The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0. It is not the prettiest 3-0 in the world, but they have looked better each week and appear to be finally hitting their stride. The most credit for their three wins, by far, belongs to their dominance at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the Eagles have rushed for 557 yards, eight yards behind the Dolphins for first place, who just ran for 350 yards in one game. They are fifth in yards per carry (4.9) despite all of the “Brotherly Shoves”, and they lead the league in rushing first downs with 37 (the next closest is the Commanders with 30).
Defensively, the Eagles have allowed the fewest rush yards in the league with 145. They are fourth in yards per carry allowed (3.0), second in rushing first downs allowed (6), and are one of five teams to have not allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season.
To put the overall dominance into perspective, the Eagles average more rushing yards in one game offensively (185.7) than they have allowed defensively in all three games combined. Their differential in rush yards produced vs. allowed is +412, the best differential in the league by a country mile (second place is the 49ers at +329).
The Eagles have Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert as a passing attack, which is fantastic. They also have a deep group of pass-rushers in Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, and Nolan Smith, plus a pair of good corners in Darius Slay and James Bradberry. They possess the player personnel on both sides of the ball to theoretically be aerially focused if they wanted to be. However, they have quickly figured out that the best way for them to win this year is by running their opponents off the field on offense, while also forcing their offense to be one-dimensional by honing in on the run early. D’Andre Swift behind this offensive line has been absolutely electric. I have found it extremely entertaining to just watch the Eagles run essentially the same shotgun run play over and over again, with the defense knowing what is coming and still being unable to stop it. On the other side, Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis have both been sensational at clogging up run lanes. When the opponent subsequently abandons the run, they have also both generated interior pressure extremely well, especially Carter. Both players have greatly exceeded my expectations for them this season.
If the Eagles continue to dominate the trenches on both sides of the ball week in and week out, they are going to once again be a high seed in the NFC and an extremely tough out in the playoffs, even if Jalen Hurts never returns to his MVP form.
Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today