Philadelphia Eagles: C+
Where does a Giants fan start? What was that self appointed nickname they slapped on themselves again at the beginning of the season? Doesn’t matter. Whatever it was it no longer applies. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Andy Reid. He has always been a great judge of talent. Character, on the other hand, is his blind side. He’s filled this team up with talent. But it is their lack of class and character that has them sharing the basement with the Redskins.
Despite popular opinion, Michael Vick does not walk on water. He makes poor decisions like anyone else in the league. There is no denying that he possesses a great deal of talent. He just happens to be surrounded by a wealth of talent. That too, helps him look invincible. He can run. He can throw. No question. He is also susceptible to being shaken loose by an opposing defense. That leads him to bad decision making. You hear a lot about this QB. But for all the hype, he is not in the Top 10 for passing yards. He is not in the Top 10 for TDs. He is not in the Top 10 for QB Ratings. But he does make the Top 10 in the interceptions category. We know what he can do and as we are discovering, he can’t do it all the time.
There is only one RB doing the job for Philly. Perhaps that is because that is the only running back needed to get the job done. That back is LeSean McCoy. What can you say here? He leads the league in rushing. He is 1st in yards per game (103.1). He and Adrian Peterson share the top slot for most rushing TDs (9). McCoy is in his third season and on track to surpassing his rushing yardage mark from last year (1,080). As mentioned, he is the only RB doing anything to help the Philly running game. But you have Michael Vick pitching in to add to their high speed running game. Vick has the 2nd most rushing yards on this Eagles offense (456). The rushing stats for the rest of the team are not worth mentioning. LeSean McCoy IS the Philadelphia running game. The Philly front office might want to think about adding some depth to this area.
This is an area where they have some depth. The birds rank 10th for (REC) yards per game in the NFL. Jeremy Maclin is Philly’s leading receiver. He has 44 REC for 606 YDs and 4 TDs. He is a young player and developing into a better athlete each year. Next up, we have DeSean Jackson, another deep threat. He has 29 REC for 432 YDs and 2 TDs. Giants fans will remember his punt returning skills from last season. He has gone for over 1,000 receiving yards the last two seasons and is just about on track to pull a three-peat. Jason Avant and Brent Celek are two more from Philadelphia’s aerial arsenal. Celek is a big, beefy TE (6′ 4″, 255 lbs.) who is always a guy you want to keep contained. Let’s not forget about LeSean McCoy. He is used in screens and slants a fair bit and can easily turn a 5 yard play into fifty with his after the catch mobility. Vick has the rushing numbers that he does because quite often these receivers aren’t open. So, they’re an explosive receiving corps. but none of these guys are in the Top 10 for receiving yards.
Offensive Line: A-
This is, without a doubt, one of the most improved offensive lines in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders definitely get the cigar on this one, though. The Eagles come in 2nd. Last year the Philly O-line gave up 49 sacks and 101 QB hits. So far, this season, they have only given up 14 sacks and 40 QB hits. Of course, the season is only halfway through and anything can happen. Regardless, that is how things stand now. They are making the holes that LeSean McCoy needs. They are strongest on their right side. That’s a no brainer considering that they have a 6′ 6″, 321 lbs monster, named Todd Herremans, acting as a wall/bulldozer on that side. This is an offensive line that any team would be proud to call their own.
This is a mixed bag of tricks. On one hand, you have the front four. Jason Babin has the 3rd most sacks (9.0) in the NFL. Cullen Jenkins is not far behind with 5.0 sacks on the year. Trailing right behind him is Trent Cole who has 4.0 sacks. Their front four can certainly bring the pressure. But they are not great at stopping the run. Their linebacker crew collectively have 4.5 years between them and 1.0 sack. The secondary, which is probably the highest paid in the league, are only mediocre at defending the pass this year. The Philly defense is dead last in tackling but 3rd in interceptions. Clearly, the front four is the strongest part of this unit. Yes, it is only midseason. Things could improve. Things could decline. We shall see.
Special Teams: C+
The return game is not at all what people may have expected. They’re ranked 28th in return averages. DeSean Jackson has 231 punt return yards, 1 TD and 2 fumbles. Alex Henery is averaging 65.6 yards per kickoff. He is also ranked 14th in FGs. They could use some work.