2019 Eagles vs Super Bowl 52 Championship Eagles: Offensive Edition

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Running Backs

In 2017 on October 31st Jay Ajayi was traded from Miami to Philadelphia for a 2018 fourth round pick. Ajayi made an immediate impact for the birds rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown off eight carries in his debut versus the Denver Broncos. In week 11 he would set his career long yards in one run with a 71 yard rush in a win over the Cowboys that put Philly in a comfortable place with a 9-1 record. Of course, in 2017 the Eagles went on to win it all, in the post-season, Ajayi rushed for a combined 184 yards in three games as well as catching the ball for 70. In the following season, Ajayi would only play in four games due to an ACL injury, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 184 yards on 45 carries in the limited time.

The Eagles also ran with battering ram veteran LeGarrette Blount who played the entire year with the team in 2017. In the regular season, Blount toted the rock 173 times for 766 yards but just two touchdowns. However, in the playoffs, he scored a touchdown a game finishing with three having his best performance against his former team the New England Patriots rushing for 90 yards on 14 carries.

Although Blount had a decent year with Philly in 2018, he found himself in Detroit with the Lions while Ajayi was supposed to take the main starting role for the Eagles, though the previously mentioned injury sidelined him and that game plan. Mostly due to this injury, Ajayi finds himself still floating in the open market of free agency while the Eagles acquired Jordan Howard via trade with the Bears and drafted Miles Sanders in the second round to be their dual-threat force in the backfield for 2019.

Jordan Howard who the Eagles got in return for a conditional sixth-round pick started 15 of his 16 games with the Bears last season got the ball 250 times rushing for 935 yards (his first season under 1,000) and nine scores tying his career high (out of three seasons) in touchdowns that he set last year. Howard also caught 20 out of 26 passes sent his way for 145 yards. Keep in mind Howard did this while sharing playing time with Tarik Cohen who played all 16 games with 99 rush attempts and 91 pass targets. With Howard being the most established running back on Philadelphia’s current roster it should ease the mind of fans that he’s used to splitting time and should be open to sharing the ball with rookie Miles Sanders while hopefully mentoring him at the same time.

The Penn State running back Miles Sanders shouldn’t be slept on or taken lightly coming in top five in the Big Ten in rushing yards, attempts, yards from scrimmage, and plays from scrimmage. In his final season for Penn State Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards scoring nine times on 220 attempts. He also showed some ability catching out of the backfield catching the ball 24 times for 139 yards averaging out to 5.8 yards a catch. Sanders should be an impactful rookie for the Eagles even if he is second to Howard. Of course, the team will most likely draw up some two-back sets to take full advantage of the weapons coming out of the backfield.

With two young players with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders who both have very few injury concerns and huge upsides give the 2019 backfield an edge over the Ajayi and Blount set in 2017. Howard was acquired for next to nothing while Sanders was taken with one of the two Eagles’ second-round picks making both of them (hopefully) perfect examples of how Howie Roseman can replace something good with something potentially great without giving up too much.