Eagles vs. Giants Part Two: By the Numbers

Veteran Eagles reporter Paul Domowitch takes you inside the Eagles’ historic rushing attack.

Miles Sanders runs with the ball against the New York Giants in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 28, 2021. / Photograph by Elsa / Staff via Getty Images

The Eagles’ punishing ground game continues to roll. They are averaging an NFL-best 165.6 yards per game on the ground. That’s the most by an Eagles offense since 1950.

After their 33-22 week seven loss to the Raiders, which dropped the Eagles to 2-5, Nick Sirianni wisely decided to play to one of his team’s greatest strengths — their talented offensive line — and switch to a run-based approach. In the seven games since then, the Eagles have averaged an eye-popping 214.4 rushing yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry. The fewest rushing yards they’ve had in any of the last seven games was 176 against the Chargers. Oh, and the Eagles are 5-2 in the last seven games.

The Eagles lead the league in rushing first downs with 144 in their first 14 games. That’s their most since the ’81 Eagles had 157 (16 games). Ninety-two of those 144 rushing first downs have come in the last seven games.

In the Eagles’ first seven games, they averaged 34.6 pass attempts and 23.4 rush attempts per game. They had a 38.9 run-play percentage. In their last seven games, they’ve averaged just 23.2 pass attempts and 41.3 rush attempts per game and have a 62.4 run-play percentage.

In their last seven games, the Eagles have run the ball on first down on 150 of 213 plays. That’s a 70.4 run percentage. In their first seven games, they ran it on first down just 82 of 203 plays (40.4%). Twenty of their 31 first-down plays against Washington Tuesday were run plays. They averaged 6.7 yards per carry on first down. Ninety-one of Miles Sanders’ 131 rushing yards came on first down.

The Eagles have an NFL-high 68 runs of 10 yards or more. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has 28 of them. That’s the fourth-most in the league behind only the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor (42), the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook (34) and the Browns’ Nick Chubb (33). Sanders has 17. Jordan Howard has nine.

The skinny on personnel groups

  • The Eagles’ transformation from a passing team to a running team over the last seven games also has meant a switch in personnel-group usage. In the first seven games, they used 11-personnel (1RB, 1TE, 3WR) 73.4% of the time and 12- (1RB, 2TE, 2WR) and 13-personnel (1RB, 3TE, 1WR) just 24.0%. In the last seven games, usage of 11P has dropped to 57.2% and 12/13-P has jumped to 41.0%.
  • In their last two wins over the Jets and the Washington Football Team, the Eagles used 12- and 13P on 75 of 138 plays (54.3%).
  • Against Washington, they used 12P a season-high 30 times. Twenty-five of those 30 plays were runs, which produced 137 of their 238 rushing yards (5.5 yards per carry).
  • In their first 12 games, the Eagles used 13P just 56 times. Only 12 of those 56 plays were pass plays. In the last two games, though, they’ve started to throw out with 13P. Eleven of their 24 plays with 13P have been pass plays. Gardner Minshew completed four of five passes for 31 yards with 13P in the Jets win. On Tuesday, Hurts was 4-for-5 for 97 yards with 13P.
  • In the last two games, nine of Goedert’s 13 receptions for 176 of his 240 receiving yards have been with 12/13P. In the Eagles’ first 12 games, Goedert had 35 catches for 491 yards. Just 11 of those 35 catches (for 168 yards) were out of multiple-tight end sets.
  • The Eagles are averaging 5.8 yards per carry with 11P in the last seven games (135-786). They’re averaging 4.9 with 12P (107-525).
  • Miles Sanders has rushed for 251 yards in the Eagles’ wins over the Jets and Washington. Eighty (on 16 carries) have been with 11P, 138 (on 17 carries) have been with 12P and 33 (on 9 carries) have been with 13P.
  • Hurts was 10-for-12 for 129 yards and one touchdown with 11P against Washington. He was 3-for-5 for 46 yards with 12P, 4-for-5 for 97 yards and one interception with 13P and 3-for-4 for 24 yards with 21P (2RB, 1TE, 2WR).
  • Sirianni used 21P (2RB, 1TE, 2WR) a season-high five times against Washington. He had used it just eight times in the previous 13 games and not at all in the previous four games.

