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Week 6 was a rough one for Melvin Gordon, Eli Manning, Jordan Matthews and Jeremy Maclin.
Gordon didn’t see another snap after two first-half fumbles, while a concussion cut Maclin’s day short after 48 yards on three catches. Manning marched the Giants offense right down the field for an opening-drive touchdown, only to finish 25th among fantasy QBs. And Matthews caught a team-high six passes on 10 targets, although he had just 59 yards and also lost a fumble.
Moving on to the key trends for Week 7:
Is the Eagles’ ground game really back?
During coach Chip Kelly’s first two seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles finished first and ninth in the NFL in rushing offense. So even with all of the roster turnover on the offensive side of the ball this offseason, there was reason to believe it was only a matter of time before the ground game got going. In the Eagles’ three losses, they averaged just 52 rushing yards per game, compared to 155 in the three wins. What’s more, after totaling only 29 carries and 47 yards (2.2 YPC) over his first three games as an Eagle, prized free-agent acquisition DeMarco Murray has gotten 20-plus carries in each of the last two games while averaging 96 rushing yards (4.6 YPC). And don’t forget about Ryan Mathews, who logged 24 carries for 108 yards when Murray sat out the Week 3 contest against the Jets with a hamstring injury.
Still, not everyone is sold on Philadelphia’s resurgent run game, which currently ranks 19th in the NFL with 103.5 yards per game and 23rd with 3.9 yards per carry on the season. But this past week’s dismantling of the New York Giants should have quelled those concerns, as the Eagles’ offensive line got consistent push and drew a cumulative 9.8 PFF run blocking grade. Kelly has scrapped some of the zone-blocking concepts in favor of more man-to-man blocking and ‘12’ personnel (one running back, two tight ends), particularly in the second half against the Giants when Murray and Mathews combined for 94 yards on 14 carries in two-tight end sets. Murray’s fantasy owners were no doubt happy to see him getting downhill more often with his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage.