Five Eagles Numbers That Matter
109 – The number of solo tackles by DeMeco Ryans, according to team stats tracked by Eagles coaches. During Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure, only two players have had more in a single season: Quintin Mikell (2008) and Brian Dawkins (2006). Both safeties had 111 solo tackles. Barring injury, Ryans is pretty much a lock to set a new mark in the final two games. He has 15 tackles for loss, which is already the most of any player under Reid. The Eagles have gotten several moves wrong in the past two seasons. Acquiring Ryans from the Texans was not one of them. When he first arrived, the question was: Is Ryans a three-down player? The answer has been a resounding yes as he’s stayed on the field for 99.7 percent of the team’s snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. When discussing the Eagles’ building blocks going forward, don’t forget to include Ryans. He’s only 28 and appears to have plenty of good years left.
5.5 – The number of sacks by Fletcher Cox. According to NFL.com, only three defensive tackles have more – Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins (10.5), Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh (6.5) and Chicago’s Henry Melton (6.0). Cox is tied for the team lead in sacks and leads all Eagles defensive linemen with 62 tackles (44 solo). It’s not even that close either – Trent Cole is second with 52 (30). Cox has already shown that he can be a high-quality 4-3 defensive tackle. If the Eagles switch to a 3-4 in the offseason, he’d likely get a chance to play defensive end. Granted, it’s only his rookie season, but it’s clear Cox has a Pro Bowl ceiling.
121 – The number of times Reid has walked onto the field at either the Vet or the Linc as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles (playoffs included). As Tim pointed out this morning, barring a monumental upset, Reid will coach his final home game here Sunday afternoon when the Birds host the Redskins. For weeks now, fans have been lectured by the national media about how it’s going to miss Reid when he’s gone. Many paint the picture of an angry, unreasonable fan base forcing Reid out of town.
I don’t think that’s really fair. Here’s the point everyone seems to constantly miss: You can appreciate what Reid has accomplished in his career here while still believing it’s time to move on. As someone who hears from fans through several different mediums – e-mail, social media, our comments section, Birds 24/7 Radio – I really believe that’s how the majority of people feel. They remember what things were like under Rich Kotite, Ray Rhodes and others. They enjoyed several great moments in the last 14 years that included five trips to the NFC title game and one Super Bowl berth.
But they also see a franchise that is 12-18 since the start of the 2011 season. One that has missed out on the playoffs in four of the last eight seasons. One that will have gone four years without a playoff win and has just three in the last eight seasons. It’s been a good run, but unless Jeffrey Lurie plans on letting Reid coach for as long as he wants, now is the time to part ways.
72 – The number of of turnovers the Eagles have committed since the start of the 2011 season. That’s the most in the NFL. Think about that – 2.4 turnovers per game over a 30-game span. We kept wondering whether things would level out a bit, and they never did – 38 giveaways last year, 34 in 14 games this season. The defense hasn’t done its part either. The Eagles’ 12 takeaways are tied for 31st. Overall, the numbers translate to a -22 turnover differential, which explains why this team has struggled so badly.
11 – The number of penalties committed by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this season, according to Pro Football Focus. That ranks tied for first among NFL cornerbacks. We’ve written about Rodgers-Cromartie in this space quite a bit. After quarterback, he’s probably going to be the Eagles’ toughest evaluation this offseason. I was looking at some cornerback contracts handed out last offseason. Lardarius Webb got a six-year deal for $52.7M ($10M guaranteed) from the Ravens. Brandon Carr got five years, $50.1M ($25.5M guaranteed) from the Cowboys. Cortland Finnegan got five years, $50M ($27M guaranteed) from the Rams. And Carlos Rogers got $29.3M over four years from the 49ers. Rogers was the only one in that group who was 30 or older. Rodgers-Cromartie is only 26. And despite his flaws, he’s likely to get a sweet deal if he tests free agency.