Hurts Update

  • Hurts completed 20 of 26 passes against Washington. That included two drops (by Dallas Goedert and Kenny Gainwell). His 76.9 completion percentage was the second-highest in 17 career starts. He completed 77.1 of his attempts in the Eagles’ week-one win over the Falcons.
  • He averaged 11.4 yards per attempt against Washington. That was a career-high, and came in his first start after averaging a career-low 4.2 yards per attempt against the Jets.
  • Hurts completed two of three 20-plus-yard throws against Washington. He had a 45-yard completion to Goedert that traveled 44 yards in the air, and also had that impressive 28-yard sideline toe-tapper to DeVonta Smith. For the season, Hurts is 19-for-57 (33.3%) for 618 yards, three touchdowns, and five interceptions on throws of 20 or more yards.
  • Hurts was 4-for-5 for 76 yards and a touchdown against Washington on throws of 11-19 yards. He was 10-for-12 for 128 yards on 0-10-yard throws. That was a dramatic improvement over the Jets game when he completed just 10 of 17 passes on 0-10-yard throws. In his 13 starts, Hurts has a 77.3 completion percentage on 0-10-yard throws and a 56.4 completion percentage on 11-19-yard throws.
  • The Eagles converted seven of 13 third-down opportunities against Washington. Hurts was 6-for-9 for 101 yards on third down. The 101 yards were his second-most on third down in a game this season. He had 113 third-down passing yards in a Week 3 loss to Dallas. Five of Hurts’ nine third-down pass attempts produced first downs. Goedert caught three of them.
  • Hurts’ 19-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Greg Ward was just his second red-zone TD pass in his last six starts.
  • Hurts had four more rushing first downs Tuesday, bringing his season total to 54. He is tied for third in the league in rushing first downs with Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook, behind only the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor (93) and the WFT’s Antonio Gibson (58).
  • Hurts had 38 rushing yards against Washington. He’s rushed for 30 or more yards in every one of his 17 career starts.

Opponent report

  • In the Eagles’ 13-7 Week 12 loss to the Giants, Hurts completed just 45.2 percent of his passes and averaged just 4.2 yards per attempt, both season lows for him. In the Giants three games since then – losses to the Dolphins, Chargers, and Cowboys – opposing quarterbacks have a 74.3 completion percentage and have averaged 7.7 yards per attempt against the Giants.
  • The Eagles were in Giants’ territory on five of their 10 possessions in their first meeting. But they weren’t able to convert them into enough points. The results: one touchdown, two interceptions, one lost fumble, and a failed fourth-down attempt.
  • The Giants are 30th in the league in scoring, averaging just 17.0 points per game. They have scored more than 23 points in a game just three times, none in the last seven games.
  • They’ve been outscored in the second quarter, 139-58.
  • The Giants are 26th in rushing (96.4 yards per game). Saquon Barkley is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry on first down. The Giants’ other running back, Devontae Booker, is averaging 4.6.
  • The Giants’ 32 runs of 10 yards or more are the seventh fewest in the league.
  • Their 13 touchdown passes are the third fewest, behind only the Panthers’ 12 and the Jaguars’ nine.

More good stat stuff

  • Nick Sirianni likes to defer when the Eagles win the coin toss, preferring to start the game on defense and then get the ball to open the second half. Part of that strategy has worked. The defense has given up just one first-possession score in the last eight games (to the Jets). But the offense has scored on its first possession of the second half just three times all season. It opened the second half with touchdowns in wins against Washington and Detroit and had a field goal against Kansas City.
  • Jalen Reagor had a career-high 57 receiving yards against Washington. Thirty-four of them came on a nicely executed fourth-quarter bubble screen on a third-and-six that set up the Eagles’ final touchdown. He also gained six yards on another screen play. The Eagles ran five screens Tuesday. They completed four of them for 66 yards. That was their most passing yards off screens since week one when they ran eight screens against the Falcons and gained 84 yards on them. Reagor has 29 receptions this year. A team-high 13 of them (for 83 yards) have been screens.

Paul Domowitch has covered pro football for five decades and has been a Hall of Fame selector since 2001. You can reach Paul at or follow him on Twitter at @pdomo.

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