Premature? Maybe so, but the first two weeks of the 2017-18 season has shown us that the Philadelphia Eagles run game is still worrisome since the departure of Lesean McCoy in 2014.
Since McCoy was shipped to Buffalo for Kiko Alonso *barfs*, the most successful rusher in the Eagles offense was Ryan Mathews in the 2016 season (155 attempts, 661 yards, 8tds) who was practically disowned by fans last season after his costly fumble against Detroit. We all know how the DeMarco Murray era went, and Sproles although effective in the pass game isn’t a huge threat running the ball.
In the 2017-18 season Carson Wentz currently leads the team in rushing at 61 yards, with Sproles (50yds), and newly acquired Blount (46yds) trailing. The franchise QB is also on track to pass Andrew Luck for most career pass attempts through 19 games if he exceeds 28 attempts next week against the Giants.
Like Zach Ertz said after Sundays loss to the Chiefs, “You can’t throw the ball 40 times in a game… That’s not ideal.. We want to be a balanced offense”.
This Eagles offense just simply can’t take it to the next level without a competent run game. When opposing teams know you’re going to pass the ball more likely than not, you put Carson Wentz at a disadvantage.
Missing Piece: Saquon Barkley
I’m not saying he is the last piece to make this team Super Bowl contenders, but the guy is that type of talent. Adding his abilities to this Eagles offense is equivalent to what Dallas did with Elliott two years back, boosting them atop the NFC.
2015- 182 carries 1076yds 7tds 20 receptions 161yds 1td
2016- 272 carries 1496yds 18tds 28 receptions 402yds 4tds
2017- 38 carries 307yds 3tds 11 receptions 241yds 2tds
Barkley would not only be able to revolutionize the Eagles run attack, but also be a threat in the passing game. This would come to be very timely as well considering Sproles has mentioned retirement after the season.
Barkley is going to be a top 5 pick, with a possibility of going No.1. The Eagles are scarce on trade pieces, only holding one pick in the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. Of course Draft slots are not even close to being set, but I personally don’t see this Eagles team being anywhere close to a top 5 pick.
We surely need some Howie magic. What would you offer for Saquon Barkley?
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a current student at Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.