The former Detroit Lions back was every bit the bell cow as the Eagles scored three touchdowns on the ground and racked up a resounding 259 rushing yards Thursday. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was the beneficiary of Swift’s offensive excellence, sneaking for a pair of touchdowns that came after Swift had led Philly to the 1-yard line.
Trailing, 7-3, in the second quarter, Hurts’ first TD sneak concluded a 16-play, 75-yard march in which Swift carried the ball eight times for 39 yards. On the Eagles’ opening drive of the third quarter, Swift took a handoff after a Kirk Cousins fumble at the Vikings’ 7-yard line and burst through the left side for a 6-yard gain, once again setting up Hurts.
Swift finally got his first Eagles TD deep in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard plunge. By then, he’d already run to his first 100-yard game since Week 1 of last season, which so happened to be against the Eagles.
In the aftermath of the Eagles’ sluggish win over the Pats, first-year offensive coordinator Brian Johnson said he’d be “mindful” of getting Swift the ball more. Johnson did, and Swift repaid his coach in kind.
Granted, Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell was inactive due to a rib injury, so it was a bit easier to divvy up more carries to Swift, but considering his performance Thursday, Philly will be hard-pressed to lessen his load going forward.
Swift flashed brilliance plenty during three seasons with the Lions, whetting anticipation that he could be a Pro Bowl-caliber, 1,000-yard runner. Neither happened for the 24-year-old RB, who’s been hampered by injuries and missed at least three games each season.
So, the Eagles still have to proceed with caution, but Swift produced 175 reasons for optimism going forward with his new franchise.
“He’s amazing,” Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith said. “He’s a bad m———–.”