WHERE WOULD EAGLES BE WITHOUT AJAYI, BLOUNT? NOT IN THE SUPE!

By Peter Gleason

The Eagles are one win away from their first Super Bowl championship, but they’ll play for it without their most important player, Carson Wentz.

Nick Foles has gone 4-0 in his absence, excluding a meaningless Week 17 loss that Foles exited early, and part of the reason for that is that Wentz isn’t the only starter to have been replaced.

In their first four games, the Eagles gave 29 carries to Wendell Smallwood, and he managed only 3.9 yards per carry.

On Oct. 31, the Eagles traded for running back Jay Ajayi (above), and he received 70 carries in seven games, averaging 5.8 yards per rush. He’s been their primary ball carrier in the postseason, gaining 197 total yards in Philly’s two wins. With Ajayi’s help, the Eagles have managed to overcome season-ending injuries to Wentz, Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks and kicker Caleb Sturgis.

In fact, Sturgis’ injury also opened the door for a pleasant surprise, with early-season pickup Jake Elliott going 26-of-31 on field goals — including a game-winning 61-yarder — and 4-of-4 in the postseason.

The Eagles will play the Patriots, a team familiar with the importance of midseason help coming from expected and unexpected places. Despite a preseason injury to Julian Edelman, as well as losing Dont’a Hightower and Marcus Cannon, that hasn’t had to be as much of the case this season — the Patriots have mostly been “next man up” with a roster packed to the gills with notable names. However, Bill Belichick did add linebacker Eric Lee off of the Bills’ practice squad on Nov. 21, and he had 3 1/2 sacks, an interception and a safety in six games.

They could also look across the field on Super Bowl Sunday to be reminded of the importance of a quality midseason acquisition, as that’s where LeGarrette Blount will be standing. Blount joined the Patriots for the final five games in 2014 after forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, then rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs as Tom Brady went on to win his fourth ring. Two years later, Blount helped Brady and Belichick get their fifth.

Now Blount will try to stop them from getting No. 6.

Which other Super Bowl teams, either on the winning side or losing side, can claim a good “claim” — whether it be a trade, free agent signing, practice squad promotion or injury return — in the middle of the season? There are plenty of good examples in the past 20 years alone, serving as a reminder that building a roster is a 365-days-a-year job.

About admin

Loading Facebook Comments ...

0 thoughts on “WHERE WOULD EAGLES BE WITHOUT AJAYI, BLOUNT? NOT IN THE SUPE!

  1. Name

    Comment

Leave a Reply