Sunday, December 16, 2012

Eagles vs. Buccaneers: Behind the Numbers

Woah, was that a win last week by the Eagles? I had forgotten what that felt like! A beautiful final drive led by Nick Foles allowed the Eagles to come out on top on the last play of the game. Do the numbers support the final score?

Pretty evenly matched teams here, with the Eagles having a slight edge in final score, plays, total yards, average gain, first downs, and 3rd down %. They also fared much better in the penalty department, committing only 2 penalties for 13 yards; the Buccaneers had 8 for 60 yards. Nick Foles definitely had his best offensive game of the year, and that was reflected in the Birds domination over the Bucs in the passing department. On the flip side, the Eagles run game was abysmal against the top ranked rushing defense of the Buccaneers, and I'm sure Bryce Brown had a wake up call. Oh, and of course the Eagles lost the turnover battle!

This game SUCKED for a while, regardless of which team you side with. The first 10 possessions of the game resulted in punts. That's 5 from each team to start the game, before the Eagles finally scored on a field goal with about 7 minutes left in the first half. The next 3 Eagles drives resulted in a touchdown and 2 missed field goals; they finished up with a pair of punts and 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Had they scored on even 2 of those missed FGs, this game could have been much different.
After the Bucs first 5 possessions resulted in punts, they decided that wasn't good enough. They punted on the next 3 possessions before scoring a touchdown in the third quarter. That touchdown was a gimme though, as Damaris Johnson muffed a punt close to the end zone. All in all, it came down to one final drive by the Eagles, in which they were able to gain 64 yards for a game winning touchdown by Jeremy Maclin as time expired.
-Bryce Brown looked awful.  I know he was up against a tough rushing defense, but damn. He also needs to hold the ball more securely still.
-Defense played pretty well if you ask me, but the offensive line sucked.
-If Nick Foles plays every game like this, I won't mind having him as a QB. He's definitely improving over these last few games, but we'll see how good he can be. I'm not convinced yet.
-Jason Avant has some sick hands, and made a truly spectacular one handed catch this week. If only he was faster, he'd rival Andre Johnson.
-Speaking of, go Texans!
-Time of Possession as an indicator of the winner took another hit this week. Not as good of a "predictor" as it once was. 9-4 record on the year.
Next week vs. Bengals: Thursday, 8:20pm

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