The Eagles’ run-game has been one of the best in the league over their last three games.
The Dolphins have the second-worst rushing defense in football having allowed over 200 yards to the Bills in Week 9. It seemed like a no-brainer for Philly heading into their matchup against the AFC East’s bottom-feeder.
But the Eagles could only muster 83 rushing yards in Sunday’s 20-19 loss.
Partially due to Ryan Mathews halftime exit with a concussion, partially due to the Eagles makeshift offensive line, tackle Lane Johnson knows what the main problem was Sunday.Ndamukong Suh.
“We watched Suh on film, and he’s one of those guys who can shut things down when he turns it on,” Johnson said. “He kicked us in the teeth up front.”
DeMarco Murray got 22 carries, but gained just 61 yards, or 2.8 yards per carry. It just seemed they couldn’t control the middle of the field, and as a result, Murray was forced to run east and west more than he would have liked to.
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“The main focus was to get some of those inside guys tired with out tempo and it worked early,” Johnson said, citing the Eagles 16-3 start that saw all facets of the offense working well.
The scoring just stopped, and the running game was relegated to the back-burner as Mark Sanchez tried to mount a comeback. But perhaps, had Chip Kelly stuck with the ground game a bit more down the stretch, they could have set up a field goal attempt in their last three fourth-quarter possessions.
With Mathews likely to be out for a little while with a concussion, the running game will need to make adjustments and find a way to be relevant. Otherwise, the Sanchez-offense (with Sam Bradford also out with a concussion) could be one-dimentional.
“We weren’t doing a good job handling those guys in the middle,” Kelly said of Suh, who had seven tackles and a sack.