Yesterday, we noted that while the Eagles were the "32nd ranked pass defense" in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed, that number was wildly skewed due to many factors, most notably the abnormally high number of snaps the defense had to face.
The Eagles faced 670 pass attempts in 2013, which was over 100 more than the league average of 567. Within that article, we touched on the Eagles' pass rush, which was only able to amass 37 sacks on the season (20th in the NFL). That is a very low number considering the number of chances they had to rush the QB.
I wanted to touch on that in a little more detail, and compare their pass rush opportunities to the rest of the NFL. And so, I computed how often the Eagles got to the quarterback per opposing dropback. In other words, sacks / (sacks + pass attempts). The results aren't pretty:
As you can see, the Eagles were next to last in "Sack Percentage." They need to improve drastically there.
If there's any consolation to Eagles fans, the Cowboys were the only team that was worse in 2013, and they lost DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher this offseason. Additionally, getting to the QB was the Giants' biggest strength over the last decade. Now? Not so much.
2015 free agency: Mike Iupati in Philly?
Looking forward to 2015 free agency might be a little silly at this point, but so what... I'm silly. With that disclaimer out of the way, the Eagles have the second oldest offensive line in the NFL. They are particularly old at both guard spots, as Evan Mathis (33 in November) is the oldest projected starting OG in the NFL, and Todd Herremans (32 in October) is the fifth oldest projected starting OG in the NFL.
While both Mathis and Herremans are still quality starters, it is a position where the Eagles could be in trouble in the near future. Adding youth and depth to the offensive line as a whole will already be a major priority next season as it is, but will be accelerated if some of the older players -- Mathis, Herremans, and Jason Peters -- begin to decline.
Earlier this week the Eagles signed Allen Barbre to a team-friendly deal, but his role as a guy who can step in as a backup at four OL spots is a valuable one. He is probably best suited to remain in that role.
But what if Herremans' or Mathis' play falls off this season? The Eagles don't have any proven backups that can realistically be thought of as long-term starters should the Eagles need someone to step up. Therefore, that could make the Eagles players in free agency next offseason.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee thinks that the 49ers Mike Iupati could be a player who hits the free agent market in 2015 because the Niners are flush with young depth along the OL, and might not be able to afford Iupati.
Iupati is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2012-13) and a former All-Pro (2012) who just turned 27 in May. More importantly, he is a big (6'5, 331), strong, athletic OG with long arms (34 3/4"), who is a mauler in the run game. He seems like a player the Eagles would covet for their run-heavy offense, and could be willing to pay to get. Just something to keep an eye on in San Francisco.
Brandon Boykin chillin' with a rabbi
Here's a leftover from OTAs... the #BoyKing hanging with a rabbi!
According to a source, they were discussing what club they were going to hit up later that night.
My favorite rabbi moment on TV:
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