PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles have reaped the rewards over their minimal investment in acquiring D’Andre Swift in the draft day trade with the Detroit Lions.
The 24-year-old running back is already at a career-high in rushing yards ten games into his first season in Philadelphia with 690 yards after his 76-yard performance vs the Kansas City Chiefs. Swift made a strong case for being the Eagles’ best offensive player from the team’s Monday night 21-17 victory and hopefully, there was a lesson learned from his performance.
Now, a lot of Swift’s success rushing the ball has been tied to right guard Cam Jurgens being on the field. Swift averages 6.4 yards per carry when Jurgens has been healthy and 3.4 yards per carry while the guard has missed time. But the inconsistent usage of Swift has become frustrating, especially during the times when the offense is staggering, and the playmaker isn’t receiving opportunities during so.
Fresh air, Fresh Eagles’ wings
Swift breathed life into the offense that was struggling to get any sort of traction through the air versus the Chiefs. His 107 scrimmage yards against the incredible Kansas City defense should open the eyes of Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson.
The Eagles’ offense has a tendency to back themselves in a corner when losing a key starter on offense. This time it’s Dallas Goedert’s injury that clearly impacted the productivity through the air for Jalen Hurts and company. Goedert won’t be back for at least another two to three games as well.
With Swift proving he can set the tone on offense, it’s time for Nick Sirianni and Johnson to release the reins on their weapon. Swift has yet to amass over 20 carries since his week two breakout performance versus the Minnesota Vikings.
With Goedert gone, and the passing offense already showing signs of struggling without his presence, leaning on Swift should be the new wrinkle added to the game plan that defenses need to start accounting for in order to open things up offensively.
The Eagles vastly improved their red zone production compared to the beginning of the season. Philadelphia is 15/19 (78.9% conversion rate) in the red zone over the last five games. A lot of this has to do with Swift receiving the third-most carries inside the opposition’s ten-yard line.
The Eagles leaned on Swift to improve one area they were struggling offensively and it worked. Now they must increase his workload more than they have at this point in the season in order to overcome the absence of Goedert.
Swift has proven to Philadelphia that a lot of production can come when the ball is in his hands. Now it’s time for the Eagles offensive coaches to give him his flowers and ride the hot hand.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum