All offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles insisted they were committed to improving their running game. The head coach, the offensive coordinator, position coaches — they all repeated the same sentiment time and again this spring and summer.
Running backs, offensive linemen and quarterback Carson Wentz said the same thing, too: They wanted to run the ball more often and more effectively in 2017 than they did last season.
But one week into the campaign, the prospects for the ground game still look bleak.
The Birds gained just 58 yards on 24 carries (2.4 per attempt) in Sunday’s win over the Redskins, and coach Doug Pederson called running plays on less than 31 percent of the offense’s snaps — a lopsided pass-to-ratio that came while the Eagles led for most of the contest. So, this week, Pederson echoed memories of his news conferences from last year when he addressed the team’s lack of success on the ground.
“We’ve got to be able to run the ball better,” he said.
The Eagles’ next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, play a similar 3-4 defense to the one Philly went up against in Washington on Sunday. So, the Birds will need to overcome their missteps from Week 1 if they want to make strides in Week 2, and they have plenty of errors to rectify.
The Eagles’ struggles in the running game last week came as a result of a confluence of factors, including ineffective blocking, a lack of burst from the running backs and Pederson’s pass-heavy play calling. A key injury played a role, as well.
The Birds’ greatest deficiencies emerged in the second half, when nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters went to the sideline…
click here to read the rest of this story