- Miles Sanders was in the top five in the NFL for rushing yards.
- The Eagles have been relying on multiple running backs in the playoffs.
The Eagles had an insurmountable lead in a playoff game against the division-rival Giants, but Kenneth Gainwell wanted to add to it anyway.
On third-and-9 on New York’s 35, Gainwell stutter-stepped following a handoff, patiently waiting for a gap to open up. He found a lane to the outside and bolted.
The Eagles’ offensive line provided him enough space at first, and their wide receivers cleared the way downfield for a 35-yard touchdown. This put him over 100 yards, helping him become the first Eagles running back to accomplish that feat since Brian Westbrook in 2006.
This has been a common theme for Philadelphia’s running backs, following elite blocking until they find the end zone. The tough part is predicting who will have the largest workload among them in the Super Bowl.
.@KENNETHGAINWEL goes over the 100-yard mark on this TD 🙌 #FlyEaglesFly
📺: #NYGvsPHI on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/W32lU4mm7c pic.twitter.com/o6MA1yDjG0
— NFL (@NFL) January 22, 2023
Super Bowl Prop Bets: Miles Sanders & Kenneth Gainwell
Miles Sanders was fifth in the NFL’s regular season with 1,269 rushing yards, an average of 74.6 yards per game, which is higher than his Super Bowl prop bet over/under total of 61.5. His rushing attempts over/under is 13.5
Gainwell’s over/unders are 19.5 for rushing yards and 4.5 for rushing attempts, while Boston Scott’s are 8.5 and 2.5, respectively.
Who Will Get the Most Rushing Attempts for the Eagles?
Considering how the playoffs have unfolded, it seems Sanders will have more work than Gainwell. However, they could both end up with double-digit carries.
Gainwell has been eating into Sanders’ workload, but Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said that depends mostly on the situation.
Sanders may be the starter, but Gainwell will be on the field for third downs, two-minute drills and no-huddles.
“The reps have been somewhat even here over the last couple weeks,” Sirranni said, “and they’ve both put in really good work and we’ll keep rolling with that.”
Gainwell has rushed 26 times for 160 yards in the Eagles’ two playoff games, which have both been blowouts. Sanders has run 28 times for 132 yards.
The Chiefs allowed the eight-fewest rushing yards to running backs this season and are in the top half of the league in rushing defense DVOA, so this matchup won’t exactly be easy going into this.
“We really just take care of each other,” Gainwell told me. “The No. 1 thing is really feed off each other’s energy. We go out there and make a big play, we feed off each other’s energy. We get a big block on somebody, we feed off each other’s energy. That’s just our bond together.”
Miles Sanders Free Agency
Sanders’ contract will expire after this season. The second-round pick out of Penn State in 2019 had a base salary of $2.4 million in 2022.
Sanders hopes this last season proved how much value he brings to a team.
“It’s just the start. I got a lot more left in the tank,” he said. “Just happy I was given the opportunity to just help my team win in the best possible ways. I know I believe in myself to do my job the best way possible for this team, and that’s all I’ve been about.”
Gainwell noted how Sanders was discouraged after not scoring any touchdowns on the ground in 2021. He went ahead and tallied 11 in the regular season in 2022.
“I think that really fueled him so much that he had to go out there and shine this year,” Gainwell said.
Jason Kelce literally cleared the way for Miles Sanders 💪@Cisco | @Eagles pic.twitter.com/KikbmRPh7l
— NFL (@NFL) December 7, 2022
Kenneth Gainwell Contract
Gainwell still has two more years left on his rookie deal after being drafted in the fifth round in 2021 out of Memphis. He’s scheduled to make about $2 million in base salary during that time.
Perhaps a strong performance in the Super Bowl would prove the Eagles don’t need to overspend for Sanders or on another running back in free agency.
Either way, they’ve both been encouraging of each other leading up to this point.
“Our running back room, we just love when everybody’s winning,” Sanders said. “They love when I’m out there balling because I’m the one that has to start it off, but when Boston and Kenny’s in there, I’m their biggest fan, straight up. It’s no competition. I just love good football, love great plays, us making plays and us being the reason why plays went the way they went.”
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