Eagles: Sirianni’s commitment to the run will be tested in Denver

To Nick Sirianni’s credit, he’s finally put a heavy emphasis on the running game over the past two weeks. He ran it a combined 85 times over the past two contests, compared to just 33 passes. The Eagles offense averaged just about 34 passing attempts per game in the first seven weeks.

The Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Chargers are both in the bottom-ten in rushing yards allowed this season. So either Sirianni opted to run the ball because of the matchup, or his coaching staff realized that their offensive personnel is best suited for a run heavy approach.

We’ll get our answer to that this week against the Denver Broncos, one of the best rush defenses in the NFL.

Denver is allowing 98.3 rushing yards per game and just 85.75 yards per game at home. Defensive tackle Shelby Harris acts as the anchor for Denver’s defensive front and has played a big role in their efforts against the run. Per Pro Football Focus, his 83.2 run-defense grade ranks fourth-best among all qualifying interior linemen.

Denver’s defense as a whole has played very well this season. Their pass defense is in the top-half of the league as well. They’re allowing 223.4 passing yards per game and they’ve given up just 11 passing touchdowns on the season, which is tied for third-fewest in the league.

There’s no clear cut way to attack this group, so it would behoove Siranni and Co. to stick with what they do best — running the football. There have been a handful of teams that have found success on the ground against this group. The Cleveland Browns racked up 182 yards on the ground against Denver, and Baltimore also crossed the century mark against them.

Both of those offenses are in the top-10 in rushing this season, as are the Eagles. It’ll be up to Sirianni to scheme up some creative runs to keep the Broncos defense off balanced. Just lining up with three tight ends and running it straight at them may not be the most favorable way to go about it. And that’s pretty much what Sirianni did against Detroit and Los Angeles.

Regardless of who the Eagles are facing, they give themselves the best chance to win if they stick with the run and control the line of scrimmage. Sirianni’s commitment to the running game will certainly be tested this week facing a stout Broncos defense.

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