Philadelphia Eagles running game kicks in


The Philadelphia Eagles escaped with a 27-24 win over the New York Giants because a stagnant group of running backs finally tallied a strong day on the ground.

The Philadelphia Eagles survived a fourth quarter defensive collapse on Sunday for one reason and one reason only: The offensive backfield finally woke up.

In a 27-24 win that otherwise would have gone into overtime if not for a 61-yard field goal by rookie place kicker Jake Elliott as time expired, the Eagles found a way to win because their rushing attack was able to minimize the opportunities for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to do even more damage than he already did.

We all knew that the Eagles secondary would be stretched on Sunday given numerous injuries, but this game was a classic example of winning a football game with one basic principle.

54. 24. 31. Final. 27

You’ve heard the phrase, ”The NFL is a passing league” on plenty of occasions, right? While the steady increase in passing yardage from quarterbacks around the league continues to rise, don’t be fooled. The NFL is a running league and this will always be the case up until teams are no longer allowed to carry the football out of the backfield.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ is always easier and more efficient on the ground and it’s never a great idea to give up possession of the football, even as it travels in the air. Besides, one of three things can happen when throwing the ball, and two of them are bad.

Despite zero sacks from a Philly front seven that had to have high hopes against a downright bad Giants offensive line, it was Manning who racked up the big stats – yet he came away with a loss.

Hats off to Eagles running backs Wendell Smallwood and veteran newcomer LeGarrette Blount. Both running backs averaged over five yards per carry on Sunday and these two absolutely set the tone for the day. Yes, the Giants scored 24 points in the fourth quarter of a game they never should have even been in, but Manning’s 366 yards passing ended up completely negated by the 138 yards racked up Blount and Smallwood.

Yes, it’s a running league, at least if you want to win football games.

But that wasn’t all from the Philadelphia rushing attack.

University of Wisconsin rookie-running back Corey Clement and ageless veteran Darren Sproles added 33 more yards on nine carries and quarterback Carson Wentz carried yet six more times for 22 yards.

I predicted a narrow Giants victory over the weekend on the basis that I didn’t think the Philadephia Eagles would be efffective running the football against a Giants front four that’s played very well in 2017. Had someone told me that the Eagles could pound the ball for close to 200 yards, I’d have definitely taken Philly even with a late Giants comeback.

A 2-1 record has to feel pretty good right now, especially with the Dallas Cowboys facing a likely difficult situation on ESPN Monday Night Football. For what it’s worth, the Cowboys have lost seven of their last eight games in Phoenix dating back to 1999.

If you like the sound of the Philadelphia Eagles in sole possession of first place in the NFC East, it might be a reality just around the corner.