Eagles

LeGarrette Blount runs 'like a man possessed' in Eagles' win over Chargers

CARSON, Calif. — By the time the Eagles' offensive linemen finished their blocks and turned their heads downfield, they got to see something special. 

They got to see 250-pound running back LeGarrette Blount rumbling down the field, taking out every Chargers player along the way. 

He was like a runaway freight train. 

"That dude, the last two games especially, has been like a man possessed," center Jason Kelce said. "It seems like he's been running hard in the first half but as the game goes on, you see how it wears on the defense. Arm tackles, I mean nothing's bringing him down in the second half. 

"He's been running like a man possessed. The long run was incredible. I don't even know how many tackles he broke. Four or five? It was insane. When he's running that hard and that well, the whole team feeds off of it. It makes our job a lot easier when guys are running like that." 

That fourth quarter run went for 68 yards. A few plays later, Wendell Smallwood punched in a short touchdown run and the Eagles held on for a 26-24 win (see breakdown)

Blount said Smallwood thanked him for the touchdown after the game. 

But Blount did the heavy lifting. The 68-yarder was the longest of his career, topping his previous career high of 54 that came in his second NFL season. The length of the run wasn't the impressive part; it was how he did it. Blount made guys missed and ran others over. 

A bunch of his teammates couldn't wait to board the team flight to watch the film and get a better view of the play. 

"I had a pretty good view," Carson Wentz said. "I can't wait to see it on film, too, but from my vantage point, it was one of the most impressive runs I've seen live in my life. He came out and was running angry today, and it was good to see."

Blount finished the game with 16 carries for 136 yards — an average of 8.5 yards per carry. It was the third-biggest rushing performance of his eight-year career and his best rushing game since 2013. 

It was also the best rushing performance for an Eagles running back since LeSean McCoy in 2014. The last running back not named Shady to run for over 136 was Bryce Brown in 2012. 

All that for a guy who didn't get a single carry two weeks ago in Kansas City. At the time, it looked bad. Maybe the Eagles wasted money bringing in a 30-year-old running back coming off a 299-carry season. Maybe the Eagles would have to make do with their other backs. Maybe Blount's best days were long behind him. 

Forget all that. 

Blount heard the criticism but claims he didn't care too much about it. He feels like he has nothing to prove. 

"I know what I can do," he said. "I know I'm one of the better backs in this league as far as running the football. I'm always going to run with that passion and with that confidence. There's no chip on my shoulder. I know what I can do." 

Over the last two weeks, Blount has 28 carries for 182 yards. That's an average of 6.5 yards per carry. 

"He's just been running angry the last two weeks," Brandon Brooks said. "It's been unreal."

Blount looks like the same guy who pummeled defenses with the Patriots last season. He looks like the guy who at times has struck fear into defenders who try to tackle him. He looks like ... a man possessed. 

"That's two weeks in a row now that he's done a great job," head coach Doug Pederson said. "Big guy at the end of the game — we saw the big long run. I don't think he has anything to prove. He's the guy that we knew, that I knew we were getting back in the spring."

Thanks to a sea of Eagles fans at StubHub Center, when Blount ripped off that monster 68-yard run and when he caught a big pass for another 20-yard gain, the building shook. Well, more than half of the 25,000 in attendance raucously cheered as Blount pounded linebackers and defensive backs who tried to bring him down. 

The Eagles played the Chargers on Sunday, but it was Blount who provided the electricity. 

"It fires us up as a line," guard Stefen Wisniewski said. "To know that if we just get our guys blocked for long enough, he can make a lot of guys miss and run a lot of people over. It's important in a running game to have an offensive line block well but when a running back is making people miss, running people over, that's how you get good runs."

Blount is well aware that his big runs help with momentum. His offensive linemen cheer him on and tell him to keep breaking tackles.  

They love to see it. And they can't wait to go back and watch it on film. 

"It gives us energy," Blount said. "The energy just goes from me to those guys, from those guys to the defense, the defense to the special teams and so forth. When you can generate energy like that and have it all amongst the team, you're always a tough team to beat."