A Running Team

Posted: December 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 66 Comments »

From 1999 to 2012 the Eagles were a passing team. No more. With Chip Kelly calling the plays, the Eagles have gone to the other side and become a running team. And it is awesome.

The Eagles lead the league in rushing. By a lot. The Eagles average 161.9 yards per game. The Bills are 2nd, down at 142.5 yards per game. That’s a difference of almost 20 yards per game. Last year the leaders were all within a few yards of each other. You have to go back to 2007 to find a difference of 15 or more yards.

Jimmy Bama wrote an excellent piece on the Eagles and their running game. He focused on the fact that the Eagles would be one of 20 teams in the last 30 years to average 160 or more yards on the ground. Jimmy broke those teams into several categories and the Eagles didn’t really fit any of them. This is a unique team.

The Eagles are also the best passing team of that group and it’s not even close. This really is a special offense.

Bo Wulf has been tracking the Eagles run game all year. His goal is for the Eagles to break the franchise record for rushing yards in a season (2,607 – 1949). The Eagles need 179 yards on Sunday night to do that. The Eagles have run for more than 179 yards in a game 5 times this season so they can do this.

The Eagles have 4 games of more than 260 yards this year. The rest of the NFL combined…one game. That’s pretty amazing.

The run game has really been clicking recently. Bryce Brown is finally running like the team expected him to. Chris Polk has been solid. Shady McCoy is always electric. Nick Foles is making good decisions when running the zone read. And you have to give a lot of credit to the Biggies up front. They’ve been on fire in recent weeks.

I would love to see the Eagles run for 180 and break the team record. That would be cool. It would also mean the Eagles beat the Cowboys. I don’t see any way the Eagles run for 180 yards and lose.

Eagles fans waited a long time for the team to start running the ball. How does it feel?

* * * * *

Just how balanced are the Eagles?

Passes thrown (481) + Sacks (41) = 522

Runs = 466

The Eagles are throwing the ball 52.8 percent of the time. There are some called passes that became scrambles, but you can still figure that the Eagles are only throwing it about 55 percent of the time even with those factored in.

Last year the Eagles had 61.7 percent pass plays. You can bet scrambles would bump that up to 65 percent.

I love the current offense. I don’t miss the pass-happy stuff at all.

* * * * *

The Pro Bowl players were announced tonight. Jason Peters and LeSean McCoy were the only Eagles to make it.

Nick Foles was a 1st alternate. DeSean Jackson and Evan Mathis were 2nd alternates.

I’m certainly not thrilled with these results, but it’s hard to get too fired up about the Pro Bowl. For the most part, it is a popularity contest. If you win a lot of games, that will help you.

Jimmy Bama put together the reasons that some Eagles should have made it.

* * * * *

Back to the Bo Wulf piece for a minute…he surveyed Eagles players to find out their favorite kind of chips. I was highly disappointed that no one chose Utz. That’s my favorite brand, especially sour cream & onion.

As a kid I remember getting potato chips delivered to our house. Those were Charles Chips. I just don’t remember if they were any good.

One thing I loved as a kid, but hate as an adult is Cheeto’s. How the heck do people like those things?

And don’t even get me started on Pringles. They look like miniature saddles. And taste that way as well.


66 Comments on “A Running Team”

  1. 1 Anders said at 11:55 PM on December 27th, 2013:

    I just love the whole team from the offence to our multiple front heavy blitzing defense (I’m not for or against 4-3 or 3-4, I just wants an aggressive blitzing and creative defense) and despite some few problems on st I also think that unit is very good, really just need that return td

  2. 2 Jamie Parker said at 12:07 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I love Utz sour cream and onion chips! I think I’m going to go down to the gas station and buy some now when I go to lunch (I’m at work).

  3. 3 ICDogg said at 12:12 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Utz are the best. Also they are the best hard pretzels.

  4. 4 A Roy said at 1:32 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Try Tom Sturgis’ hard pretzels sometime.

