It’s supposed to be rainy and windy tonight at Lincoln Financial Field. Hopefully, that’s a recipe for a dedicated ground game.
Head coach Doug Pederson has come under fire in recent weeks for refusing to stick with the running game, despite hefty production from Miles Sanders. The rookie running back is the first NFL running back to record at least 850 scrimmage yards and 300 return yards in his first 12 career games since 2007.
As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank pointed out, this is the first time in Eagles’ history that the team has gone three straight games with 40 or more pass attempts versus 23 or fewer rush attempts.
Back to the weather. It started raining this morning in Philadelphia and won’t let up until after everyone is asleep, around 2 a.m. The Eagles should have secured a win over the Giants by then and improved their record to 6-7. In addition, the winds are expected to be whipping around the Linc at about 13 miles per hour. Run the ball. Again and again.
Miles Sanders Quietly Having Historic Season
It’s almost hard to fathom the numbers Miles Sanders is churning out. It seems like he barely touches the ball.
Sanders, the speedy rookie out of Penn State, has rushed for 520 yards (4.5 yards per carry) while hauling in 32 balls for 352 yards as a receiver. He also has tallied another 314 yards on kickoff returns and ranks fifth all-time in Eagles’ history for all-purpose yards (1,190). Sanders is flat-out balling right now.
The comparisons to the Giants’ Saquon Barkley are a bit nauseating but the two played together at Penn State and remain good friends. They do share similar running traits and none of it is lost on the players.
In fact, Sanders and Barkley had talked about possibly facing off against each other back in college. That battle takes center stage tonight in Philadelphia.
“We’ve got to win these four games to get into the playoffs, and to be in the playoffs my rookie year would be pretty special, so that’s really all I’m focused on,” Sanders told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “But it’s definitely going to be fun playing against Saquon, don’t get me wrong.”
Saquon Barkley Recalls Best Miles Sanders Moment
It was kind of a scary moment at the time. Looking back on it, it explains why Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders are so close.
Barkley was the starting running back for Penn State and dealing with a sore back in what would be his final home game at Beaver Stadium. He couldn’t sit it out, not against a tough team like Nebraska with Sanders waiting in the wings. If Barkley missed the game, he thought for sure Sanders would steal his starting job.
“I remember telling people, I can’t not play because if I don’t play, the world’s gonna see what this guy can do already, and it’s not my time yet to leave,” Barkley said on a conference call, via Penn Live. “So I kind of — didn’t force myself, but that was in the back of my mind. Get back early so you can finish the season off strong and let him go do his thing next year.”
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