Philly Sports Talk

Focus Friday: The Grading System

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Now that the bye week is upon us and the team gets to rest, let’s focus on the grades that the Philadelphia Eagles have earned to date:

Offense: This offense ranked 5th in the NFL (412.4 yds per game). They are ranked in the top 10 in many of the offensive categories in the NFL which include first downs, rushing first downs, third down conversions, avg. offensive yards per play, touchdowns, and leading the league in rushing yards. This offense that has shown versatility as of late with their tempo and style of fast paced plays and slowing down the game using clock control. So much for the days of having to manage the timeouts when Big Red (Former coach Andy Reid) was in town. While Chip Kelly still is on a learning curve, he seems to be catching on to the curve a lot better in the last 4 games than the earlier part of the season. With Shady McCoy looking like a glimpse of Barry Sanders, always a threat in the backfield and catching passes out of the backfield, this offense has began to show the promise most expected in the beginning of the season. Now with Michael Vick signed on to having Nick Foles as the teams starting QB and the consistency in Foles’ play since the Cowboys collapse, this team appears to walk down the field literally on almost any opponent. The Tight Ends are getting into the mix on offense as well and the ball is being spread around the field to all three wideouts on the field on any given play. They are having fun out there. Overall with the stride they’ve seem to hit going into this bye week……I would say the offensive grade would be: A-

Defense: A few weeks into the season Billy Davis told the media to be patient, the defense will get better. He saw what we only thought to be a fantasy after the defense began to look like they were being escorted up and down the field by the opposing offenses during the game. They too have hit a stride going into this bye week as well. They are showing signs of having that “bend but don’t break” mantra and are showing signs of toughness and grit week after week. From what we are seeing lately with this defense, they are looking like a shade of that jail Johnson defense that we’ve grown to love since the turn of the century. Demeco Ryans has brought leadership to a defense that clearly lacked such a presence in its most recent years since the departure of Brian Dawkins. Connor Barwin has also given the defensive line some nastiness that we have been searching for as well. With the defense still ranking in the bottom of the NFL in rank coming in at number 32, they have surprisingly been improving. Overall grade: C -

Special Teams: Alex Henery has missed what many would call more than a few “make-able” field goals this season. His 77.3 percent average this season (17/22) is just that. Average. He is more than serviceable and usually one to bounce back after the five misses he’s had this season. The coverage team has been fairly average as well and has been covering rather well. Overall I would say the special teams would get better but for now they are doing their part. No real complaints on or with this team. Overall grade: B

With five games left in the season the Eagles are looking to begin a playoff push. Sitting atop the division for the second time this season, they have looked the most consistent out of the four teams which isn’t really saying much in one of, if not the weakest division in the NFL. They seem to be making a case for separating themselves from the pack right now but only time will tell as they begin their quest to a division title run. Foles may not be the long term answer at QB amidst a list of questions that need to be addressed in the offseason, but he is making a strong case in proving otherwise. Chip Kelly has adjusted to the NFL style of play and has began to iron out the wrinkles and has been picking up on the learning curve. Billy Davis has talked the talk and he is letting his defense show and prove. This team is poised and on the rise. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them with a Division title and a possible first round playoff win. Overall grade: B -

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