Friday, March 6, 2015

A better second half?

The latest trend the Eagles hope to repeat is how well they have played in November and December.

A better second half?

The Eagles have hit the halfway point at 5-3 and it is hard to tell what we really know about this team.

“We always talk about the halfway point and you always feel like if you’re within striking distance at the halfway point, then you have a chance down the stretch there," coach Andy Reid said. "The parity in the league is crazy right now. You have the Giants out there and the Titans out there and they have pretty good records ... Everybody else is kind of bunched up there within a game of each other, so you have to keep pushing.”

They have, however, managed to reinforce some of the familiar trends:

* Lose before the bye week. Check. (Ooops, the commenter below is correct. They did beat San Fran before the bye)

* Win after the bye week. Check.

* Play about .500 without Brian Westbrook. Check.

The latest trend they hope to repeat is how well they have played in November and December. The Eagles media relations staff pointed this out on Page 1 of the weekly news release for the game against the Giants.

The Eagles have the second-best winning percentage in the league in November and December since 2000 at .706 (48-20). Only the New England Patriots (.760, 51-16) are better. They also have the best road winning percentage at .750 and are 22-10 against the NFC East (10-6 in November and 12-4 in December).

"I had no idea about that stat other than one game at a time," Reid said. "I don’t know that. I hope that stat holds true and the guys just keep playing and the coaches keep coaching and things keep working out alright.”

Of course, where the trend is not so good for the Birds is that they have not been over .500 in November since 2004 and are 5-7 overall (including last Sunday's win over Seattle).

The Eagles enter the game as one of only four teams to be ranked in the Top 10 in both offense and defense, at sixth on offense and fifth on defense. The Giants are fifth on offense and third on defense.

Trends or no trends, this is a significant test and a potentially significant step.

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