The Philadelphia Eagles: Numbers Behind a More Effective Running Game

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The Philadelphia Eagles: Numbers Behind a More Effective Running Game
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Did you know that the Philadelphia Eagles already have more rushing yards and one more rushing TD than they had throughout all of last year?

It's true.  

Andy Reid has never been known for having a balanced offense.  Last year, the Eagles rushed 40.9 percent of the time.  This year, they are around 43.9 percent. While this is not a huge jump, the difference comes in the effectiveness of the plays.

Of 384 rushing attempts last year, the Eagles gained 1637 yards total, which averages out to 4.3 yards per attempt—good enough to be ranked 22nd in the league.  On the other hand, through week 13, Philadelphia has gained 1728 yards in 330 attempts.  This leaves them ranked fifth in the league in yards, and averages to 5.2 yards per attempt, a league best.

There is no question that Michael Vick has contributed a significant number of these yards.  467 to be exact.  He has a league high 6.3 yards per attempt.  And while I hardly think it is fair to directly compare him to Arian Foster and Chris Johnson (5.0 and 4.4 YPA respectively), it is still an impressive number.

To put it in perspective, let's analyze the stats as if Vick were not on the team.  If we subtract his yards and attempts, we have 256 attempts for 1261 yards.  Immediately, the yards per attempt moves to 4.93 without Vick.  This is still enough to be tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for best in the NFL.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

LeSean McCoy already has almost 200 more yards than he had throughout the season last year, and three more TD's with four games left in the season.

Certainly, Michael Vick adds an intangible dimension to the running game by simply being another huge threat to the defense.  It is impossible to single out any one player, as there are currently four Eagles with six or more TD's.

This is truly an exciting year for Philadelphia football, as this current team has so many different layers contributing to the success of the team.  But for once, an effective running game is showing how big of an impact a few yards can have on the Philadelphia Eagles.

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