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The Morning Hustle

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Nick Sirianni tries to explain why Miles Sanders finished with two carries in Eagles loss to Cowboys

Written by on September 28, 2021

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There was no excuse why the Philadelphia Eagles running backs finished with just three carries in Monday’s humiliating loss to the Dallas Cowboys — yet Nick Sirianni found one. 

The Eagles never led in the game and Sirianni did not help his young quarterback in Jalen Hurts out by continuing to throw the ball, even with the game still in hand. Miles Sanders finished with just two carries for 27 yards in the loss, having just five touches on the night.

For a featured back, that’s unacceptable. 

“The first half, just with how that went — those numbers get skewed at times,” Sirianni said after the loss. “I know they are what they are, but when you don’t have that many plays in the first half, whether that’s because you have penalties that stop drives, defense was on the field quite a bit, and then you’re in position in the second half where you’re down two scores the whole time. That’s where that kind of comes into play.”

Philadelphia ran just 18 plays in the first half, but didn’t even commit to run the ball even when the game was within reach. The Eagles did not have a designed run in the first quarter on nine plays, not running the football until 7:10 remaining into the second quarter. Sanders bursted a 24-yard run for a first down and received a carry two plays later that went for three yards — only not to record another carry again (the Eagles were trailing 20-7 when Sanders received his last carry with 5:55 left in the second quarter and just passed midfield). 

Sanders was not part of the game plan. The Eagles were trailing, but the game wasn’t out of reach. 

“I know we were trying to get him the ball on some screens and stuff. Obviously he’s a good playmaker and we want him to touch the ball more,” Sirianni said. “Just the way the game went, we weren’t able to do that.” 

No matter the coach or the scheme, the Eagles continue to abandon Sanders — who is averaging just 12.7 touches per game through three weeks. This needs to be addressed, along with the ineffectiveness of the Eagles offense. 

Both go hand in hand, no matter how the game plan dictates itself. 

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