The former Eagles great joined Farzetta & Tra at 9:30am on Monday as he does every week & noticed the same thing about the offense so far that a lot of fans have, the rhythm seems to be missing. He thinks the key too that consistency is born from the running game, & more in particular, Jordan Howard.
Donovan over the course of his 6 calls with Marc & Tra & Bob this season has preached about the importance of the run game being the foundation of the passing game because of how much easier it can make the QB’s life. Donovan believes the Eagles are at their absolute best right now when the play-action is working well.
We all know that the play-action is useless when there’s no running game. “RUN THE BALL!!” has become the equivalent of “SHOOT THE PUCK!” or “SHOOT THE 3!” to some, but others will tell you it’s the foundation of football. The pass is at its best, especially in an RPO or West Coast style offense, when the run is respected & Donovan believes Jordan Howard is the top back for the job…right now at least.
Jordan Howard clearly has been the more effective RB this year in terms of rushing, rookie Miles Sanders proves to be much more effective in the passing game, at least 5 games into his career. Thus far Jordan Howard is averaging 4.7 yards per carry to the 3.6 per carry Sanders is posting. Coach Doug Pederson backed up Donovan’s comments on Tuesday by saying that “it’s trending the way of Howard being the #1 RB right now”, we’ll see how true that holds. The backfield of Sanders & Howard is certainly an exciting one but Jordan Howard may be the key to consistently opening up the passing game, well, that & Desean Jackson returning to the team from the injury list.
If the Eagles can consistently establish the run, the big play potential from Ertz & Goedert become a lot more likely. What was interesting at one point in the game vs. the Jets on Sunday was a noticeable Lane Johnson signaling over to the sidelines at one point gesturing that they continue running the football. Once this offense becomes more consistent, they still have a chance to be a great offense. They do after all have the same amount of offensive TD’s this season as Patrick Mahomes & the Chiefs still, even while struggling.