  5. 5 ICDogg said at 1:44 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I’ve had them, but always preferred Utz Old Fashioned (I don’t eat pretzels these days, though, had to give them up)

  6. 6 jshort said at 7:40 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I don’t know about the pretzels, I’ll take Snyders on the hard pretzel.

  7. 7 ICDogg said at 8:18 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Never liked them as much. Not even close, the salt has more of a snap with the Utz because it is less melted into the pretzel.

  8. 8 JayGloab said at 12:18 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Mmm… Grandma Utz handcooked chips…

  9. 9 ICDogg said at 6:43 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    My wife swears by the ones called Utz Naturals.

  10. 10 ICDogg said at 12:36 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Went to the Dallas News site to see what they’re saying about the game and found this graphic of the most popular TV shows set in every state


  11. 11 A Roy said at 1:31 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Clearly, it should’ve been “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. ” Pretty funny, though.

  12. 12 pjxii said at 9:25 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Odd that the show based in Wyoming is called, “The Virginian.”

  13. 13 iceberg584 said at 9:47 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    It’s actually based off of a book by Owen Wister, who was from Philadelphia, that was considered the first Western. The title character was from the East Coast and moved out to Wyoming.

  14. 14 mtn_green said at 12:43 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I haven’t been so excited to see an nfl offense. Don’t go to the fridge, don’t check the scores on your phone chip Kelly is goin to score in under 2minutes time. Freak ing brilliant. My wife even likes eagles, there is no standing around grab-assing for 45 seconds. They move quickly with purpose and charge all game full speed.

    You can’t deny that the eagles have swagger, identity and always will with Chip.

    Eagles line up and say ‘we are gonna run the ball, it’s gonna be a dive play to the left, try and stop it.’ Awesome

  15. 15 Anders said at 12:49 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    That is what I like most about Kelly. Most of the time he will just line up in a formation very easy to recognize and just dare the defense to stop it. It is first when the defense has shown it can stop it, he will make counters or fakes of it.

  16. 16 mtn_green said at 10:30 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Right Bears game was the game where Foles was under center so there was no ‘tell’ on the IZR or dive play. But chip still did his normal shotgun.

  17. 17 ICDogg said at 12:51 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Aikman quoted in the Dallas Morning News

    “Then, going into my last year, I was having some back issues,” Aikman said. “I took epidural shots, as I understand Tony [Romo] had this week, and the first time I took them was before the Jacksonville game that season in 2000, and I remember on the day of the game, waking up, and I’d never felt better for a game in my life. My back felt pain free for the first time in years. And in the first quarter, we completely turned Tony Brackens loose and he slammed me on the turf right flat on my back, and immediately, my back went into spasms. I was done for the day. So that good feeling lasted about half of a quarter. And I took shots the following week hoping that I could recapture the pain-free symptoms, and it never took again. So, that is why I retired.”

  18. 18 Anders said at 1:06 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    That is also the reason why I never thought Romo would play when I heard he had gotten epidural shots.

    Seriously any doctor letting players playing with herniated disks or stingers (wtf was Dallas thinking letting Lee enter the game again?) deserves to get his license removed. If you already have neck or back problems like that, 1 bad play and the player might be done for his career or be paralyzed for the rest of his life (I know it can happen already, but this just increases the odds by a lot). It is also why I hate when I see a player spear another player with the crown of his helmet, he is doing serious damage to his spine and neck

  19. 19 Joe Minx said at 1:52 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    A man after my own heart. Sour cream & onion is my favorite too. Still love Cheetos though. It’s the cheesy goodness packed into each one that does it for me. And yes, Pringles are crap.

  20. 20 Phyxius said at 2:20 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Pringles friggin’ rule!

  21. 21 Amber Jack said at 6:27 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Pringles r like cardboard

  22. 22 bentheimmigrant said at 7:01 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Yes and no. Immediately after opening, they’re amazing. Within an hour or two they’re stale.

  23. 23 JJ_Cake said at 1:45 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    I wish they would use better ingredients… cottonseed oil? they’d be healthier with lard, but they go for the cheapest ingredients possible. Still, I’m a bit addicted to their Sour cream & onions and can’t help myself.

