Stats? Stats? You can’t handle stats.
OK, maybe you can. Some need-to-know numbers on the Eagles heading into tonight’s big game against the Cowboys:
— Carson Wentz and the Eagles are second in the NFL in scoring to Jared Goff and the Rams. They’re averaging 31.4 points per game. FYI, the franchise record is 31.3 by the ‘48 championship team.
— The Eagles have entered the fourth quarter without the lead just once in nine games (vs. the Chiefs in Week 2). During their seven-game win streak, they have outscored opponents 180-66 in the first three quarters. The Eagles have outscored opponents in the first quarter, 64-12.
— The Eagles have scored on their first possession in five of their nine games. They’ve also scored on their second possession in five of nine games. They are averaging 6.4 yards per play on their first possession.
Shotgun vs. under center
— The Eagles have run 390 of their 599 offensive plays, or 65.1%, out of shotgun. They’re averaging 4.2 yards per carry out of shotgun and 3.8 from under center.
— Carson Wentz has a 60.8 completion percentage from shotgun (149-for-245) and 58.7 from under center (27-for-46). He is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt from shotgun, 6.1 from under center.
— LeGarrette Blount has 104 carries this season. Eighty-three (79.8%) have been from under center. He’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry from under center and just 2.7 out of shotgun.
— The Eagles’ average drive start in their last five games has been the 33.3-yard line. It was the 25.5 in their first four games. That’s a plus-7.8-yard difference.
— The Eagles are first in red-zone offense with a 72.4 touchdown percentage (21-for-29). In their last four games, they have scored TDs on 11 of 12 trips inside the opponent 20. The Eagles finished 24th in red-zone offense last season (49.1%).
— The Eagles are the only team in the league that hasn’t committed a turnover or allowed a sack in the red zone this season. The last time the Eagles went through a season without a red-zone turnover was 2003.
— Wentz has completed 24 of 36 pass attempts (66.7%) in the red zone. His red-zone completion percentage as a rookie was 49.4. Fifteen of his league-high 23 touchdown passes have been in the red zone. Six different Eagles have red-zone touchdown catches. Four have multiple scoring catches in the red zone, headed by tight end Zach Ertz, who has a career-high six.
— Wentz has thrown 17 touchdown passes in the Eagles’ last five games. His passer rating in those five games: 117.9. He has averaged a touchdown pass every 8.5 attempts in the last five games.
— Wentz has thrown just three interceptions in his last 219 attempts.
— Heading into the Dallas game, Wentz is third in the league in passing (104.1) and first in third-down passing (125.1). He is averaging 9.3 yards per attempt on third down and has thrown 10 TD passes on third down. He had three last year.
— Wentz has 16 rushing first downs. Just three QBs have more – the Panthers’ Cam Newton (31), the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott (20, including four last week against the Falcons) and the Browns’ DeShone Kizer (18).
— Ten of Wentz’s 23 touchdown passes have been with “11’’ personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). Eight have been with 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs), four with 13 (1 RB, 3 TEs, 1 WR) and 1 with 23 (2 RBs, 3 TEs, 0 WRs).
Who will stop the run?
— The Eagles have allowed just seven rushing first downs in their last three games and a league-low 29 for the season.
— Forty-two of the 166 rushing attempts against the Eagles (25.3%) have resulted in negative yards.
— The Eagles have held opponents to 2.4 yards per carry on first down in their last seven games. They’ve allowed just 3.1 yards per carry on all downs in the last five games.
— The Eagles have been run on less than any team in the league. Opponents are averaging just 18.4 rushing attempts per game against the Eagles. Just two teams have run the ball more than 19 times against them – Carolina (25) and San Francisco (24).
— The Eagles have held opponents to an NFL-best 66.4 rushing yards per game. Since 1960, the fewest rushing yards allowed per game by the Eagles was 71.0 by that fantastic 1991 defense that included Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, Byron Evans, Wes Hopkins, Eric Allen, et al.
Sacks, picks and 3rd down defense
— Further proof that passing yards allowed is one of the more meaningless statistics in football: the Eagles are giving up 249.4 yards per game through the air, which is the seventh most in the NFL. But they are ninth in yards allowed per attempt (6.6), 13th in opponent completion percentage (61.4), ninth in opponent passer rating (81.2), tied for fourth in interceptions (11) and tied for 10th in sacks (25).
— Six of the defense’s 11 interceptions have been on third down. The Eagles are third in the league in third-down defense, holding teams to a 30.1 conversion rate, which is their best since ‘91 (29.8).
— Opposing QBs have just a 52.4 third-down passer rating against the Eagles. That includes a 53.1 completion percentage and just two touchdown passes. Just 26 of the 96 third-down pass attempts against them have produced first downs.
Breaking down the receivers?
— Last year, Eagles wide receivers had just eight touchdown passes. Through nine games this year, they already have 12.
— Wentz has completed 16 of 45 pass attempts of 20 yards or more. Ironically, their “inside’’ pass-catchers — slot receiver Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz – have the most deep-ball completions (four apiece). Rookie Mack Hollins is third with three. The Eagles’ two starting outside wideouts, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, have been targeted a combined 25 times on 20-plus-yard throws. They have four catches, though two have resulted in touchdowns.
— Jeffery has a career-low 46.6 catch rate (34 receptions, 73 targets). But he has been a big reason for the Eagles’ improvement on third down and in the red zone. A team-high 13 of his 34 catches have been on third down, 10 for first downs. His three red-zone TDs are second to Ertz’s six. His 25 receiving first downs are just four fewer than Ertz’s team-high 29.
— Ertz, who missed the Denver game with a hamstring injury, has had at least one TD catch in four straight games, and in five of his last six.
The blitz, boss. The blitz
— In the Eagles’ Week 8 overtime loss to the Cowboys last year, Jim Schwartz blitzed then-rookie Dak Prescott on 28.6% of his dropbacks (12 of 42 pass plays). Prescott was 5-for-12 for 81 yards, no TDs or interceptions and no sacks when the Eagles sent extra rushers in that game.
Schwartz is blitzing more this season, and his defense has been better at it. The Eagles have blitzed on 24.0% of opponent dropbacks this season, up from 21.2 last year. In their last five games, the Eagles have blitzed on 27.1% of dropbacks. This doesn’t include less than a dozen zone blitzes, where they drop a lineman into coverage and rush a linebacker or DB.
The Eagles have an impressive 58.1 opponent passer rating when they’ve blitzed this season, holding opponents to a 46.5 completion percentage and just 4.8 yards per attempt when they have sent extra rushers. Three of their 11 interceptions and seven of their 25 sacks have come on blitzes.
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