Philadelphia Eagles: Running Game Will Be Crucial For Success

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Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports

With the news that Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin went down with a torn ACL, now more than ever the Eagles will have to rely on a strong running game to get the job done on offense under new head coach Chip Kelly.

They certainly have the foundation in place with a two-headed monster of LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown, who showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie campaign but just has to clean up his ball security issues. The Eagles will go three deep at the position, with Felix Jones and Chris Polk fighting it out for that coveted third spot on the depth chart. Jones is a proven commodity, coming over from the Dallas Cowboys, and Polk is an impressive second-year player.

Coach Kelly is also well known for running the ball. He ran the ball about 62 percent of the time at Oregon, a far cry from the Andy Reid-led offenses we have seen in the past where that number was consistently in the low 40s.

Losing Maclin hurts, there is no doubt about it. However, Kelly seems to place a lot less emphasis on the wide receiver than Reid did when he ran the West Coast offense. Running backs and tight ends seem to be Kelly’s focal points in running an efficient offense, with wide receiver a distant third.

While Kelly did have some impressive play makers over the years at Oregon, he never had that star wide receiver, and he still managed to churn out one of the greatest offenses the college football world has seen in some time. I believe with a star running back like McCoy and the impressive stable of tight ends the Eagles boast, along with a star downfield threat in DeSean Jackson, the Eagles should still be able to produce some fireworks on offense this season.