Eagles’ Youth Provides Ray Of Hope
If you are looking to take something positive out of this season (or at least for a way to ease your despair), focus on the Eagles’ youth.
An improbable 16 players have made their NFL debuts this season and nine have made their first NFL starts. Whether earning their position outright or forced into action by injury, eight rookies — Brandon Boykin, Bryce Brown, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Nick Foles, Damaris Johnson, Dennis Kelly and Mychal Ke ndricks — have all played meaningful snaps. A few others (Chris Polk, Marvin McNutt, Ryan Rau) have had at least a taste of the action.
Here is a look at what some of them are in the process of accomplishing:
— Foles’ 1,356 passing yards ranks as the second-highest ever by an Eagles rookie (John Reaves, 1,508 in 1972). He set team rookie passing records against Tampa with 32 completions and 381 yards and already holds the record for most completions in a season (129).
— Cox is tied for the team lead in sacks with 5.5. Only Corey Simon (9.5) and Derrick Burgess (6) have recorded more sacks as rookies. He has 4.5 sacks over his last six games.
— Johnson set a new franchise record with a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown against Dallas, besting Vai Sikahema‘s 87-yarder against the Giants in 1992.
— Brown’s 347 yards in his first two starts was the second most rushing yards in consecutive games in team history, behind only Steve Van Buren‘s mark of 379 yards back in 1949. He needs 110 yards over the final two games to break LeSean McCoy‘s record for most rushing yards as a rookie. He will also hold the rookie touchdown mark with two more scores.
— Kendricks is fourth on the team in tackles (68). His nine passes defensed are more than Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen combined, and trails only Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the team lead.
Throw in the recent surge by Brandon Graham, and there is reason to believe that the Eagles might just have a few building blocks on this roster.
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