Whew.. The Eagles were staring 1-3 in the face, and came out of Lambeau with a win and are back to .500 going into a "mini-bye". While there are a handful of things the team fixed up from last week, the biggest thing was simplifying the game plan and establishing the run early. Even better, the team did not get away from it going late into the game.
The Eagles started off the game with the ball and two straight runs, something that Eagles fans seemingly haven't witnessed in a long time. Fans have been clamoring to run the ball more, and we finally got it. The team ran the ball a total of 33 times for 176 yards and 2 TDs. The success on the ground may have been due to Green Bay's lack of a run stuffing defense, but most of the credit has to go to this Eagles offensive line. The line was opening up three lane highways for backs to run through all night. Most impressive was the fact that the Packers knew what the Eagles were running, and they just could not stop it. An example came in the 4th quarter when the Eagles had the football at their own 1-yard line after a 4 down goal line stand and the Eagles ran the same three plays back-to-back-to-back. The result - 20 yards and precious time off the clock.
Heading into this game, there was a known element to this Packers defense. They were very good at getting to the QB, but had a weakness against the run. More specifically, runs outside. According to Next Gen Stats, coming into this game the Packers were actually 2nd in defending the inside run, but 30th against runs to the outside. The Eagles attacked the edges early and had success. Eventually they were able to run inside and out once they beat down the defense.
Moving forward, the Eagles plan should be to keep looking at Howard and Sanders to provide a balanced offense. Like Sanders said after the game: "He (Howard) brings the power, I bring the speed." This offense opens up when the run game gets going and the offensive line owns the line of scrimmage. Not to mention that running the ball keeps the franchise QB clean and controls the time of possession. Controlling the clock will go a long way to help mask a defense that has been drilled with injuries, and is now down to corners off the street. Doug and Duce pushed the right buttons tonight with the run game, hopefully they continue to ride it throughout the season.