Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions was the most dominant victory the Philadelphia Eagles have had all season and it was their largest margin of victory since 2013. And it was all made possible by a dominant rushing attack that racked up 236 yards while averaging 5.1 yards a pop.
Nick Sirianni’s offense completely controlled the pace of the game, winning the time of possession battle by 10 minutes and totaling 19 first downs via the run. It was the first time all season the offense had more rushing attempts than passing. The result, a 44-6 victory, should tell this coaching staff that sticking with the running game should be their mode of operations moving forward.
But will Sirianni continue to let his offense thrive on the ground?
We know Sirianni is a pass-first play caller and only wants to run the ball when he absolutely needs to. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize this offense is at its best when it focuses on running the football. Jalen Hurts especially benefits from a run-heavy attack.
Via NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank, “On the 23 drives with at least two RB carries, Hurts is 53-for-74 (72 percent) for 514 yards with four TDs, no INTs and a 108.7 passer rating. On the 52 drives where the Eagles had one or fewer carries from the backs – the unbalanced drives – he’s 95-for-168 (57 percent) for 1,202 yards with six TDs and four INTs and a 70.6 passer rating.”
Every quarterback in this league benefits from a balanced attack, not just Hurts. Whether you believe Hurts is a franchise quarterback or not, he’s clearly a more efficient signal caller when he has the luxury of balanced play calling.
There’s no reason for Sirianni to stray away from the running game, especially in the Eagles upcoming game against the Los Angeles Chargers. LA is 31st in the league against the run, surrendering 1,116 yards on the ground this year. Their 5.1 yards per carry given up is dead last in the NFL, and their nine rushing touchdowns allowed is tied for fourth-most.
We talk a lot about having a balanced offensive attack, but truthfully, this offense should aim to run the ball at least 60% of the time, if not more. Their offensive line is built to pound the rock, the running back room is capable of racking up yardage even without Miles Sanders, and Hurts is one of the best running quarterbacks in the league right now.
“Will Sirianni continue to run the ball?” Really, the question should be framed as, “Does Sirianni want to win ball games?” Because running the ball effectively will lead to W’s. It’s as simple as that.
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