Jay Ajayi: Eagles should have run more against Vikings


If last year's Philadelphia Eagles developed a reputation for pounding people with the run, this year's squad has struggled to keep up.

In Sunday's 23-21 loss to the Vikings, coach Doug Pederson called 17 gallops all day and just four "meaningful runs" in the first half, per ESPN's Tim McManus, as Philly tumbled into a 17-3 hole.

Jay Ajayi would have preferred a different approach.

"Obviously we want to be able to run the ball early and start that rhythm early in the beginning of the game. If I remember correctly, we had maybe three carries at the end of the first quarter," the running back said in defeat, per McManus.

"With the offensive line we have on this team, running the ball like that, that doesn't make sense to me."

Not an outrageous demand, but the Eagles have played from behind more this season, leading to an emphasis on the pass. They rank a respectable 11th overall at 4.4 yards per rush, but Ajayi on Sunday didn't see a carry until the second quarter.

The veteran back also fumbled at Minnesota's 5-yard line to end a promising drive in the second half, acknowledging that that result somewhat squanders his argument.

"I can't do that," Ajayi said. "I pride myself on being elite. I want to be elite. I want to be the best. You can't do that when your team is counting on you."

The Eagles have been tasked with maintaining balance while also helping quarterback Carson Wentz regain his sea legs under center. Pederson hasn't held back, with the young signal-caller launching 37, 50 and 35 attempts in his first three tilts back from major knee surgery.

It's too early to worry about the Eagles, but they don't quite resemble last year's offensive juggernaut. Not yet.