Eagles By the Numbers: NFC East Title Unlikely
Some stats and figures of note on Chip Kelly’s 4-7 team:
17%* — That’s how likely it is the Eagles will win the NFC East and make the playoffs, according to the New York Times’ NFL Playoff Simulator. If you’re surprised by how low that number is given the Birds are just one game out of the division lead, remember they’re also one game back from having the worst record in the NFC.
If the Eagles finish the season 2-3 and win both NFC East games, they still only have an 11 percent chance of making the playoffs. If you add a win against the Bills, however, their division title hopes bump up to 57 percent.
The Giants are the favorites at 43 percent while Washington is close behind at 37 percent. Jay Gruden’s squad has the easiest remaining schedule by far, including two games against Dallas. Washington’s slate (.363) is the only schedule below .500 for an NFC East team, while Philadelphia (.618) has the toughest five games.
2.72 — That’s how many yards per carry before contact Ryan Mathews is averaging this season, according to Pro Football Focus. It’s an impressive number for Mathews, who is more than a yard ahead of DeMarco Murray (1.71).
However, it isn’t very surprising as Mathews leads Murray in yards per carry (5.7 vs. 3.5), rushing touchdowns (5 vs. 4) and broken tackles per carry (.18 vs. .13). Pat Shurmur took a stab at explaining why Mathews is so good in this category yesterday before practice.
“We’ve seen his running style where he’ll take it and hit it,” Shurmur said. “Because he’ll do that and get up in the hole, he has more of a squared body position where he can make a break right or left or stay on course. I don’t know, maybe that’s something to do with it.”
1.98 — That’s how many points per drive the Eagles have allowed this season, according to Football Outsiders. They rank 20th in the NFL, although they rank 14th in yards per drive given up (31.44).
The Eagles’ defense ranks 28th in time of possession per drive, which reinforces the notion that Billy Davis’ unit is on the field a lot. Philadelphia also ranks last in points per red zone trip allowed (5.55) and the defense hasn’t forced a turnover in the last three games.
“We haven’t tackled as well the last two weeks and the turnovers are nonexistent. Those are two big pieces of who we are,” Davis said. “Two games ago [against Tampa Bay], I told you we had five turnover opportunities, but in the Detroit game we had none. That’s more discouraging. If you have five and don’t get five, at least you’re in a position to cause and get the turnover. Against Detroit, nothing went well, and we did not have any turnovers or opportunities.”
*If you play around with the simulator, your numbers may vary, although it’s unlikely to be very different. That’s because the machine estimates odds “by randomly simulating the remainder of the season thousands of times and counting how often the Eagles make the playoffs.”