We are now through over one-third of the season, and we can now start to make good observations about the team. A couple obvious ones are Carson Wentz is a star, Brandon Brooks has been a stud, our corners couldn’t cover themselves with a blanket, and Miles Sanders is very talented.
I know what you are thinking, “he hasn’t had a real big game yet,” or “he hasn’t taken over the backfield and Jordan Howard should get most of the carries.” While I do believe Howard should get most of the carries, I do think there is still a big roll for Sanders in the Eagles offense. Against the Packers, he showed me his speed and vision on that huge kick return that he had that changed the game for the Birds. Then in the Vikings game this past weekend, Sanders showed what he can do as a receiver, catching a touchdown pass and running a few successful wheel routes. He showed that he can truly be a weapon in the passing game, maybe even more so than Darren Sproles has been. He is a lot lighter on his feet than Howard, and has had more big play talent than Howard does as well. The perfect way to describe them is thunder and lightning -- Howard booms up the middle while Sanders flashes to the outside around defenders.
The reason I say Sanders is going to be good is because of his production so far. If you look at his stats, they look excellent for a 2nd-round rookie. He is currently averaging 3.5 yards per carry and 16.8 yards per reception. With enough touches over a full season, and with our offensive line guiding him, he would be a top five RB stat-wise in the league. He also has an elusive part of his game that Howard just doesn’t have.
He has made some mistakes, including multiple fumbles in the Detroit Lions game, but he will learn from those and make his game even better. Sanders has the skill set to dominate teams on the ground and my prediction is by next year he will take over a majority of the touches from the RB position. Until then, Jordan Howard will do a great job filling that role this year until Sanders is ready to the reigns.