Last Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles fell to the Washington Football Team for a few reasons. One of them came from being overconfident. Another stemmed from a poor performance from the Offensive Line and the other was injuries. Which brings me to the title of this article. Why didn’t they make a push for running back Adrian Peterson?
The Eagles have a stable of running backs at their disposal with Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Corey Clement. But what they don’t have is a Peterson-style runner. What makes Peterson so valuable? Well, after being cut by the same Washington team the Eagles just lost to, he rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries for the Detroit Lions in their season-opener. And before that in the 2019-20 season, he rushed for 898 yards on 211 carries.
Peterson is no longer the 1500-yard back he once was. But for a team like the Philadelphia Eagles looking to get the chains moving on third down, Peterson is exactly what they needed. Think back to their Super Bowl-winning season. The Eagles were struggling at the running back position with LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, and Clement. They needed a change-of-pace back and got that with the trade for Jay Ajayi.
What that did was give the offense a new dimension. A big bruising back with Blount followed by the speed and cutting of Ajayi and the catching ability of Clement. What resulted in the trio was a championship. Fast forward to the offseason and the Eagles knew that Sanders would not play in Week 1. So, what they did was hand the ball off to Scott whose better suited for the Sproles role but he went down in the game. That left the Eagles scrambling for replacements in the offense.
With Sanders out, the Eagles could have used those 93 yards from Peterson. Instead, they were forced to rely on the arm of Carson Wentz as he attempted 42 passes and was sacked eight times while throwing two game-changing interceptions. As a team, the Eagles rushed the ball just 17 times for 57 yards.
Not being able to get anything going on the ground, not only put extra pressure on Wentz but the O-Line as well. The receivers were covered as no extra package was needed. Washington could blitz all game for having no fear of a rushing attack. If Howie Roseman would have pulled the trigger this offseason and brought Peterson in, the Philadelphia Eagles would easily be 1-0 heading into their Sunday game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Leading 17-0 in the second quarter, the name of the game is to eat the clock. There is no way an offense can do that by passing every down. All Washington had to do was be patient and mistakes would happen. And that’s exactly what they did. A veteran presence is needed. Not so much for the locker room but to groom these young backs like Sanders and Scott. Peterson is a workhorse and that’s exactly what the Eagles needed last Sunday.