  24. 24 SleepingDuck said at 2:40 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Completely agree on Cheetos. I can’t stand the fake cheese dust on them at all. I’m more of a salt & vinegar chips kind of guy.

  25. 25 Stephen Stempo said at 3:56 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I remember Charlie Chip. They delivered cookies too in those cool tins. I like the flaming Hot Cheetos. Some of the pringles flavors are ok but the regular pringles are bland as all hell so yeah to that.


  26. 26 P_P_K said at 11:55 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Charlie Chips delivered pretzels, too, if my memory holds up.

  27. 27 Gary said at 4:12 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I’m getting hungry.

  28. 28 Amber Jack said at 6:43 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    This offense is amazing. Chip doesn’t even have everthing exactly as he wants it. Guys wil become morr comfortable in the system and he wil add more pieces. Just really enjoying watching it evolve.He will have some new wrinkles for thr cowboys and the playoffs.I really can’t imagine them losing this game. This year has been amazing all ready cant wait to see what else Chip has up his sleeve. Come on Sunday night.

  29. 29 jshort said at 7:29 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I know, don’t want to see it end. Been so much fun watching this team grow all year.

  30. 30 bentheimmigrant said at 7:02 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Middleswarth are pretty great. Especially BBQ.

  31. 31 jshort said at 7:18 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Either you like Middleswarth or you don’t ….I don’t. BBQ are all right….my favorite, but they’re hard to find in my area, are Bickels, love them. Pringles remind me of soylent green, don’t know if they’re made from potatoes.

  32. 32 Insomniac said at 7:35 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Pringles are made from “potato product”.

  33. 33 jshort said at 7:44 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Gee, what’s that? The plant.

  34. 34 A_T_G said at 7:31 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Dieffenbach’s are good, cooked in 100% lard.

    Also, Lays Dill Pickle chips are my favorite flavored chip.

    But I will pass I potato chips for Fritos 9 times out of 10.

  35. 35 jshort said at 7:54 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    WARNING….Do not read this if you are drinking coffee….just finished cleaning my keyboard, from the coffee that squirted out of my nose. The 100% lard did it.

  36. 36 ICDogg said at 9:07 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Chips cooked in 100% bacon grease would be awesome

  37. 37 Mike Roman said at 12:26 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    Whenever I go camping I fry my potatoes in bacon grease, with onions.

  38. 38 A_T_G said at 11:26 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    For real, and great.

  39. 39 A_T_G said at 11:30 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Hmm, lets try that again.

  40. 40 A_T_G said at 11:31 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I’m dumb.

  41. 41 jshort said at 12:46 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    For real!!! Just struck me funny. Thought you were being sarcastic.

  42. 42 Tumtum said at 10:20 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I love when having the regular lays chips and a pickle on the same plate if the pickle juice flavors the chip. I would probably buy your pickle flavored chip from imagination land that totally is too awesome to exist.

  43. 43 A_T_G said at 11:21 AM on December 28th, 2013:


  44. 44 The Linc – Eagles Pro Bowl Snubs | Sports Feedr said at 8:12 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    […] A Running Team – Tommy Lawlor, Iggles BlitzFrom 1999 to 2012 the Eagles were a passing team. No more. With Chip Kelly calling the plays, the Eagles have gone to the other side and become a running team. And it is awesome. The Eagles lead the league in rushing. By a lot. The Eagles average 161.9 yards per game. The Bills are 2nd, down at 142.5 yards per game. That’s a difference of almost 20 yards per game. Last year the leaders were all within a few yards of each other. You have to go back to 2007 to find a difference of 15 or more yards. […]

  45. 45 teltschikfakeout88 said at 8:14 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Utz Kettle cooked especially the dark chips…..those are awesome…..Cheetos are still great in my book…….as an aside I do like Cape Cod chips as well….

  46. 46 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:40 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Good’s potato chips are best in the world. No comparison. They are a local, PA Dutch, rural brand. Potato, salt, oil, period. Hard to find, but not impossible in Philly.

