Eagles Insider

In Roob Stats, an NFL first for Eagles' running attack

Eagles Insider

In the final regular-season edition of Roob's Eagles Stats, we focus on some unprecedented accomplishments by the Eagles' running attack, a remarkable achievement by a late-round Eagles rookie and an ignominious Triple Crown by an Eagles wide receiver.

Here's this week's Roob's Eagles Stats: 

UNPRECEDENTED DEPTH: The Eagles this year became the first team in NFL history with five players with at least 50 carries and at least a 4.3 rushing average. Jalen Hurts (5.6), Miles Sanders (5.5), Jordan Howard (4.7), Boston Scott (4.3) and Kenny Gainwell (4.3) all finished at 4.3 or higher. Only 12 teams in history have had four, including the Eagles in 2003 (Correll Buckhalter, Donovan McNabb, Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook), 2017 (Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, Carson Wentz) and 2020 (Wentz, Scott, Sanders, Hurts). And as we wrote last week, Sanders and Hurts -- who didn't play Saturday night -- officially became the first teammates in NFL history to average 5.5 yards per carry on at least 135 carries in the same season.

IN THE LONG RUN: The Eagles also became the first team in NFL history to average 160 rushing yards per game without a single run all year of at least 40 yards. The Eagles' longest run this year was Miles Sanders' 38-yarder in the first Washington game. The Eagles were one of only nine NFL teams this year without a 40-yard run, yet they led the NFL in rushing by over 10 yards per game and they were fourth at 4.9 yards per carry.

GAINWELL BLOSSOMING: With 291 rushing yards and 253 receiving yards, Kenny Gainwell became the first player in Eagles history drafted in the fifth round or later with 250 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards as a rookie. The last Eagle drafted in the fifth round or later to do that at any point in his career was Wilbert Montgomery in 1984. Gainwell is also only the seventh rookie league-wide drafted in the fifth round or later with 250 and 250 in the last 35 years. Among the six others was Jordan Howard of the Bears in 2016.

 

ROOKIE TAKEOVER: With DeVonta Smith (916) and Gainwell (544), the Eagles had two rookies with 500 scrimmage yards for only the fourth time in franchise history. Billy Ray Barnes (741) and Clarence Peaks (594) did it in 1957, Fred Barnett (734) and Calvin Williams (622) in 1990 and LeSean McCoy (945) and Jeremy Maclin (766) it. The only other team with two rookies with 500 scrimmage yards this year was the Jets, with Michael Carter (964) and Elijah Moore (592). 

A NOTE ABOUT AN OLD FRIEND: Zach Ertz isn't an Eagle anymore, but this stat does incorporate the six games he played this year for the Eagles: Ertz finished the season with 74 catches for 763 yards and five touchdowns. This was his sixth career season with at least 70 catches and at least 750 yards, and only three tight ends in history have more: Tony Gonzalez (13), Jason Witten (8) and Travis Kelce (7). Antonio Gates also has six. It really was quite a bounce-back season for Ertz, who caught a career-low 36 catches last year. He finished 4th among tight ends with the 74 catches and increased his career total to 635 catches, 9th-most in NFL history by a tight end. Only Kelce (704), Witten (696) and Gonzalez (648) had more catches than Ertz in their first nine seasons. 

ELITE COMPANY FOR JALEN: Jalen Hurts will become only the fourth quarterback in the last 38 years who's 23 or younger and not drafted in the first round to start a playoff game. Shaun King did it in 1999 and 2000 for Tampa – including a game against the Eagles - and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys and Connor Cook of the Raiders in 2017 also started games as non-1st-round picks before their 24th birthdays. Before King you have to go back to Neil Lomax with St. Louis in 1982. King is the last quarterback 23 or younger not drafted in the first roudn to win a playoff game.

RUN WILD: The Eagles go into Tampa having rushed for at least 115 yards in 11 straight games, the 2nd-longest streak in franchise history and longest since a 15-game streak over the 1949 and 1950 seasons. 

NO BIG PLAYS: The Eagles had 12 interceptions this year after recording 10, 11 and 8 INTs in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Only four teams in NFL history have had longer streaks of seasons with 12 or fewer interceptions. Meanwhile, the Eagles recorded only 29 sacks this year, matching their fewest in a season since sacks became an official stat in 1982. Only the Falcons (18) had fewer sacks this year. The Eagles are only the 5th team in NFL history to reach the playoffs despite fewer than 30 sacks and 12 or fewer interceptions. The others were the 1991 Cowboys, 1994 Lions, 1994 Bears and 2016 Lions.

 

ANOTHER FRANCHISE RECORD: The Eagles converted 45.7 percent of their third downs this year, breaking the franchise record of 45.4 set in 2019. The NFL has only tracked 3rd-down conversion stats since 1991. The Eagles were fourth in the NFL on third down this year and second in the NFC behind the Buccaneers, who converted 47.1 percent.

JALEN REAGOR TRIPLE CROWN: By averaging 3.2 yards per carry, 9.1 yards per reception and 7.3 yards per punt return, Jalen Reagor became the first player with at least 10 rushing attempts, 10 receptions and 10 punt returns to average 3.2 or worse yards per carry, less than 10 yards per catch and below 8.0 yards per punt return since 32-year-old Gary Anderson in his final NFL season in 1993 while playing for both the Lions and Buccaneers. Only five other players in history have pulled off that unique triple crown: Billy Reynolds in 1954, Hugh McElhenny in 1963, Jon Arnett in 1966, Willard Harrell in 1975 and Gerald Willhite in 1988. 

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