The Philadelphia Eagles have once again found themselves in a very fortunate situation. After losing Miles Sanders in free agency, the Birds found a way to bolster their RB group through both free agency and via trade. What could be the best offseason move has turned them into a scarier offense this season. Philadelphia traded with the Lions for RB D’Andre Swift and it has turned into a home run this far.
After finishing week 1 with zero carries against the Patriots, Swift took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself early on. The Eagles look committed to making Kenny Gainwell their featured back but after missing week 2 due to a rib injury, Swift has forced them to dismiss that thought.
In week 2 against the Vikings, D’Andre Swift stole the show at the team’s home opener. Swift was the hot hand early on and finished with a scorching stat line of 175 rushing yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. Swift averaged an impressive 6.2 yards per carry throughout the matchup which helped the Eagles offense at a time of need.
Going into week 3, the thought on everyone’s mind was if the Eagles would force Gainwell into being better or commit to Swift. The team rolled out on their first drive with Swift as their primary back and he rewarded them graciously. Swift tore through the top-tier run defense of the Bucs and collected 130 rushing yards on 16 carries.
He averaged 8.1 yards per carry against a defense that prided themselves against the run. The offensive line opened up large holes for Swift to hit and he made the defense pay as he gashed through for high-yardage plays.
To put in perspective how impressive Swift has been, he is currently second in the league in rushing yards and first in yards per carry with only two actual games under his belt. While Gainwell was expected to make a leap this season, he hasn’t convinced the team that they should start him over Swift. Gainwell had 14 carries for 43 yards against the same Bucs defense with the same offensive line.
While Kenny Gainwell will be in for the offense two-minute situations throughout the season, it’s astonishing to see just how much of a steal D’Andre Swift is. He is currently averaging 102.7 yards per game which, if he stays healthy, means that he could finish the season with 1,745 rushing yards at this rate. While that isn’t a guarantee, it’s impressive enough to admire what he is doing.
His patience behind this stout offensive line is separating him from the other RBs on the roster. Swift is allowing the game to come to him and making the most of his opportunities at an alarming rate. He has easily become the Eagles’ best weapon on offense by just rushing. Imagine what this offense will look like when they start getting him the ball in the passing game.
Should the Eagles keep Swift long-term?
Having a running back like Swift is allowing Jalen Hurts and the passing game to find their way through the rust of the early season. If the Eagles continue to find ways to get him the ball but also maximize the talent of the RB group as a whole then opposing defenses could be in for a long season.
The only question that remains is what happens to Swift and the Eagles after this season if he breaks out. Will he take a hometown discount to stay with his childhood team? Or can D’Andre Swift break the bank and reset the RB market? Only time will tell but for now, the Eagles have found the missing piece to their offense.
AP Photo/Chris O’Meara