    Anyway, I love the fact that as compared with the last 10 years or so, when I see the Eagles offense line up in recognizable formations, I’m guessing as to what’s coming and it comes fast. Under AR, it was way too predictable and methodical, without adjustments.

    Score prediction: Eagles 45 Dallas 6.

  47. 47 cliff henny said at 8:48 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Doritos. even when they switched to that fat free oil, that caused some slight issues, didnt slow me down.

  48. 48 ian_no_2 said at 8:51 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    They can be on the lookout for a guard in the draft, perhaps midround, and WR in the draft or free agency, but mostly lock in on improving the defense down the road. If Chip has players that make the D work, he will make the offense work.

  49. 49 ian_no_2 said at 8:59 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I am in full support of Utz still putting lard in the Grandma Utz Kettle Crisps. If you don’t want lard in your chips, why are you eating potato chips? They still grow vegetables if you don’t want to eat lard, though you can cook them in lard, too.

    However, it may not be such a bad thing that the fans like Utz and the players like other brands and get the sports science smoothies.

  50. 50 ICDogg said at 1:09 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    And Utz makes plenty of non-lard chips too for those who prefer that.

  51. 51 Andy124 said at 9:09 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    The Eagles have 4 games of more than 260 yards this year. The rest of the NFL combined…one game. That’s pretty amazing.

    WOW! Effing awesome.

  52. 52 scratcherk said at 9:10 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    U mean running yards right?

    Eta: was reading comments before article. Gotcha.

  53. 53 Andy124 said at 9:18 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Yes. It’s copied and pasted from this very article. The context spelled it out.

  54. 54 scratcherk said at 9:09 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Off topic: The rules of the injury list are confusing. Obviously the Cowboys knew Romo was done. There was no way that the back surgery was emergent. It was certainly scheduled earlier in the week. If Dallas knew Romo was done, how could they list him as questionable?

  55. 55 Scott J said at 9:18 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Is it Sunday night yet! Why is time moving so damn slow?!

  56. 56 TommyLawlor said at 10:15 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Totally agree. Will take forever for game time to get here.

  57. 57 Tumtum said at 10:16 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Sit back and enjoy the ride my friend. You don’t know what Monday holds.

  58. 58 Tumtum said at 10:16 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    I’ve always been in the camp that we can throw it 100% of the time, run 100% of the time or whichever mixture. As long as it works.

    This system just works.

    I think long gone is the agony of 3rd 4th and short. I feel like we have punted twice all year on those situations. That can’t be true, but thats what it feels like.

  59. 59 mtn_green said at 10:36 AM on December 28th, 2013:

    Obviously KELLY is my favorite chip, second favorite is the spicy Doritos.

  60. 60 P_P_K said at 12:00 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    A balanced offense, with a reasonable run:pass ratio? What a novel idea. Has anyone ever discussed this with Andy Reid?

  61. 61 ACViking said at 12:39 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    Speaking of Running Teams . . . .

    This quote (on 24-7) from Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, who has Foles 9th in his personal QB ratings:

    “Foles never looks quite as good on Game Rewind as he does in the box score. Perhaps that’s why he’s only 16th on Pro Football Focus’ rankings despite leading the NFL in many categories: touchdowns per throw, yards per attempt, yards per completion and quarterback rating.”

    This quote reminded me of a QB who played second fiddle to the NFL’s best RB in the early ’70s.

    That QB is named Billy Kilmer. He couldn’t run a lick and had a 2nd-rate arm. But Kilmer had a high football IQ. And in 1971, he beat out the more talented HOF-bound Sonny Jurgensen for the starting QB job with the Washington team when George Allen took over. Then in 1972, he helped lead Washington to the SB — along with the NFL MVP Larry Brown at HB and the great Charlie Taylor at WR.

    Oh . . . in ’72, Kilmer led the NFL in QB rating.

