PHILADELPHIA — Mile Sanders sprinted for 5 yards to win, and Eagles fans gave him a standing ovation.
Ah, green jersey fans cheered, cynical fans led coach Nick Sirianni as the game only called the third running game and Philadelphia was down 21 points in the late third quarter.
Sirianni ignored his running game in his first season—so much so that Sanders, who had an 867-yard rush, six touchdowns last season—has been as vital to the offense this year as those biting fans.
Maybe it’s time for Sirianni to mix up his attack.
Leaning almost entirely on the Jalen Hurts, the Eagles failed offensively until very late, losing 28-22 to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
Consider, when Leonard Fournette scored a 1-yard lead 28-7 in the third round, the Buccaneers scored 79 yards. At this point, the Eagles had a total of 77 yards.
The pain swept the receivers all night – the bowing security guard was never worried when the QB kicked the ball into the stands with a rushing goal – and the Eagles have lost four of their last five games
Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell only managed 69 wins in the first five games. The duo ran the ball in just 22.5% of Philadelphia’s offensive games. Hurts has run himself 43 times. Some were mixed, but most are designed runs or pass options.
Against Tampa Bay, the numbers didn’t get any better. Sanders has five moves in three quarters, while Gainwell does not.
Philly fans were cheering Sanders for his little rush when he got the ball back in the next game and lost 2 yards. The Eagles charged a total of 99 yards in the first three quarters. As for Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion went 12-by-11 for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone.
‘BALL RUNNING!! Run the ball!!!’ tweeted Brian Westbrook is third on the team’s career rushing list.
It was such a game for the Eagles.
The Eagles lost points on the first drive of the game for the fifth time in six games. Jake Elliott missed a 46-yard field goal while the Eagles still had a pulse. The Eagles stopped Tampa Bay in a second-quarter drive (a potential interception broke down on scrutiny) and forced the Buccaneers to punt—and the Hurts gave him right back when Jamel Dean intercepted an undershot.
The Hurts, however, kept the Eagles in the game with their legs and made the situation 28-22 with a 1-yard run and 2-point conversion shot late in the fourth quarter.
Against Brady, that’s not enough.
Sirianni has yet to win a home game in three tries and will not have another chance against the Chargers with straight away matches until November 7.
At this rate, the Eagles are almost out of season before they come home.
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