Who Deserves the Blame for the Lackluster Running Game?

After the game on Sunday, Doug Peterson was asked about the running game and he said:

“It’s an area that we have to address, we have to fix, offensively. Obviously, I wasn’t pleased with how we ran the ball, really in the first two weeks. It’s not an individual, it’s a team effort. So we’ve got to fix that going forward.”

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, fans seem to be giving Doug Pederson heat for his play calling. The Eagles called 13 run plays as opposed to 50 passing plays. That’s not the ideal type of balance you want in an offense, but the fact is it was working. The Eagles finished the day with 406 total yards and 20 points on the board at the end of the game. Not to mention the Torrey Smith dropped a touchdown, Jake Elliott missed a 28 yard field goal and both Wentz and Sproles turned the ball over on the Kanas City’s side of the field.


If all that I just mentioned didn’t happen we wouldn’t even be talking about the running game because the Eagles would be undeafed after two impressive victories on the road. Obviously, those things did happen and now fan are protesting outside NovaCare this week.

(Matt Lombardo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Now to my point, who fault is this? I’m personally not the biggest fan of Dougie P, but that loss against the Chiefs shouldn’t in anyway go just on his shoulders. Would it be nice to get a few more running plays called? Yes, but that’s not what this team is good at this moment. When the Eagles decided to keep five running backs after training camp we all knew this team was going to be in trouble. Keeping five showed the Eagles simply acknowledge that they missed on Donnel Pumphrey and LaGarrette Blount this offseason. Those two misses shouldn’t fall of Pederson, but they should on Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas.


On day three of the NFL last year Doug Pederson said:

“[We’re] looking at three-down backs, guys who can play, obviously, all three downs,” Pederson said, “guys who are competitive and want to compete for the spot.”

The Eagles obviously took Donnel Pumphrey after trading up for him in the fourth round. Pumphrey was not a three-down back and he struggled to even make the roster. After the draft the Eagles signed undrafted free agent, Corey Clement. Then later in the offseason the Eagles went out and signed LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In my eyes the Eagle whiffed this offseason acquiring running back talent. Trading up for Pumphrey in the draft looks bad when you see at who was drafted after Pumphrey last year. Guys like Jamaal Williams, Marlon Mack and even Brian Hill were all picked after Pumphrey and all three will have some type of production this year for their respected teams.


Now you ask, what do the Eagles do? I would say trade for a back like Adrian Peterson or Mark Ingram, but that won’t happen. The Eagles are going to be a bad running team for the remainder of the year. The writing was on the wall from the start. Running back by committee doesn’t work in today’s NFL. There really is no answer for this year. It’s similar to the receiving situation last year. The Eagles are just going to have to ride it out until the the end of the year and then hope that a running back falls to them in the first round.




Sean Brennan

Currently a freshman at Penn State. Broadcast Journalism Major. Processor enthusiast, Carson Wentz is my dad.

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