One of the big stories from the Philadelphia Eagles‘ win against the Detroit Lions in week one was the play of running back Miles Sanders.

Against the Lions, Sanders rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown — his first score since the 2020 season — while also catching two passes for nine yards. It was just the fourth time since the start of the 2021 season that Sanders had over 100 yards from scrimmage.

While Sanders’ big day against the Lions was encouraging, it shouldn’t overshadow the performance of second-year running back Kenneth Gainwell.

Eagles
Lions linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez tackles Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell during the first half on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, at Ford Field.
Nfl Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions

Gainwell didn’t put up gaudy numbers against the Lions — he rushed for 20 yards and added two receptions for 12 yards — but he still had a big impact on the game.

The former Memphis standout showed that he’s extremely valuable in passing situations thanks to his excellent pass blocking.

Check out the way Gainwell picked up a couple of pass rushers against Detroit.

If Gainwell whiffs on either of those blocks or if he doesn’t read the pass rush correctly, then those plays get blown up. And in a game that was won by only three points, those plays getting blown up could’ve changed the outcome.

Stuff like that doesn’t get noticed in the box score, but the coaches will absolutely notice it. And that’s a big reason why Gainwell is going to be on the field a lot this season for the Eagles.

Featured image via Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK