Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eagles vs. Lions: Behind the Numbers 2013

Last week's game against the Detroit Lions was called "The Snow Bowl" and for good reason. The first half was basically a blizzard, and the second half had to deal with half a foot of snow on the ground (and it was still snowing). After a sloppy start, the Eagles were able to put together a dominant second half and came away with a crucial win. With Dallas losing Monday night, the Eagles are in now in sole possession of first place in the NFC East, and in great position to win the division. Let's check out the numbers, but keep in mind the conditions of the game played a huge role:

Despite the conditions, the numbers look great for the Eagles. They accumulated nearly 500 yards of total offense, which is quite impressive considering they had a whopping 3 in the first quarter and only 92 in the first half. Passing yards were down for both teams, but that was expected. What wasn't expected was the Eagles finishing one lonely yard shy of 300 rushing yards on the day; LeSean McCoy was on fire late in the game and set a new Philadelphia Eagles single game rushing record (217). Detroit only managed 80 for the entire game. And while Philly didn't fare too well on third downs (25 vs 33%) they played a pretty clean game with only 1 penalty for a measly 5 yards and one turnover (Nick Foles' first interception of the year!). The Birds also ran more plays than the Lions, and averaged a tremendous 7 yards per play to their 3.9. Oh, and they had more than double the number of Detroit first downs (23 to 11). At the end of the day, the numbers here support the 34-20 win that the Eagles recorded.

I won't get into too much detail about the offense or the defense this week, since the snowy conditions wreaked havoc on the playmaking abilities of all facets of the game.

The main thing that stands out is the adjustments that the Eagles were able to make during the second half, and obviously the string of 4 touchdowns in a row during the 4th quarter. For a while, it seemed like the game would remain at 8-0 in favor of the Lions. But the halftime adjustments from Chip Kelly proved to be a miracle, as the Eagles suddenly figured things out and put up their highest point total since the blowout at Oakland. The defense seemed to improve after halftime as well, holding Detroit to under 100 yards in the second half. To touch on special teams; it needs work. Finally, instead of trying to make sense of the offense and defense in the conditions, I present a bonus graph of the 4th quarter to summarize by analysis:

Enough said.

(Eagles vs. Lions PDF)

-LeSean McCoy is a beast. He seemed to be unaffected by the conditions.
-There were NO sacks in this game, by either team. Surprising, but not too surprising considering the snow made it hard for any type of pass rush to develop.
-Also surprised that the Eagles had no fumbles, despite 7 from the Lions.
-If I hear one more commentator on ESPN/etc say something like "the snow is tough on the defense because the offensive player knows where they're going" I may very well throw my remote through my TV. Someone should do a supercut on that...
-Nick Foles was due for a pick, and I would have almost assured you he would get one if you asked me before the game. However, I also would have expected a TD throw to tie Peyton first.
-The Eagles are in pretty good shape to win the NFC East. At this point, it may not even come down to week 17 at Dallas. We shall see.

Last week vs Arizona: W, 24-21
Next week at Minnesota: Sunday, 1pm

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