Miles Sanders isn't pointing fingers at anyone, nor is he demanding the ball himself. Coming off of a 41-21 dismantling in Week 3 at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, he is hoping the Philadelphia Eagles revisit their offensive approach going forward. On Monday night, the Eagles ran for a total of just 64 yards with no touchdowns, but that doesn't tell the entire story regarding just how absent their rushing attack was.
With 35 of those yards coming from quarterback Jalen Hurts on nine carries, it turns out the Eagles ran only three designed plays for their halfbacks -- the fewest by any team in the entire Pro Football Reference database.
But wait, there's more, because the Eagles didn't call the first running play for a halfback until the second quarter. It was a handoff to Sanders up the middle that went for 24 yards, but the Cowboys were already up 20-7 at that point, and starting to pull away. Sanders took only one other handoff in the entire game, and it came two plays later for a gain of only three yards. The third and only other carry was by rookie fifth-round pick Kenneth Gainwell in the fourth quarter, when the Cowboys were beginning to pull starters due to their 41-14 lead.
"I didn't dwell on it too much," Sanders said, via The Philadelphia Inquirer. "It is what it is. I can only control what I can control. The game was pretty much out of hand early. So I can see how the game plan didn't go as planned. There was kind of a panic from the whole team based on how the game went."
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Head coach Nick Sirianni also pointed to the first quarter pace for the team's decision to delete the run game.
"The first half, just with how that went -- those numbers get skewed at times," Sirianni said. "I know they are what they are, but when you don't have that many plays in the first half, whether that's because you have penalties that stop drives, defense was on the field quite a bit, and then you're in position in the second half where you're down two scores the whole time. That's where that kind of comes into play. ... I know we were trying to get him the ball on some screens and stuff.
"Obviously, [Sanders is] a good playmaker and we want him to touch the ball more," Sirianni said. "Just the way the game went, we weren't able to do that."
Sanders did see three targets in the passing game, but was only able to turn them into 28 yards with no touchdowns. In what was an abysmal evening for both the offense and their defensive counterparts, the Eagles were simply outcoached and outclassed by the Cowboys on primetime television. Up next on the schedule for Philadelphia is Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, a daunting task in and of itself but suddenly made more so by the fact the Chiefs have lost two in a row and are hellbent on preventing their unexpected losing streak to stretch to three games.
Understanding of this, Sanders is eyes forward and hoping everyone learns from what happened -- or rather, didn't happen -- at AT&T Stadium.
"We have a lot of ball left to play," Sanders said. "I'm not doubting Coach. It's on to this week. It's on to Kansas City.
"We ain't doubting nobody. We ain't doubting Coach Sirianni. We ain't doubting Jalen. This is new to Sirianni, with this head coaching stuff, and Jalen is getting his first actual start at quarterback with a whole year in front of him. So this stuff is new for them."
Bottom line, though, is Sanders wants the Eagles to run the ball more, even if his number isn't the one called.
"Not necessarily for myself, but I do believe to have a successful offense, you have to run the ball."