’s just a theory. Regardless, as much as Murray has improved, Mathews is no slouch and deserves more touches.

Come to think about it, all three of these gentlemen do.

The Eagles are finally starting to look like a football team coached by Chip Kelly. The offense has found its footing and it’s only a matter of time until it explodes on an opposition (the Miami Dolphins?). But if one thing is for certain, it’s that the running game is the spine of the offense. Without it, this team is nothing.