Eagles health revitalizes running game

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Just a season removed from leading the entire NFL in rushing, the Eagles rarely, if ever resembled their 2013 selves during the first eight weeks of the 2014 season.

With the offensive line bruised, battered and completely mixed and matched, along with injuries to Chris Polk and Darren Sproles, the Eagles hit a low-point against the Cardinals. They passed 62 times to just 26 runs in their Week 8 loss.

But against the Texans, the Birds ran it more than they passed (40 runs, 35 passes). They collected 190 yards on the ground.

“It’s always been a three-headed monster,” Polk said, “But based on the scheme and the way defenses were playing us, it didn’t show up until now.”

With Nick Foles expected to miss at least a month with a broken shoulder, Mark Sanchez will be reaping the benefits of a multi-faceted offence. Jason Kelce made big contributions at center during his return, Sunday and guard Evan Mathis hopes to return vs. the Panthers Monday.

Look for the Sanchez-led Birds, healthy up front, to appear more like the team that won the NFC East a year ago.

“We stayed with the run,” LeSean McCoy said. “We just ran the ball well. Having Kelce back helped and we just wore the defense down and we gashed them.”

The Eagles running game reached a climax late Sunday, as Polk and McCoy combined for a four-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. They also helped the Eagles on an 8:01 minute drive to ice the game.

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