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Offense Cranks Up The Running Game In Win

Posted Sep 24, 2017

Head coach Doug Pederson said all week leading into Sunday's game against the New York Giants that he wanted to work the running game and get that part of the offense in gear.

Well, the Eagles did just that on Sunday in a 27-24 victory at Lincoln Financial Field. Not including quarterback Carson Wentz's runs, the Eagles called 33 running plays and gained 172 ground yards against a run defense that was the league's second best in 2016.

"I just think it is the mindset," Pederson said after the game. "Our offensive line put it on their backs to make it go."

Wendell Smallwood had 12 carries for 71 punishing yards and LeGarrette Blount picked up 67 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Rookie Corey Clement scored for the first time in his young career on a 15-yard run to tie the game 21-21 in the fourth quarter.

The running game showed up for the Eagles at the right time.

"We got into a little bit of a rhythm. The guys up front did a terrific job and I just followed them," Smallwood said. "It was fun getting the carries and staying with it."

Blount was a wrecking ball early, running with great aggressiveness. 

"They weren't able to stop us," Blount said. "We got the run game going early. We got the offense going early. Usually when you do that, it's pretty tough to stop.

"The offensive line played their tails off. All the support - the tight ends, the receivers, everybody was blocking well. It was a collective team effort."

The Eagles started Chance Warmack at left guard in place of Isaac Seumalo and then replaced Warmack with Stefen Wisniewski. The changing personnel didn't seem to impact the continuity too much. Although quarterback Carson Wentz was sacked three times, some of that was due to good downfield coverage in the passing game.

Meanwhile, the running game just steamrolled a good Giants front seven missing middle linebacker B.J. Goodson.

"They're a defense that tries to pride themselves on one level," Clement said. "Linebackers shoot the gaps and we just tried to - you just have to believe in the offensive line. We had a great game plan and we just work off them."

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