By: Michael Quinn
Cold Hard Football Facts Eagles Expert
Just a week after shocking the NFL world, the Eagles proved it wasn't a fluke. Chip Kelly's system clearly works, and he has the personnel to run it.
Gone are the bad play calls and poor defensive play. This Eagles unit is legit. Whether offense or defense, Kelly has done a good job shaping this once mediocre team.
Despite the notion that his team needs a QB who can run a 4.5 40-time, Nick Foles has once again shown he has what it takes to lead the Eagles offense. For the second straight week he finished with only six incompletions, and has yet to throw an interception on the year.
Despite only starting in four games this year, Foles is tied for 8th place in the NFL with 16 TD's, ranking above big names like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. If the young passer were to stay on track, he'll be on pace for over 40 TD's by years end. Though it's not likely to happen, Foles looks to have a memorable year.
About a month ago I wrote an article on why Foles should be starting QB. One of the main reasons, was how often he was throwing touchdowns compared to Michael Vick. After his win in Tampa Bay, Foles was averaging a score every 6.8 completions. Well, two starts later, Foles is averaging a touchdown every 5.5 completions, surely a notable stat. When comparing that number around the league, his figures really stand out.
Peyton Manning: 7.9
Drew Brees: 9.8
Alex Smith: 20.8
Matthew Stafford: 12.0
Another key to Foles' success, has been LeSean McCoy. Whether he's flourishing or being stopped at the line, defenses must put their focus on McCoy. The five-year vet hasn't let any other rusher catch up to him this year as he leads the league with 932 yards.
This offense finally seems to be on the same page. In terms of Scoreability, Foles has helped his Eagles rise in the rankings even if just a little. They went from 16.53 YPPS (yards per point scored) to 16.4. It's a respectable stat, especially when compared to winning teams like the Bengals(16.1) and Lions(15.5).
For Bendability, or how well a team plays in situational football, the Eagles fell in the rankings despite keeping the Packers under 15 points. As of last week, the team was averaging 16.34 YPPA (Yards per point allowed) where as now they're averaging 17.0. The defense has been somewhat good keeping opponents out of the end zone, but still give up ridiculous yardage (already 4,170).
In the end, the Eagles have played surprisingly well this year. The defense hasn't been awful and the offense has managed to flourish the last few weeks. At the same time, they haven't exactly defeated some tough squads. The defense struggled against backup QB's like Mike Glennon and Scott Tolzien, and the offense has gotten plenty of breaks.
The Eagles have a divisonal home game against the Redskins coming up, and it's at this point the biggest match up of the year for them. They'll be heading into the bye-week afterwards, and need a win to grab lead of the NFC East beforehand. Considering they've lost their last 10 at home, it won't be an easy game for Chip Kelly & co. However, if his team can keep pace with the last few weeks, they should have no problem grabbing their third straight win.