The Philadelphia Eagles are putting their cards on the table with Miles Sanders this season. The second-year back will handle the majority of the offensive snaps from the running back position and rightfully so. After rushing for 819 yards on 179 carries, the Eagles let Jordan Howard walk, setting the stage for Sanders in 2020.
How much can the Eagles depend on Sanders for the upcoming season? By all accounts, they should give him every opportunity he can handle. But how much of that can he actually handle? Sanders is not the biggest of backs. He’s listed at 5-11 and just 211 pounds. Even with that said, he has proven in his rookie season, especially down the stretch, that he’s more than durable enough to take on a larger role.
Further food for thought is that the Philadelphia Eagles have not claimed another “big back” off waivers, free agency signings, trades, or the NFL Draft. Normally, Howie Roseman would have found another Howard, LeGarrette Blount, or Jay Ajayi by now. While the rumor mill has the Eagles linked with Carlos Hyde, no deal has not been finalized.
Be Careful With Miles Sanders
In 2019, the Eagles rushed the ball 454 times for the 7th most in the league. To get that type of success again, they will need to get Sanders help. Even in college, Sanders didn’t carry the full load until his final season when he rushed the ball 220 times.
Boston Scott is a great change of pace player but even he is not built to carry the load. The Eagles offensive scheme (RPO) does not call for a back to be used as much as a team will use someone like Derrick Henry or Ezekiel Elliott. So, in essence, Sanders fits perfectly with what Doug Pederson wants to do. But the plan is not to run him into the ground.
The past few seasons, the Eagles have dealt with serious injuries to all positions. And while their running backs have not been near the top of the league in rushing yards, that’s mainly due to their offensive system. The Eagles run the RPO Offense which gives them plenty of options. If on another team, Miles Sanders may not be as productive or face the same issue a player like Devonte Freeman went through while with the Atlanta Falcons.
This is not a make or break year for the young back but it will go a long way in determining what the Eagles plans are for him after the year. Is he a good fit for the Eagles? Yes. Can he carry the load for them in 2020? Yes. And that’s because the Philadelphia Eagles don’t need him to be a 1500 yard rusher.