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Stage 3 Of Celebration: Win By The Numbers

Posted Feb 6, 2018

We go through this celebration of a Super Bowl victory: The Seven Stages of Celebrating an Eagles Super Bowl Win, perhaps. Anyway, Stage 1 was shock, with a mix of total stunned jubilation. Stage 2 was reality settling in, and it was awesome. Stage 3, and I don’t know how long this will last, is actually going back for reasons the Eagles beat New England, 41-33 ...

We go through this celebration of a Super Bowl victory: The Seven Stages of Celebrating an Eagles Super Bowl Win, perhaps. Anyway, Stage 1 was shock, with a mix of total stunned jubilation. Stage 2 was reality settling in, and it was awesome. Stage 3, and I don’t know how long this will last, is actually going back for reasons the Eagles beat New England, 41-33.

Kings of the NFL world.

How did it happen?

Before we all go berserk at The Parade (capitalizing the words because, yes, this is going to be epic), let’s digest some numbers, provided by the NFL (per Pro Football Focus) and the numbers lovers …

THE BIG-PICTURE NUMBERS

  • 9 QB hits on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (most by any team this season, including playoffs)

  • 164 rushing yards (most vs Bill Belichick-led Patriots in a Super Bowl)

  • Eagles running backs: 255 combined scrimmage yards, 2 TD

  • Converted 10-of-16 of 3rd downs (2-2 on 4th down)

  • Won the time of possession battle (34:04 to 25:56)

Analysis: The Eagles did so many things so very well. They hit Brady early, then New England made some adjustments and kept the four-man pass rush at bay, and then the Eagles countered late in the game and came up with the best pressure at the key moments. As far bullet points Nos. 2 and 3, it’s been that way all season and it’s a great story. Remember how much concern there was in the preseason when the Eagles struggled to run the ball? It was a legitimate concern.

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But the Eagles ran the ball, and they ran it all season. Head coach Doug Pederson separated himself from many West Coast offense (and head coaches in the pass-happy NFL these days) coaches by sticking with the running game. The three-man running game was great. LeGarrette Blount was a stud. Jay Ajayi ran hard and changed direction and got to the sticks. Corey Clement (more on him below) blocked great (so did Ajayi) and was a key in the passing game.

The third-down performance was brilliant. Quarterback Nick Foles was calm and cool and he worked the pocket magically and delivered to his pass catchers. The time-of-possession numbers were impressive as they were all season.

A big hand goes to the offensive design, the execution, and the dominating ways of the offensive line.

NOTABLE PLAY CALLS BY EAGLES OFFENSE

  • The Eagles elected to try a 2-point conversion after LeGarrette Blount’s 21-yard TD with a 12-point lead (leading 15-3); placekicker Jake Elliott missed an extra point following their first touchdown (the attempt failed

  • Quarterback Nick Foles' pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery fell incomplete 4th & 1 at NE 1 (:38 left in 2nd quarter)

  • The Eagles elected to go for it at the Patriots' goal line late in the second quarter (leading 15-12), motioned into a ‘wildcat’ package that resulted in TE Trey Burton throwing a 1-yard TD to QB Nick Foles 4th & 1 at PHI 45 (5:39 left in 4th quarter)

  • The Eagles elected to go for it in their own territory late in the 4th quarter (trailing 33-32), when Foles completed a 2-yard pass to Zach Ertz extending the Eagles' game-winning drive

ANALYSIS: Some of it worked and some didn’t. The point was, Pederson kept his foot on the gas pedal, as we all hoped he would. The aggressiveness is a trademark of his two seasons. It’s an approach that pays great dividends with his football team.

NICK FOLES ON THIRD DOWN

  • Comp Pct 78.6

  • Pass Yards 169

  • Yards/Attempt 12.1

  • TD-INT 2-0

  • Passer Rating 156.5

ANALYSIS: Wow. And it doesn’t include the two-fourth-down plays on which he caught a touchdown pass and on the final touchdown drive moved around the pocket and delivered to tight end Zach Ertz for a critical first down. Foles was nothing short of brilliant. That’s why he spent Monday afternoon at Disney World. By Tuesday, he was back at the NovaCare Complex having fun with the guys.

RB COREY CLEMENT MAKES HISTORY

  • 4 receptions, 100 receiving yards, TD (5 targets)

  • 3 carries, 8 rush yards

  • Clement had the 3rd-most receiving yards by an RB in Super Bowl history (New England James White LI 110), (San Francisco) Roger Craig XXIII 101)

  • Clement had the 4th-most receiving yards by a rookie in Super Bowl history

ANALYSIS: These are staggering numbers for an undrafted rookie who had all of 29 career receptions at Wisconsin. With the Eagles, Clement made himself into a big-game contributor in his first season. He’s a great receiver who made huge – and in some cases, very difficult – catches all season. A word of salute to running backs coach Duce Staley for his work and to Clement for putting the time in and flourishing.

LET’S GIVE IT UP FOR THE RECEIVERS, TOO!

Alshon Jeffery

  • 3 receptions, 73 receiving yards, TD (8 targets)

  • Jeffery is the first Eagles player since Fred Barnett (1992) to record multiple 30+ yard receiving TDs in the same postseason

Nelson Agholor

  • 9 receptions, 84 receiving yards (11 targets)
  • Per PFF, all 9 receptions came when aligned in the slot

Zach Ertz

  • 7 receptions, 67 receiving yards, TD (9 targets)

  • 5 of 7 receptions went for 1st downs

  • Ertz continued his prowess on 3rd & 4th down situations

  • Ertz had 11 receptions on 3rd or 4th down in the playoffs

  • Next closest Eagles player had 5 such receptions in the playoffs

  • Zach Ertz on 3rd & 4th Down 2017 Postseason Next Closest on Team Targets 12 Jeffery (6) Receptions 11 Clement (5) Rec Yards 108 Jeffery (96) Rec TD >1 Jeffery (2) > T-2nd on team in receiving TD on 3rd/4th down

Trey Burton

  • Became the 4th non-QB to throw a TD in the Super Bowl - Others: Cowboys Robert Newhouse (SB XII), Rams Lawrence McCutcheon (SB XIV), and Steelers Antwaan Randle-El (SB XL) 15

ANALYSIS: It’s been impressive how the Eagles spread the ball around all season and that continued on Sunday night. Agholor has been money all season, and he’s only going to get better. What a master stroke to trade away Jordan Matthews (a very good slot receiver) for Agholor, who gave the Eagles speed and quickness and a burst with the football in his hands. It took some time for Agholor to arrive, but he sure has. Jeffery and Foles got better and better the more they played together. Ertz took a big leap in 2017 to the category of elite tight end and his run-after-the-catch performance was clearly more productive than in past seasons.

What’s cool about Burton is how Pederson used all of Burton’s talents here. A former quarterback at the University of Florida, Burton was a natural to run the “Philly Special” and he threw a perfect, very catchable pass to Foles for the touchdown of a century.

There are so many other numbers to sort through – 21 pages in all – but these are the highlights. That’s Stage 3 of Celebrating an Eagles Super Bowl Win.

Stage 4 happens on Wednesday, locker clean-out day at the NovaCare Complex. In every other season, it’s been the most depressing day of the season after a loss. This time around, I don’t think it’s going to be sad in the least. It’s just another step in the celebration.

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