In the second half of the Eagles' 25-22 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, the Eagles' offensive line began putting on a clinic.
Holes opened left and right for running backs Josh Adams and Corey Clement as they pounded the football and pushed the Giants' defense backward. Members of the offensive line, including right guard Brandon Brooks, began looking to the sideline and signaling.
The message? Keep running the ball.
When head coach Doug Pederson met with the media on Monday, he said the message was received and he appreciated his players' input as the running game helped carry the Eagles to victory.
"Anytime we stay balanced as an offense, good things happen," Pederson said. "And you're able to score points and sort of control the ball. I think you look around the league and the common theme is the teams that have that balance are winning games so yeah, I think that's a formula you can carry going forward."
In the first half of Sunday's win over the Giants, the Eagles called just eight rushes for a total of 39 yards. They couldn't establish a rhythm, especially after a would-be 52-yard touchdown run by Adams was called back for due to a holding penalty.
But in the second half, the Eagles made a commitment to the run. They ran 21 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. On the fourth-quarter possession that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game, six of the seven plays were runs with the lone pass being a screen to Clement.
Pederson said the success on offense was a team effort.
"I just think sometimes it takes time," Pederson said. "Run game, just like the passing game, there's timing, there's rhythm, there's all those things that have to stay in sync and it just comes with continuing to work. You just trust. You just trust your players, trust your backs, and our receivers are a big part of that, and you just keep working at it."
A key for the ground game was the big game by Adams. The undrafted rookie and Warrington, Pennsylvania native was the workhorse for the Eagles' run game, taking 22 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. His score was the second of his career and the first at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I just tried to go out there and stay focused," Adams said. "Take it one play at a time. Obviously, I got the start today, but I just try to take it one play at a time. Not looking past anything, relying on the guys in front of me, and taking one play and trusting what we were doing."
Pederson said that Adams, who started the season on the practice squad, has worked to put himself in this position. In a banged-up running backs room, Adams is taking advantage of an unfortunate situation.
"We kind of knew what we had coming out of Training Camp but you still don't know until players play," Pederson said. "Josh now has kind of taken that lead and we continue to grow and try to increase his touches each week."
The Eagles found a rhythm with the run and it resulted in a total of 129 rushing yards from 27 carries split between Adams and Clement. The offense finished with 29 running plays to 28 passing plays and found some much-needed balance.
Pederson said that balance has been tough to find in some losses this season. But controlling the ball and dominating the line of scrimmage was a winning formula against the Giants.
"I think it's something that has always been there," Pederson said. "We've seen glimpses of that and when we've rushed the ball for nearly 30 times a game, I think that's been a good recipe. I think if you go back and look at the wins, we've been pretty successful at doing that."