After the rough 1-3 start, something had to be a change. Running back DeMarco Murray felt that he wasn’t getting enough carries and made this public.
“Do I think I’m touching the ball enough? No, I don’t think I am. But that’s how the plays have been called. I love this offense and I love playing with these guys, but that’s just how it is.”
via CSN Philly.com
Chip Kelly and the coaches heard his call, and the Eagles went back to basics and focused on their run game.
The Eagles defeated the New York Giants 27-7 in a Monday night showdown and are now tied for first place in the NFC East. This game was by no means a beauty, but a win’s a win, no matter how ugly it was. Though the Eagles defense kept the Giants offense quiet all night, the true takeaway of the night was the stout run game. They ran a total of 37 times for 155 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per attempt. A big night for running back DeMarco Murray as well, as he had 22 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Last week against the New Orleans Saints, the 3-headed backfield came alive. The trio of Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles were unstoppable. The team ran 34 times for a total of 186 total rushing yards and an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Because of their ability to run, QB Sam Bradford had more time to complete his pass, and the whole offense ran more smoothly. Murray finished this game with 20 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. The offense ran so well that they put up 39 points against the Saints. 39!!
In the last two weeks, the Eagles were able to get their run game moving and that was the difference from a loss and a win. In the last two weeks, DeMarco Murray had over 20 carries. In the last two weeks, the Eagles got the win. In all three games the Eagles won, a running back had over 20 carries.
Coincidence? I think not.
The success of the Eagles will be determined from their effectiveness in the run game. It’s that simple. The potential to be great is there. It has always been there. But it starts with running the ball.