Philadelphia Eagles News

Miles Sanders races into history

If there was a streak entering Sunday's game, Miles Sanders wasn't having any of it as the Eagles beat the New Orleans Saints 24-21 on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

First and foremost, the Eagles snapped a four-game losing streak for their first triumph since before the bye week.

The Saints, the hottest team in the NFL, witnessed their nine-game win streak come to an end.

"Only thing we can really control is win, starting with this week. We wanted to go 1-0 this week and we did that against the Number 1 defense in the National Football League and the Number 1 team in the NFC," Sanders said. "So just taking it one more week at a time and get ready for Arizona and then keep this thing rolling."

New Orleans' defense was at the heart of the team's success, allowing just 55.8 rushing yards per game since Week 9, the fewest in the NFL, entering Sunday's game. The last time the Saints allowed an individual rusher to gain 100 yards before Sunday? It was Washington's Samaje Perine on November 19, 2017.

Well, the Saints' streak of 55 straight games of not allowing an individual 100-yard rusher came to a close not once, but twice actually on Sunday. Sanders gained 115 yards and scored two touchdowns, and quarterback Jalen Hurts churned out 106 on the ground in his first career start.

"From the first play to the last play, they had to respect (Hurts) and his legs," Sanders said of Hurts' impact on the run game. "He'd do a great job of reading the D-end and reading his keys whether to pull it or take it.

"It's hard to stop a read option or whatever it is. Play fake or whatever it is when you got a guy like Jalen that can extend the play with his legs. And if there's nothing there, even take off and get a first down. That's pretty hard to stop and we just have to keep this thing rolling. I'm excited."

It was the first time that a pair of Eagles gained 100 rushing yards in the same game since Week 16 of the 2013 season when LeSean McCoy (133 yards) and Bryce Brown (115) did it against the Bears. Sanders and Hurts are the first Eagles QB/RB duo to each gain 100 rushing yards in the same game since Donovan McNabb (107) and Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Duce Staley (126) in 2002 against the Giants.

To help take the pressure off of the rookie, the Eagles leaned on Sanders' playmaking ability and he delivered in a big way with a second-quarter scamper down the left sideline that went for 82 yards and a touchdown to make it 17-0 with 1:35 remaining before halftime.

"It was a regular inside zone," Sanders said of his long touchdown run. "They were playing over the top the whole time. I think the front-side linebacker hit the wrong gap and I just took it out the front. Zach (Ertz) had a helluva block. I made one guy miss and to the house I go."

It was the fourth-longest run and touchdown run in Eagles history. It was Sanders' third run of at least 74 yards this season. He is the first NFL running back to accomplish the feat of three runs of 70-plus yards in the same year since 2012 when Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, and Adrian Peterson all did it. Sanders is not even finished his second year in the NFL and he owns three of the 10 longest runs in the team record books.

Sanders' 100-yard effort was his second of the season (118 yards and two touchdowns, Week 6 vs. Baltimore) and the third of his young career. His second touchdown run of the afternoon provided the Eagles' final points, and helped keep a Saints comeback effort at bay.

Sanders played a critical role as the Eagles won their final four games of the 2019 regular season to capture the division title and earn a spot in the playoffs. Sanders hopes to duplicate that magic in what has been a topsy-turvy 2020. A win over the NFC's top seed is not a bad start.

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