The Philadelphia Eagles have struggled offensively this season. Running back Jay Ajayi believes the biggest reason they haven’t played as well as they did last year is the fact that they aren’t running the ball as much as they did during their championship run. Things are not looking up with Ajayi’s season ending injury.
“Obviously we want to be able to run the ball early. Start that rhythm early in the beginning of the game. If I remember correctly, we had maybe three carries at the end of the first quarter.” Ajayi told reporters after Sunday’s loss to Minnesota.
“With the offensive line we have on this team, running the ball like that, that doesn’t make sense to me.”
In the game against the Vikings, Ajayi didn’t get his first carry until the second quarter of the game. The Eagles called only four running plays in the first half after falling behind 17-3.
Even though their running backs were averaging almost five yards per carry, the Eagles finished the game calling 35 pass plays and 17 runs. Do you agree with Ajayi?
Jay Ajayi Season Ending Injury
The Eagles did the same thing last week when they lost to the Tennessee Titans, calling 50 passes to 22 rushes despite averaging 5.3 yards on the ground. The coach’s decision to throw the ball more has led to Carson Wentz getting sacked 12 times in three games.
“Obviously, you want to eliminate as many as you can, reduce the number of hits,” Pederson said. “Active quarterback, you know he’s going to move and made some great plays [Sunday] with his legs and found some holes to run and to throw out of.”
If Pederson doesn’t want to see Wentz suffer another serious injury, he will have to get the ball in the hands of his running backs more than he has, to prevent his quarterback from taking too many unnecessary hits.
For his part, Ajayi will also have to do a better job protecting the ball after fumbling at the Vikings’ five-yard line.
“I can’t do that,” Ajayi said. “As a player I pride myself on being elite. I want to be elite. This is what I want. You can’t do that when your team is counting on you.”