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Mailbag: How will the Eagles divvy up carries for their running backs?

May 19th, 2017 at 9:47 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

In our weekly Eagles chat on Wednesday, there were a lot of good unanswered questions that I was not able to get to, so we’ll cover them here in an Eagles mailbag.

I think that as long as the Eagles stay in games, they are going to feed Blount similarly to the way they fed Ryan Mathews. He’ll be more than just a short-yardage back, as we explained in greater detail on Thursday.

The Eagles are going to have different game plans for different teams, which is something Doug Pederson explained at the Annual Meetings in March.

“Every run game plan every week changes,” he said. “Sometimes you’re going to be more inside the tackles, and then the next week you might be outside the tackles, so you have to have the versatility to do that.”

The Eagles don’t have a “three-down back” who has the versatility to run inside, run outside, be a weapon in the passing game, and pass protect. What they have is a group of backs who can do all those things collectively, but no one back can do it all effectively. Therefore, Pederson is going to have to be creative with his running back committee.

Last year, the Eagles gave the ball to their backs 381 times. Here’s how those carries were distributed:

Player Rushing attempts 
 Ryan Mathews155 
 Darren Sproles94 
 Wendell Smallwood77 
 Kenjon Barner27 
 Byron Marshall19 
 Terrell Watson

Using just the backs currently on the roster, I’d set the rushing attempt over/unders like so:

  1. LeGarrette Blount: 170
  2. Darren Sproles: 80
  3. Wendell Smallwood: 80
  4. Donnel Pumphrey: 50

The lesson to be learned here? Stay away from Eagles running backs in your fantasy football drafts.

Question from Joe: I’ve heard a wide variety of opinions on Torrey Smith. Some say he’ll …

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Tags: Darren Sproles, Donnel Pumphrey, Eagles, LeGarrette Blount, NFL, Philadelphia, Sports, Torrey Smith, Wendell Smallwood

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