Philadelphia Eagles should go back to using Josh Adams against the Saints

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Josh Adams #33 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedExField on December 30, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Josh Adams #33 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedExField on December 30, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

What in the world happened to Philadelphia Eagles undrafted rookie running back, Josh Adams these last few weeks?

The Philadelphia Eagles are moving on in the playoffs once again. After defeating the Chicago Bears, they will have to face the number one seeded New Orleans Saints for the second time this season. Of all the opponents left, the Eagles will face the one team, who absolutely destroyed them earlier in the year. At the time, the Eagles might’ve been at their lowest point, but this time around they will issue a stricter battle for sure.

While the team is putting together their game plan for the week, a lot of it will feature what not to do from the initial battle between the Eagles and the Saints. Basically, whatever the Eagles did during Week 11 to lose by 41 points should not be done this time around. However, there is one part of the gameplan that the Eagles should stick with this week, and they haven’t done it lately at all – That’s committing to using the undrafted rookie running back, Josh Adams.

Ever since his unfortunate fumble in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans, the Eagles have been very hesitant with using Adams. He received 11 carries the following week, then only had one rushing attempt against the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card round last week. According to Doug Pederson, it was a ‘game-specific’ decision. Darren Sproles collected 13 attempts, while Wendell Smallwood crept back into the picture with eight carries of his own.

The Eagles need to establish a steady run game this week

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Even though the Eagles have two significant injuries in the backfield, they are still stocked up with reliable talent in a way. No, they aren’t the best backfield in the playoffs, but at least they have guys who can be productive when called upon. Last week was a difficult matchup for the run game, and the backfield simply didn’t work. It didn’t matter who was back there, Adams, Smallwood, Sproles, nobody worked. This week though, the defensive matchup isn’t as harsh.

Sure, the Eagles only scored seven points against the Saints the last time around, but this offense is moving differently. The offensive line is better, the wide receivers are better, and seeing as though Carson Wentz played the worst game of his career the last time, the quarterback play will definitely be better. The Eagles must be productive on offense this time around, but they shouldn’t be looking for a shootout either.

The key to beating the Saints on the road will be controlling the clock. The Eagles must dominate the time of possesion, and keep Drew Brees and the Saints offense off the field while resting the Eagles red-hot defense. In order to do so, the Eagles will need to dial up a steady run game, which will be a lot easier this week in comparison to last week. However, the Eagles won’t be able to do it with Sproles leading the charge.

Why should Adams lead the pack?

There wasn’t much to be happy about during the last meeting of the Eagles and the Saints. But Josh Adams was a bright spot. He had seven carries for 53 yards and a touchdown before the Eagles had to entirely ditch the run game due to trailing by a significant amount. This time around, the Eagles should go back to using Adams for sure. His patient running style worked against New Orleans and is a much better matchup for him.

If the Eagles can stay true to Adams getting a majority of the carries, then bigger opportunities will open up for Darren Sproles as well. In case you haven’t noticed over the last few years, Darren Sproles is not fit to be a featured back. No, that’s not to say that he is too undersized to take on the majority of the workload, but he merely thrives off of being a change-of-pace back.

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The more the Eagles run the rock with Adams, the bigger the field opens up for not only the passing game but for Darren Sproles’ next touch as well. This week, the Eagles will have to avoid force-feeding Sproles up the middle, and create a consistent rhythm out of the backfield to keep that ball moving and the clock running. Adams could be a crucial contributor this week.