Why 12 Carries for Swift is the Key to a Week 15 Win & the #1 Seed

By Chip Bayless (click Howie for more Chip)




The acquisition of D’Andre Swift this offseason is undoubtedly the most significant thing to happen to the city of Philadelphia since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The joy Swift has given Eagles fans this season is immeasurable, and his overall usefulness beats out the invention of the toilet and air conditioning combined.

Swift has proved to be the critical cog in the Eagles 2023 running game since swiftly winning the starting job at the start of the season after just one week of regular-season film, and his running style is maybe the most fun to watch out of any NFL back.

His ability to plant his foot in the ground and sprint straight to the endzone is unlike any other player on the Eagles’ roster. While the term “home run hitter” can certainly be used for other NFL RBs, Swift is the very definition of one.

His spectacular speed and ability to make defenders miss in space are beautiful sights to behold for any football fan, and a healthy 2023 season behind Philadelphia’s elite offensive line is yielding spectacular results.

Among 2023 backs, Swift currently ranks:

Swift’s balance, strength, and relentless are also insanely underrated, especially for a back of his stature. Check out this play where he bounces off about three New York Jets and maintains his balance to drive his way into the endzone:

Last season, Swift was also 10th among not just all RBs – but all players – in 2022 scrimmage yards per touch (per Pro Football Reference), trailing Justin Fields and Lamar Jackson in 8th and 9th place.

When Swift gets at least 12 carries, the Eagles are undefeated as Swift has under 11 carries in every single Eagles loss this season. So why on earth does he only have 17 total carries over the last two weeks, and only nine combined first-half carries in the past three games?

Before anyone thinks about blaming game script due to the Eagles being behind in their last two contests, I fail to understand how mixing in a stretch run, wide/outside counter, or off-tackle power even just 1/4 passing plays while you’re down wouldn’t be effective considering the defensive scheme and personnel is likely geared towards the pass.

You’re telling me Swift can’t occasionally gash the defense for a quick 10-yard run in the midst of a hurry-up, passing offense? He can’t get a stretch or counter against a defense that has six defensive backs on the field? Even surprising the defense with an off-tackle power wouldn’t be effective?

The point is some way, somehow, the Eagles need to figure out how to consistently keep Swift involved in the gameplan, regardless of how the game unfolds from a scoring perspective.

When Swift gets some space, sometimes that’s all he needs to take a play that an offensive coordinator merely views as a change-of-pace call all the way to the house and change the momentum of a game.

Furthermore, he often sets the tone from a physicality standpoint if he can get in a rhythm early in the game, often opting to plow straight through defenders rather than wiggle around them. Swift’s physical play combined with the Eagles’ dominant offensive line can wear down defenses as well as any offense in the NFL.

Check out this beautiful truck move Swift whipped out of his back pocket against Washington for an example, a play that believe it or not earned Swift nearly a $10,000 fine because Roger Goodell’s logic and reasoning is comparable to Deena from Jersey Shore.

If the Eagles want to get back on track with a win this week against a struggling Seahawks team, take the NFC crown and the top playoff seed, it will be done via Swift streaking down the sideline with one hand in the air, on his way to receiving more than 11 carries.

Philadelphia certainly has the offensive line to do it, as evidenced by the fact that today they sit at 3rd in rush yards before contact (per Pro Football Reference).

And despite using the phrase “back on track” just a paragraph ago, let’s not forget the Eagles are still 6th in total scoring, 7th in total net offensive yards, and 3rd in scoring % (per Pro Football Reference) so there’s no reason to believe this 10-win team can’t regain control of the top seed in the NFC with a run down the stretch.

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