Three Philadelphia Eagles Numbers That Matter
With Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season in the books, here’s a look at three Philadelphia Eagles numbers that matter.
76% – The amount of teams that have made the playoffs after starting out 3-0.
Football Outsiders gives the Eagles a 69% chance of qualifying for the post-season. FiveThirtyEight’s projections have the Eagles slightly higher at 70%.
The season is young, and things can change quickly, but it’s hard not to think about how far these Eagles can fly. The Birds have a promising rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz. Head coach Doug Pederson has been stellar so far and looks like an early Coach of the Year candidate. Jim Schwartz is overseeing a defense that’s allowed a mere 27 points through three games. This seems like a winning combination.
Are the Eagles more than just a playoff team? Are they actually a legitimate Super Bowl contender? Again, there’s plenty of games left to be played, but the early answer shouldn’t immediately be “no.”
Speaking of the Super Bowl, the Eagles’ championship odds have changed dramatically. The Birds opened the season at 100/1 and now they’re down to 20/1. Only eight teams have better odds.
Here’s another interesting note on the Eagles’ Super Bowl aspirations from ESPN’s Tim McManus.
The Eagles have won each of their first three games by double digits to start a season for the third time in team history, per ESPN Stats & Info. They reached the Super Bowl the previous two times they turned the trick (1980 & 2004). They are also the fifth team in the last 10 seasons to start 3-0 while winning each game by 15-plus points. Each of the previous four made the Super Bowl.
11 – The jersey number of Carson Wentz, who continues to make history with each passing week. This is cheating, yes, but it’s too difficult to encapsulate Wentz’s impressive start in a single stat so here’s a list of accomplishments so far.
- Only NFL quarterback to attempt 100-plus passes and have a 100-plus passer rating through his first three games (since 1960)
- First rookie in NFL history to not throw an interception in his first 100 pass attempts
- First player in NFL history with 100-plus attempts, 60-plus completions, five-plus touchdowns, and zero interceptions through his first three games
- First Eagles rookie quarterback to be named NFC Offensive Player Of the Week (Week 3)
- NFL Rookie of the Week (Week 1)
- Ranked fifth in DYAR and fourth in DVOA by Football Outsiders
- No. 1 overall graded quarterback by Pro Football Focus
It feels like Wentz is going to get his own section in this post each week.
5.35 – The combination of Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner is averaging 5.35 yards per carry (34 attempts for 182 yards). Compare that figure to the production from the combination of Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles: 2.98 yards per carry (52 attempts for 155 yards). Here’s an individual breakdown.
Mathews – 33 attempts for 104 yards, 3 rushing TD – 1 reception for 3 yards
Sproles – 19 attempts for 51 yards, 0 rushing TD – 10 receptions for 160 yards, 1 receiving TD
Smallwood – 20 attempts for 96 yards, 1 rushing TD – 0 receptions
Barner – 14 yards attempts for 86 yards, 1 rushing TD – 0 reception
One group has clearly been more efficient than the other when it come to running the ball. It’s obviously a small sample size, but the Eagles should look to get Smallwood and Barner more involved in the running back rotation.
It doesn’t seem like that will be the case, however. Pederson noted the oft-injured Mathews will still be Philadelphia’s lead back when healthy. He also said the rotation will be kept the same.
Mathews is a talented player. The Eagles don’t need to abandon him completely. If his rushing average doesn’t improve, however, Philadelphia should consider giving his touches to the more productive and younger players.