Here is where the Eagles' offense ranks in comparison to the rest of the NFL in various statistical metrics:
Apparently, the above numbers aren't good enough to keep the Eagles out of the bottom 5 units (offense or defense) in the NFL, according to Phil Simms, who is the leader in the clubhouse for the most idiotic statement of the year. Here's more on Simms' rationale (it's tremendous), and more from around the web on the Eagles...
Simms ranked the Eagles offense as the 60th best unit in the NFL on this week's "Inside the NFL." Surely the CBS and Showtime analyst (who I happen to consider one of the best in the business) had sound reasoning, right? Nope.
Back in the spring, new Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis was asked if he had spent time looking at Jim Johnson’s scheme and concepts.
“He had some great dynamic pressures, and I’ve studied a lot of them,” Davis said. “They were out-of-the-box thinking. But when you really break him down, it was more guys up in the A-gaps with the illusion of pressure than actual [sending] more than four rushers.
“There were times that he brought more. …But he did a great job of keeping offenses off-balance through both pressure, illusion of pressure and non-pressure. And you need all elements to attack an offense because there’s some times you pressure some of the stuff Coach [Chip Kelly] does, you’re going to get eaten alive.”
Davis’ comments serve as a good launching off point to examining what’s working well for the Eagles on defense. Last week, they were able to keep Tony Romo off-balance and free up rushers all game long, both with the blitz and the threat of the blitz.
No fewer than 27 different linebackers started at least one game under Andy Reid, and the names now just make you shake your head in disgust.
Brian Rolle. Matt McCoy. Joe Mays. Mark Simoneau. Keith Adams. Levon Kirkland. Ernie Sims. Keenan Clayton.
Eagles linebackers have been so bad for so long that now it’s hard to even remember the last time one gave the Eagles consistent production on a weekly basis.
Like DeMeco Ryans is doing right now.
Brandon Boykin, CB. "A physical specimen with elite speed and vertical to compensate lack of length. Better equipped for slot, but has quick-twitch athleticism to handle outside. Tackling has improved. Has trouble avoiding blocks as edge rusher. Still has upside. Lacks maneuverability to be elite returner. Leader. Confident."
Cedric Thornton doesn't look like a guy you'd peg as a run-stopper of a defensive lineman. At 6-3, 309, he's kind of rangy. If you didn't know his listed weight and someone told you he was a linebacker, you wouldn't look askance.
But Thornton, an undrafted second-year man from Southern Arkansas, has a 14.9 "run-stop percentage," according to the Pro Football Focus website, and that happens to be the highest in the NFL, by PFF's reckoning. No. 2 is that J.J. Watt dude, down in Houston. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Eagles' defense, ranked last overall, is 12th against the run.
Even though Friday's practice is scheduled to be a walk-through, Vick suggested that he plans to sprint for the first time.
"Run 100 yards as fast as I can, try to cut, try to make sudden movement in the pocket, see what happens," Vick said.
“I just wasn’t myself,” he said. “I felt like with a game like this where my team needed me and depended on me, I didn’t show up. I started doing just too many individual type of plays, not really going with the plays and just doing my own thing.
5) Let's hear a game prediction from you.
Well, I am going to pick the Giants. First, I have to believe that they are capable of some good football at some point, and they've been better the last two weeks. Second, my apologies but I'm still not buying that the Eagles are actually a good team. The Giants gifted them a victory three weeks ago. Giants 24, Eagles 21
Michael Vick edged out Manti Te'o and Ndamukong Suh for the #1 spot.
In case you missed it at the Red Zone...
• My Week 8 NFL picks
• Week 7 Hierarchy/Obituary
• If the Eagles want to draft a QB this offseason, they'll have plenty of competition.