Eagles Offseason Outlook: Quarterback

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

Nick Foles and Matt Barkley are under contract, while Mark Sanchez is scheduled to become a free agent.

Foles has become a polarizing figure around these parts. Critics will point out that he completed just 59.8 percent of his passes (26th), averaged 6.96 YPA (26th) and had 10 interceptions to go along with four fumbles in eight games. He was 19th in Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric that ranks quarterbacks.

Supporters will argue that he was playing with a banged-up offensive line, didn’t have the benefit of a quality run game and has already shown in 2013 that he can play at a high level. Read more »

Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans

From the idea of a QB-friendly system to limiting big plays on defense, here are three Eagles numbers that matter.

64.1 – That was Mark Sanchez’s completion percentage with the Eagles last year. He also averaged 7.8 YPA. Those numbers really pop if you compare them to what Sanchez produced with the Jets: 55.1 and 6.5.

So why am I bringing this up now?

There has been a lot of talk about how QB-friendly Chip Kelly’s scheme is. We had a large sample size (62 games) of who Sanchez was with the Jets. And we got a smaller sample size (nine games) last season with the Eagles. But in a couple of base indicators – completion percentage and YPA – Sanchez performed significantly better in Kelly’s scheme than he did with the Jets.

On the other hand, Sanchez’s interception rate remained nearly identical: 3.7 percent with the Jets and 3.6 percent last year. Read more »

Mariota Declares For Draft

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Marcus Mariota officially declared for the NFL Draft Wednesday.

“After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft,” Mariota said in a statement. “My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete.

“The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck.

“I will miss being with my teammates.  Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Secondary Shuffle

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

There was a change in approach and personnel Sunday, but the results were in many ways the same.

The struggling Bradley Fletcher was inactive for the regular-season finale in New York (Chip Kelly said he suffered a hip injury in practice during the week), moving Nolan Carroll into a starting role and rookie Jaylen Watkins into the rotation. Because of the new pieces, Billy Davis opted to have Cary Williams shadow Odell Beckham Jr. instead of keeping the starting corners on their respective sides as is custom. And to try and minimize the amount of big plays, Davis went with more split-safety looks.

The Giants, though, still racked up 429 passing yards and the Eagles yielded five plays of 20-plus yards through the air, adding to their league-leading total. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Giants

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina - USA Today

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina – USA Today

Instead of doing a true Eagles-Giants scouting report, we’ll take a look at the offseason/future with this week’s piece.

WHEN THE EAGLES PASS…

Turnovers have been the issue all season. The Eagles have given the ball away on 18.2 percent of their drives; that’s the worst mark in the NFL. Quarterback play has been a problem throughout.

Mark Sanchez is completing 64.1 percent of his passes (13th) and averaging 7.79 YPA (sixth). But his 3.7 percent interception rate is fifth-worst among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 200 passes. Only Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown, Blake Bortles and Geno Smith have been worse.

Asked how Nick Foles’ injury clouds the offseason outlook at quarterback, Chip Kelly said: “I don’t know. I mean, we’ll sit down and thoroughly evaluate everything. But it’s no different than any other position when you look at it. You just tell us what we have available right now we’ll take a look at it, let’s detail it, let’s go through the film again, let’s put our heads together, let’s get everybody’s opinion on it and make valid decisions. I don’t think we can look back and say this clouds this, this doesn’t cloud this. It doesn’t matter how much it clouds or doesn’t cloud. That’s the reality of it. He got hurt, so we have to make decisions moving forward in terms of what we’re going to do.” Read more »

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