Lately, LeGarrette Blount has not been the bruising back Eagles fans have enjoyed watching this season. In the last five games, Blount has rushed 36 times for only 108 yards. That gives Blount a 3.0 yards-per-carry in those contests. In the ten games prior, Blount rushed 137 times for 658 yards, which was good for an impressive 4.8 yards-per-carry.
Clearly, a few things can be the cause of Blount’s recent regression. The acquisition of Jay Ajayi took plenty of chances away from Blount. In the last three games, Ajayi carried the ball 41 times for 179 yards. Ajayi’s 4.4 yards-per-carry in those contests has firmly supplanted him as the lead back. Not to mention that Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner get a handful of touches a game as well. Perhaps the lack of touches for Blount is one of the causes for his decrease in production this year. Blount isn’t able to fully engage himself in games when he’s getting less than 10 touches a game. When he does get touches he has not been using his runs effectively to earn himself more carries.
Another reason for Blount’s dip in production could be his age. The 31-year-old has carried the ball 1,341 times in his 9-year career so far. Maybe the 299 carries he had last year with New England has caught up with him and worn him out. Both of those factors could be the reason his lack of explosiveness to close out the year. However, he was able to have a bounce-back game against the Cowboys when he ran for 41 yards on 9 carries. He’ll need to find that swagger again if he’ll have a role in the playoff game.
If Blount can’t find his rhythm soon, the Eagles may be forced to sit him during the playoff game against the Falcons. Maybe running backs coach Duce Staley would be better off deploying Ajayi and Clement to start the game. While deploying Blount near the end of the game when the defense isn’t as fresh. The only issue with that plan is that the Eagles would need to be in a situation where they could run the ball at the end of the game. If the Eagles don’t have a lead that could be challenging.
In a perfect world, Blount would find his game again for the Eagles and be able to close out a win. He was able to do just that in a game against the Chargers when he ran for 136 yards. Blount was able to scamper for 88 yards in the 4th quarter of that game, which sealed the win for the Eagles. Philadelphia doesn’t need Blount to be that brilliant again, but he is capable of wearing out defenses and his bruising running style could greatly improve the Eagles odds of advancing on Saturday.
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