If you just go by the stats, Miles Sanders had another very good game Sunday.
He finished with 15 carries for 85 yards and a 5.7 average and caught a couple passes after missing two games with a knee injury.
Sanders doesn’t see it that way.
The Eagles were upset by the Giants, and Sanders shrugged off his rushing numbers, choosing instead to focus on his own poor play.
“You can’t really win a football game like that,” he said. “We made a lot of mistakes. Including myself. I hold myself to a high standard and I don’t think I played to that standard running the ball, in pass pro and catching the football.”
Sanders whiffed on one block that got Carson Wentz sacked and dropped two catchable passes.
The second-year back from Penn State shrugged off potential excuses when asked about his sloppy play. No, it wasn’t because of the layoff or the injury, no it wasn’t because of the reconstituted offensive line.
He just has to be better.
Sanders is not only a budding star in this league, he’s accountable.
“Definitely have to clean up some stuff with me,” he said. “Had some mistakes on my end. Just have to block … better. I dropped two footballs that could have been critical in the game, could have kept our drive going.
“Not acceptable, not going to get the job done. Can’t win games like that.”
Sanders’ rushing numbers are exceptional so far, despite limited usage in the five games he has played. His 6.0 average is No. 3 in the league, behind only Cards QB Kyler Murray [6.9] and Nick Chubb of the Browns [6.1], who the Eagles will see on Sunday.
Sanders is 14th in the NFL with 519 rushing yards (while ranking 30th in rushing attempts).
Sanders the last three games has averaged 7.3, 13.1 and 5.7 yards. He’s the first NFL player in 10 years and only the second in the last 35 years with three straight games of 80 or more rushing yards on 15 or fewer carries.
He’s already had five games with 80 rushing yards and a 4.7 average or better. In Eagles history only LeSean McCoy, Wilbert Montgomery and Brian Westbrook have had more in a season, and there's seven games left.
He’s also averaging only 14 carries per game, which seems awfully low considering his explosiveness and production.
But you’ll never hear Sanders complain about his workload.
Even if everyone else is.
“It’s not even about that, it’s just about executing whenever we get on the field,” he said. “We know what type of offense we are, we know what type of offense we can be. It doesn’t matter if I’m getting the ball 10 times, 3 times, 20 times. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team win. As a team, we didn’t play to our standard. Including myself.”
The Eagles take a 3-5-1 record into Cleveland this weekend. They’re down to 29th in the NFL in offense, 24th in scoring, 24th on third down and 27th in yards per play.
Scoring just 17 points against the Giants might have been the low point so far in a season of low points.
“I saw an offense that just wasn’t disciplined,” Sanders said. “Including myself. Beating ourselves. I don’t think there was anything the Giants did that was spectacular. They played a hell of a game, but we’re beating ourselves, and we’re losing games like that. … It’s a whole team problem. We’re just not playing smart football.”