The Philadelphia Eagles have run the same offense for the last four years under head coach Doug Pederson. They have featured a committee approach to their backfield, but of the five running backs with a carry last year, only two of them return for 2020. Miles Sanders comes off a very encouraging rookie season, and Boston Scott performed well enough to prevent the Eagles from drafting or acquiring a new back even for depth.
Sanders rushed 179 times for 818 yards last year for record-high marks from the backfield under Pederson. The next best players were LeGarrette Blount (2017 – 173 carries), and Ryan Matthews (2016 – 155 carries). Sanders already had the high-mark with 46% of the rushes last year and is poised to finally eclipse 200 carries and 1,000-rushing yards in the Pederson era.
This offense has always relied on at least five different running backs each season since 2016. Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles, and Jay Ajayi leave behind a combined 146 carries and 16 receptions. Scott has already proven himself as a capable receiver with 23 of his catches coming over the final four games of last season. Those extra catches will end up with Scott, if not a few taken away from Sanders when he assumes a larger rushing role.
The Eagles ranked in the Top-10 in rushing attempts (386) and rushing yards (1,684) from their backfield last year. During Scott’s final-month run, he accounted for around five to ten rushes, and that should continue. He should crest 100 carries on the year as the secondary back and add enough receptions to merit fantasy consideration in leagues that award reception points.
While both Sanders and Scott are secure in their roles, there will still be another back involved if only to occasionally relieve the pair. Corey Clement missed the 2019 season with a shoulder injury but offered up to 75 rushes during his first two seasons. He also added 22 catches for 192 yards in 2018. He’ll figure in with his career average of 4.6 yards per carry but remains a firm No. 3 on the running back depth chart.
Sanders earned his shot at a 1,000-yard season with his strong play in the second half of 2019. He averaged around 15 rushes per game from mid-season onward for a pace that would produce 240 carries over sixteen games. Multiply that by his 4.6-yard rushing average, and the Eagles enjoy their first big-time runner since LeSean McCoy back in 2014.