D’Andre Swift was even better than you realize in Eagles’ week 2 win over Vikings

Eagles vs. Jets
Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift (0) is stopped by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans (21) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 2-0 after a big win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night. It was a game that could’ve ended very differently but was also approached very differently. After being used marginally in the season-opener, D’Andre Swift was afforded an expanded opportunity as the team’s lead running back. To say he made the most of those snaps would be an understatement.

With Kenny Gainwell sidelined due to an injury, it didn’t take long for the former Detroit Lion to start proving his worth. The Eagles seemed to do a complete 180 from Sunday’s antics, going all-in on running the ball and giving D’Andre Swift a total of 28 carries. He turned those into a stunning 175 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and spurring the offense to victory.

In fact, Swift’s dominant game was good enough to rank as the 11th-most yards ever picked up by an Eagles running back in a single game and the most since 2013.

Eagles go all-in on D’Andre Swift

The Eagles ran the ball 7 times in a row during the opening drive of the second quarter, and ran 13 out of the 16 plays it took them to advance the ball to the endzone, draining over 7 minutes from the clock. The Vikings had no answer for Swift, whose decisiveness and ability to quickly bail out of clogged rushing lanes and dive into an empty space for an extra few yards was too much to handle.

D’Andre swift
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates his touchdown with Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift (0) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Maybe he had a chip on his shoulder after spending most of week 1 riding the pine, or maybe it was linked to the homecoming for the Philadelphia native. Whatever it was, it fueled a career night and set a very firm precedent. Swift should absolutely be the Eagles’ lead back until someone proves they can take those snaps away from him.

“Yeah, it was pretty good, huh?” Nick Sirianni said after the game.

“He showed vision, explosiveness. I thought the offensive line did a phenomenal job of pushing them off the ball. Was really pleased that he protected the ball. Protecting the football is not an easy thing. You saw the opposite of the ends today…

..not only pleased with how he saw it and how he hit it, but also how he protected the ball, especially when they’re coming after it in situations at the end of the game like that.

– Nick Sirianni

Are we on the cusp of a Shady-level season?

A lot of people expected D’Andre Swift to ball out against Minnesota, but this was always going to be a tough matchup. Believe it or not, he actually accounted for 77% of all running back attempts on Thursday. According to ClinicCapp, nobody recorded that kind of monopoly in Philadelphia last year. Miles Sanders got close with a 70% share, but that was just one time in the win over Jacksonville.

The Eagles usually deploy a committee effort in a way that’s very balanced. This was an all-out assault at the hands of D’Andre Swift that harkened back to the days of LeSean McCoy. It’s something fans might not get used to seeing, but something every fan would love to see more often.

D’Andre Swift sent reminders to the NFL on Thursday night that he is still one of the most efficient runners in the league and if you’re still not a believer, you’re about to be.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke