In the second half of last night’s contest between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, Eagles running back Miles Sanders converted on a third-and-medium with a handoff up the middle. After he did so, a chorus of sarcastic cheers rained down from the Philly faithful at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the latest moment in what has been a curious trend in Nick Sirianni’s first year as head coach
This play was an anomaly throughout Thursday night’s 28-22 loss. At the end of the first half, Sanders had just one carry for one yard — the only rushing attempt for any running back on the Eagles’ roster.
On Philadelphia’s final scoring drive that drew the game to a one-possession affair, Sanders was finally given some decent touches in a more balanced offensive attack. Unfortunately for the Eagles though, it was too little too late.
Sanders ended up finishing the game with just nine carries for 56 yards and was the only Philadelphia Eagles running back to receive any carries on the night.
After the team’s fourth loss of the season, fans from around the league wondered why Sirianni is holding back on utilizing his running back options.
At this point it’s very apparent that Sirianni doesn’t believe in having running backs run the ball and the organization is just fine with that
— Michael McGarry (@ACPressMcGarry) October 15, 2021
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) October 15, 2021
Does Nick Sirianni not realize he has running backs??
— Jarred Smith (@MrSmith8201) October 15, 2021
The #Eagles hate running back Miles Sanders, I’m convinced.
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) October 15, 2021
Miles Sanders first half carries by game:
Week 1: 6
Week 2: 9
Week 3: 2
Week 4: 5
Week 5: 3
Week 6: 1
Make it make sense.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 15, 2021
Miles Sanders looking for some touches pic.twitter.com/eaNZRpod5z
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) October 15, 2021
Sirianni had to have gotten bullied by running backs growing up
— K (@rkGaudy) October 10, 2021
Despite being the Eagles’ only lead ball carrier, Sanders currently ranks 22nd among NFL players in rushing attempts with 57 — and that’s with playing one more game than 30 of the league’s teams.
Something clearly needs to change with Nick Sirianni’s offensive scheme, and it appears running the ball more is the first step in the right direction.