    For Rosenthal, Kilmer would probably have ranked 9th among ’72 QBs. Because, you know, Kilmer wasn’t the prettiest passer, or hardest thrower, or fastest scrambler. But Rosenthal would be missing the point. And so would PFF.

    All Kilmer did was win. With his raggedy arm and those slow feet.

    Power football and time of possession used to be NFL watchwords for success. The Packers and Browns of the ’60s. The Dolphins and Steelers of the ’70s. The Washington team and the Giants of the ’80s and early ’90s. Then Dallas in the mid-’90s.

    In 1991, the 13-3 Super Bowl-bound Buffalo Bills — in Year-2 of the no-huddle K-Gun offense and a 4-year SB run — led the NFL in rushing, finished 4th in passing yardage, and 1st in points.

    The 1991 Bills also finished dead LAST in time-of-possession, holding the ball only 26 minutes and 15 seconds per game on offense — a full 9 minutes less than the league leader.

    As Kelly’s explained, there’s little new under the NFL sun — at least in his solar system. And he’s a better coach for it.

  62. 62 Jason said at 1:58 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    Great stuff as always and an interesting parallel with Billy Kilmer. Given Kilmer’s reputation as a slow running QB later in his career, it is remarkable that he set running as well as well as passing records at UCLA and during his rookie season at San Francisco played exclusively as a running back until eventually returning to his natural QB position.

    While he was a scrambling QB in his early years, by the time he reached the Washington Redacteds phase of his career, his mobile ways were definitely in the past.

  63. 63 ACViking said at 2:15 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    Jason —

    Great background on Kilmer.

    He played in the old single wing at UCLA as the QB.

    Never one to miss a party, he suffered a very badly broken leg in an off-season car accident after his 2nd season with the 49ers. Missed all of what would have been his third year.

    A gutsy guy, true competitor.

  64. 64 Mike Roman said at 12:40 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    I have to get in on this conversation. Herr’s sour cream and onion are my favorite chip, but Utz SC&O aren’t far behind. Charles Chips SC&O topped them both. My grandmother used to get them delivered and they were like crack.

    I have no favorite BBQ chip.

    As for plain chips, the ones cooked in 100% lard are amazing. I believe that is Mrs. Gibbles and/or Goods. Any kettle cooked style is good though. I can never argue with plain Ruffles.

    In the miscellaneous category, Herr’s sea salt and cracked pepper are tits. I also love Ruffles sour cream and cheddar. Snyders of Berlin used to make a steak and onion chip that made me weep with joy. Now I weep cuz they no longer make them.

    Not a pretzel guy, but do prefer thick to thin. Snydera make a great pumpernickel and onion stick though.

    Pringles…wouldn’t classify them as a chip but they are also like crack. SC&O but you can’t eat them one at time. Have to eat at least a stack of 4 at a shot.

    Now let’s talk dips. Helluva Good, no contest. Their bacon horseradish should be given it’s own food classifation, much like A-1 steak sauce.

  65. 65 austinfan said at 1:28 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    Eagles should run for 200 yards against Dallas, if they get a lead early, Brown will break 100 again. Dallas has a pitiful front seven, the only guys who can play the run are Selvie, undersized LDE, Hatcher (wearing down), and Wilbur (SLB who’s a converted DE). Hayden is awful, and his backup is Corey Irvin, who is worse. Their third DE is Everette Brown, another Eagle camp cut. Sims is probably at MLB, Carter doing his best Sims’ imitation at WLB. Correction:
    “Rookie DeVonte Holloman, who had never played middle linebacker until two weeks ago, replaces Lee in the lineup.” Yeah, that’ll be the ticket.

    If the Eagles don’t allow the Cowboys 12-15 play drives and keep the pedal to the metal, the Cowboy defense will be gasping for air like a fish out of water by the middle of the 3rd Q and it’ll look like the Detroit game irregardless of the score at that point.

  66. 66 Mac said at 8:49 PM on December 28th, 2013:

    Utz are the best, and they are local down here in south central PA. Love em.

    Also Pringles aren’t chips… they are compressed potato flakes.