Saturday, December 27, 2014

Eagles' running odds

Will they run? Won't they?

Eagles' running odds

More on the week's enduring question: how will the Eagles' running game fare against the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday's playoff game?

We all know the question, about whether the Eagles' shift in strategy -- not a monumental shift, but a shift of about two running plays per quarter in the first half -- will continue against the NFL's top run defense. Most teams just give up on the run early and throw it against the Vikings. That is the fear of people who think this two-runs-per-quarter is a magic elixir for this offense.

Now, there is the question of Pat Williams, one of the Vikings mammoth defensive tackles, part of the Williams Wall, who has missed the last two games with a fractured shoulder. Facing two of the NFL's top running teams in that span, the Falcons and Giants, the Vikings gave up a total of 233 yards -- which is below those teams' averages but above the average the Vikings have allowed this season.

So that should encourage the Eagles, at least a little, no?

Except that Pat Williams is practicing some this week and wants to play on Sunday.

"He’s a heck of a player," said Marty Mornhinweg, the Eagles' offensive coordinator. "Really, really a good player. However, they have so much speed and quickness in that front seven, even with a couple of backups they look very similar to the way they looked previous to the injuries."

Mornhinweg said there are "less than a handful of teams that have popped a few runs against them."

Will the Eagles be the next? Will they even try? It remains the question of the week.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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