Its time for the Eagles to see what they have with Rashaad Penny
You don't have to be the biggest Kenneth Gainwell fan to see that he has struggled in his current role. He might turn into a worthy running back, but I haven’t seen that other than a few games during the Eagles playoff run last season.
Head coach Nick Sirianni brings up his games last season, playoff performance, games this season, and practice.
"That's based off games. That's based off past games. That's based off practice," Sirianni explained. That's based on the whole body of work, not just -- and obviously, I understand where that question is coming from, but I didn't get this question last week when he ran over two guys in the Miami game and got into the end zone because we were all singing his praises. And also, the same thing in the playoffs last year when he gave us some very valuable carries."
Sirianni pointed out that Gainwell ran two guys over in the Miami game, but in that game, Gainwell rushed eight times for 16 yards and the touchdown Sirianni referenced.
On the season, his 153 yards on 51 carries, simply haven't been good enough.
What Sirianni didn't talk about was his 3.0 yards per carry, the game against Washington when he carried the ball four times for 14 yards with a fumble. Or the Rams game: seven carries for 17 yards. Or the Jets game: two carries for 13 yards. In the second game against Washington, Gainwell had two carries for -4 yards and a red zone fumble.
In his best two games of the season, he combined for 28 carries for 97 yards.
"He's our number two because we believe it right now. He's the second-best running back on our team," Sirianni stated.
When he was drafted, I thought Gainwell would be a great fit in the Eagles offense, a running back who could catch the football out of the backfield, but so far in 40 NFL games, he has just 70 catches for 495 yards.
Flatly put, Gainwell has fallen short.
Meanwhile, if we are going off past performance, the Eagles' current No. 4 running back Rashaad Penny has some impressive numbers.
During his last 15 games in Seattle, Penny ran 176 times for 1,095 yards (6.2 yards per carry), and five touchdowns. During his first 24 games with the Seahawks, he had 150 carries for 789 yards (5.2 YPC), and five touchdowns.
Penny's issue hasn't been performance, it's been health.
So why is a healthy Penny inactive behind Gainwell, who hasn't performed when given the opportunity?
Penny is healthy. Maybe that won’t last, so why not take advantage of a Penny at 100 percent while you have it?
Maybe he’ll dazzle like he did in 2023 against the Lions when he rushed 17 times for 151 yards and two scores. During his first three games of the 2021 season, he carried 23, 25, and 17 times for 190, 170, and 135 yards.
Maybe he’ll resemble an elite NFL running back like he did in Seattle. He’s more decisive, and a bigger and better than Gainwell, and his ceiling is higher.
So far this season, Penny has three carries for nine yards, but has shown in the past he can provide more. If Sirianni is using past performance as a measuring stick, Penny has the better resume.
If the Eagles asked me for advice, I’d tell them to elevate Penny and bench Gainwell.
It will give him more time to think about his next social media post.
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