Reasonable expectations for the Philadelphia Eagles rushing attack, running backs

  • Running backs are making less money, and their usage is at an all-time low.
  • The Eagles have had one of the best rushing attacks in football under Nick Sirianni.
  • Philadelphia has created a nice mix of fresh faces and returning veterans.
  • There's reason to be excited about these guys with Brian Johnson leading them.
Kennedy Brooks, #34, D'Andre Swift, #0, Rashaad Penny, #23 Jalen Hurts, #1, Philadelphia Eagles
Kennedy Brooks, #34, D'Andre Swift, #0, Rashaad Penny, #23 Jalen Hurts, #1, Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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A pair of offseason additions, D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny, figure to share the majority of the carries for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023.

When the 2023 NFL free agency period began in March, the Eagles signed former Seattle Seahawks rusher Rashaad Penny to a one-year deal worth $1.35 million. General manager Howie Roseman then made a draft day move to complete the running back room, trading a 2025 fourth-round pick and a 2023 seventh-round pick (219th overall) to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round pick (249th overall) and D'Andre Swift. Most were satisfied with the moves.

With the roster's present construction, it appears D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny will split lead running back duties in 2023. Nothing we have seen in training camp has debunked this, and the duo looks to provide a thunder-and-lightning style of rushing that we have seen work for teams in the past, teams like the Eagles.

Swift has 364 career carries, 1,680 yards, and 18 rushing touchdowns on his resume after three seasons of NFL football. He has also been targeted 205 times in the passing game, leading to 156 receptions, and 1,198 receiving yards with seven touchdowns through the air. QBs targeting him also earned a passer rating of 107.2. That ranks fifth among running backs who received 50 or more targets according to Pro Football Focus.

Penny has collected 337 carries with 1,918 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns over five NFL seasons. While he has endured injury during his career, he has increased his production drastically over these past two (over 1,000 yards in 15 games).

He averaged 6.3 yards per carry in 2021 and 6.1 yards per carry in 2022. Penny also led the NFL in yards after contact per attempt in 2021 with 3.1, according to Pro Football Reference.

The duo of Swift and Penny will likely receive between 250 and 300 carries respectively throughout the 2023 season if they remain healthy. Swift appears in line to see north of 150 carries for just the second time in his career while also playing a part in the Eagles' passing attack.

Penny appears to be in line to see between 100 and 125 carries in Philly's offense, which could lead to career highs in 2023 for the former first-round pick. Expect the duo to combine for over 1,200 yards on the ground and double-digit scores to match the production the Eagles saw from Miles Sanders in 2022.