Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Eagles vs. Redskins: Behind the Numbers

Start the season 3-1, then lose 6 games in a row. Now you're at 3-7, with virtually no shot of the playoffs unless you win out and get help. That's the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles, folks! Let's see what the numbers from this loss say:

Unlike last week, not too many positives for the Eagles here. Despite running 20 more offensive plays, they were outscored by 25, outgained by 100+ net yards overall (89 on the ground), and perhaps most alarmingly, the Redskins nearly doubled the Birds in average gain per play. The 'Skins gained an amazing 7.1 yards per play, helped tremendously by 2 TD bombs completed by RG3. Those 2 plays alone counted for 110 yards, and certainly inflated the total. The Eagles once again put up a terrible 37% 3rd down conversion rate, and amassed another 9 penalties for 70 yards. Washington fared even worse in the penalty department with 13 for 80, but none were game changers for the Eagles. And once again, 3 Eagles turnovers led to 10 Washington points; no takeaways yet again. At least first downs were even, right?

I'll start with the offense, though there's not much to say. Nick Foles clearly isn't the answer for the Eagles, and Michael Vick still gives them the best chance to win. He fumbled 3 times (somehow didn't lose any of them) and threw 2 interceptions; one wasn't his fault, though a better throw would have helped, and the other was just a poor decision that even Vick wouldn't have made. The offensive line still needs improvement, allowing another 4 sacks as they did not give a rookie QB the time he needed to throw the football. LeSean McCoy didn't get enough carries again (surprise!) but that's what happens when you have to play from behind all the time. And that's what happens when you turn the ball over constantly. Average field position (their own 24 yard line) was abysmal, and had way too many punts (5) and non-scoring drives (9 of 11). Oh, and no touchdowns. Not one. The red zone % actually didn't change though! Oh wait, that's because the Eagles didn't make it to the red zone even once.

The defense wasn't able to really use turnovers/return TDs as an excuse for letting up 31 points this week as they were last week. I will spot them the touchdown and field goal (yet another turn of events that allowed the opposition to score at the half instead of the Eagles) as they gave the ball to the 'Skins inside the red zone. That still leaves 3 touchdowns, with 2 of them being on LONG touchdown passes of 49 and 61 yards. The 61-yarder was absolutely INEXCUSABLE. The receiver was double covered as RG3 basically decided he was just going to throw the ball as far as he could and pray to God. God liked RG3 on Sunday, and so the pass resulted in a hugely embarassing touchdown against the Eagles. Take those 110 yards away, and the Redskins average gain drops by 2 yards (5.1) which is still good. Aside from those 2 pass plays I suppose the defense was OK, but they only recorded 2 sacks out of a possible half dozen. Like a young Vick, RG3 was able to elude several tacklers on quite a few plays, and made plays out of losses. Basically the defense would have been fine if RG3 wasn't playing.

-Andy Reid needs to go. He probably isn't the problem, but something drastic needs to change.  Firing Juan Castillo wasn't it (the defense has played worse) and without an overhaul of the players, the head coach needs to change.
-Nick Foles looks like a rookie QB, not the answer to the Eagles problems. If Vick is able to play, he gets the ball hands down.
-Speaking of concussions, LeSean McCoy has one now. Arguably your best player, and definitely your most underutilized, is now out.
-I had to shut the game off at some point in the 4th quarter. I don't know why I even bother watching this team.
-That being said, I still don't think this team should be this bad. However, I think that less and less every week. Maybe this team really is on the Chiefs/Browns level?
-Third week in a row when time of possession wasn't an indicator of the winner of the game. Direct result of too many turnovers and not capitalizing on possessions by the Eagles.
-Let's go Texans!

(Eagles at Redskins PDF)

Last week vs. Cowboys: L, 38-23
This week: vs. Panthers, Monday 8:30pm

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