Friday, December 26, 2014

Rating Birds' O-line; McNabb booed in D.C.

Here's a roundup on the Eagles' offensive line, Donovan McNabb's first year with the 'Skins and Super Bowl odds.

Rating Birds' O-line; McNabb booed in D.C.

Rating the Eagles' offensive line against the other 31 teams in the league is difficult.

It's not like there is a definitive stat to measure line play.

But as stats and football analysis continue to evolve, sites are trying to use different ways to compare line play.

STATS.com is out with a ranking for pass protection, which takes into account length of pass attempts, penalties, sacks allowed, hurries and knockdowns. The Eagles rank 26th overall.

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The Colts are first, and the Eagles' opponent Sunday, the Giants, are third.

Football Outsiders has its rankings also. They've got the Eagles 24th in pass protection and 10th in run blocking. FO has the Colts first and the Giants second.

If you want to look at just overall sacks, the Eagles have given up 35 - tied for sixth-most in the NFL. And the Birds have allowed 68 QB hits, which is 10th-most.

Then again, the Eagles are second in the league with 53 pass plays of 20 yards or more. That's good enough for No. 2 in the NFL. And they're averaging 7.9 yards per attempt, fourth-most in the league. So at some point, the quarterback's getting time to find his weapons downfield.

In the run game, the Eagles average 5.3 yards per attempt, but that's certainly helped by Michael Vick. The offense has scored 16 rushing touchdowns, tied for tops in the league. And only two teams have more runs of 20-plus yards (14) than the Eagles.

If you want my opinion, the line has been OK, but inconsistent as of late. The left side with Jason Peters and Todd Herremans really has the potential to be one of the best in the league, and has shown it at times.

Mike McGlynn has ups and downs; and so does Winston Justice. Max Jean-Gilles at right guard has stepped up the last two weeks, and looks like he can really get it done in the run game, especially.

There's still a lot of season to be played, and we'll see how this unit responds to the challenge, starting Sunday against the Giants.

McNABB BOOED in D.C.?

I know I'm late with this, but I only mention it because if it had happened here, it would have been the lead story on Sportscenter.

On The Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg writes about Donovan McNabb and whether he was booed at Tuesday's Lakers-Wizards game. There are varying accounts of what the crowd sounded like. Some say the majority of fans were booing. Other say it was Lakers fans giving McNabb a hard time.

If this booing controversy sounds familiar, it's because a similar scene played out at a Sixers-Knicks game back in 2009.

At any rate, it's tough to have imagined McNabb having a more disappointing first year in Washington. He ranks 25th in the NFL with a 77.1 QB rating and has thrown more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (14). As a point of reference, McNabb was +12 in terms of TD/INT ratio in each of his last four seasons with the Eagles.

He has not played well, but it's certainly not all his fault. If you have any idea what Mike Shanahan has been doing with the way he's handled the situation, please fill me in. And the line has not been good; the Redskins have allowed 88 QB hits, most in the NFL.

As I've explained before, the Eagles might still need to count on McNabb. The Giants play the 'Skins in Week 17, and if the Eagles lose this week, they'll almost certainly be hoping for a Washington upset to help their cause in the NFC East.

EAGLES SUPER BOWL ODDS

The Eagles have 8/1 odds to win the Super bowl in the latest Bodog.com release. Only the Patriots (5/2), Steelers (6/1) and Falcons (6/1) have higher odds. The Birds were 9/1 last week and 28/1 before the season.

As for this week, the Eagles are 3-point underdogs. So far, the public is all over them, with 72 percent of the action coming in on the Eagles, per BetUS.com.

Earlier today, I provided the full roundup of what people are saying about the Eagles.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

Follow Sheil on Twitter. And become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Download it here.

Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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