Philadelphia Eagles: Miles Sanders has strong Offensive ROY case

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders impressive season has him in the conversation for AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants 34-17 in Week 17, clinching the NFC East and advancing to the postseason for the third season in a row.

While franchise quarterback Carson Wentz is a huge reason for the team’s recent success, rookie running back Miles Sanders’ ability to make plays has lifted the team’s offense to impressive levels.

The recent burst has vaulted Sanders into the national conversation for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in recent weeks, which would be an incredible honor.

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Previously thought to be a two-man race between Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, Sanders has quickly entered the conversation as the third contender.

In 16 games this season, Sanders amassed 1,327 yards from scrimmage to lead all rookies in that category.

In doing so, Sanders surpassed DeSean Jackson for most yards from scrimmage for a rookie in Eagles’ history. Sanders also eclipsed LeSean McCoy’s Eagles rookie rushing record of 637 yards set in 2009.

Jacobs, who sits at second among rookies with 1,316 yards from scrimmage, has done so in 33 more touches than Sanders. Even more impressive, Jacobs has a mere 166 receiving yards compared to Sanders’ 509 receiving yards, proving Sanders is more dynamic in the passing game at the running back position.

As for the other candidate, while his raw stats are impressive for a quarterback of his experience and age, Murray has struggled to take care of the ball after finishing his rookie campaign tied for 11th in the league with 12 interceptions this season.

This was a driving factor as to why the Cardinals finished fourth in the NFC West with a 5-10-1 record, but also should help Murray improve in the long run.

In fact, Sanders is the only one of the three candidates to play for a team advancing to the postseason this year, and that’s no coincidence.

With the litany of injuries suffered to the Eagles’ offense, Sanders has been a driving force for the unit’s success. During the team’s four-game winning streak to close the season, the rookie amassed 298 rushing yards, 150 receiving yards and three total touchdowns.

Sanders’ impact on the Eagles’ success is evident, and it’s likely the team doesn’t qualify for the playoffs without his play. Sanders has proven he is a dominant force in the league, and the Associated Press should award him as such with the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year when the time comes in a few weeks.