HomeDa Birds NewsD'Andre Swift's Strong Start Fading in Production

D’Andre Swift’s Strong Start Fading in Production

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Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni admitted after a close Week 1 win against the New England Patriots that the team needed to give running back D’Andre Swift more opportunities. Over the next two weeks, that’s exactly what happened, with Swift rushing for a career-high 175 yards against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 and 130 yards in Tampa Bay in Week 3.

However, after rushing for a combined 305 yards in consecutive victories between Weeks 2 and 3, Swift has not reached 100 yards on the ground in a game. In fact, his highest single-game totals since then were 76 and 80 in wins against the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively. In the last two weeks, Swift has only received 17 total carries for just 52 yards in blowout losses.

The Philadelphia Eagles need D’Andre Swift as they look to rebound from consecutive losses.

Eric Canha/USA Today

Swift is not Derrick Henry, and the 28 carries he had in Week 2 against the Vikings were not sustainable. He’s 5-9, 215 pounds and has already received 178 carries this season. His previous career high came in 2021 when he carried the ball 151 times for the Detroit Lions. There may be an element of the Eagles preserving Swift for the postseason, given that he hasn’t previously played in more than 14 games in a season.

At the same time, a good way to preserve Swift and the team is to get a first-round bye, which the Eagles are now in danger of not having after consecutive blowout losses to the 49ers and Cowboys.

Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson seems to have become fond of using quarterback Jalen Hurts on designed runs. It’s understandable to a degree, since Hurts’ legs are a tremendous threat. But doing so exposes Hurts, who has dealt with a left knee injury for a portion of the season, to being hit. It also opens up the possibility that he fumbles the ball, as he did in the first quarter of Sunday evening’s loss to the Cowboys.

This isn’t about demanding the Eagles run the ball more consistently, but the best version of the 2023 Eagles has come when Swift is a major part of the game plan. Any preseason hopes of a breakout from Kenneth Gainwell haven’t materialized, as he’s averaging 3.7 yards per carry on 63 attempts. Boston Scott is a nice weapon, but he’s not a feature back. And for whatever reason, Rashaad Penny has only seen five carries this season.

Therefore, as the Eagles try to alleviate pressure on Hurts and a seemingly exhausted defense, getting Swift back to the forefront of the offense in the final month of the regular season would be best for everyone involved.

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