By Art Beitchman

As the sheen of the Eagles Super Bowl LII victory starts to wear off, it’s clear they are not close to the team they were one year ago.

The killer 21-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday was made even more galling because the lack of a competent running game came back to bite them in the fourth quarter.

After the injuries to Jay Ajayi and the lingering hammy issues with Darren Spoles, the Birds were left with a stable of sub-par RB’s who couldn’t grind out a 1st down in the 4th quarter protecting a 17 point lead that no way they should have coughed up!

Between Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement (above) and Josh Adams they recorded a paltry 55 yards on 21 carries for a 2.4 yards per carry! In the crucial fourth quarter they were unable to shrink the game with a couple of 1st downs that would have snuffed out the Panthers comeback.

So there’s the dilemma for Howie Roseman:

Either believe these runners are good enough to get enough wins for a playoff spot, or use a draft pick or two to acquire a more productive running back with 9 games still left on the schedule, plenty of games to stay in the NFC East race. Or wait until next season to shore up an ineffective running game.

Most Eagles fans want the running back upgrade before the trade deadline, October 30th next week.

In the interim, the Eagles fly to London for a match-up with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, October 28, 9:30am/NFLN