At what head coach Chip Kelly called the halfway point of the Eagles' season (counting the four preseason games), we're taking a look at all three units of the Eagles team. First up, the offense …
Most Valuable Player– There are cases to be made for a few players here. Nick Foles has helped shepherd the Eagles to a 5-1 record and to a second-best 30.5 points per game (though that number is certainly helped by seven defensive and special teams touchdowns). The Eagles would not be 5-1 without the electric performance of Darren Sproles, especially early in the season. And Jeremy Maclin has been a revelation in his first healthy season under Chip Kelly, pacing the team with 27 catches for 445 yards and four touchdowns.
But considering the nature of the MAS*H- unit offensive line, we're going to give the nod to left tackle Jason Peters, the lone player who has started all six games at the same position along the Eagles' front five. That, of course, is unfair to Todd Herremans, whose versatility was needed when he slid to right tackle for a game, but Peters has continued to be his dominant self throughout the season, especially over the last two games in which he essentially shut down both the Rams' Robert Quinn, the league's leading sack artist in 2013, and Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants.
Best Play –** With the lone exception of the 27-0 victory over the Giants last week, every game the Eagles have played this season has been a tightly contested game. But no game was more hotly contested than the Week 3 victory over Washington at Lincoln Financial Field. We'd like to give the nod here to Jason Peters again for running across the field to protect his quarterback after the undoubtedly dirty hit by Chris Baker, but instead the award goes to the 27-yard touchdown pass that Nick Foles threw to Maclin on the ensuing drive. After suffering the Baker hit, Foles responded by leading his team down the field in a tie game and tossing a strike to Maclin to give the Eagles a 34-27 lead. They would win 37-34.
Biggest Surprise –** As they say, sometimes the biggest and best presents come in the smallest package. There was much intrigue heading into the regular season as to just how the Eagles offense would incorporate Darren Sproles, the 31-year-old running back who was acquired in exchange for a fifth-round pick during the offseason. But no one could have expected that Sproles would be the little engine that made the Eagles offense run, especially early in the season. Through six games, Sproles has 409 yards from scrimmage (211 rushing and 198 receiving) including the longest run of his impressive career, a 49-yard touchdown that swung the Week 1 game against Jacksonville. Oh yeah, he also has a punt return touchdown and ranks sixth in the NFL in all-purpose yards, but we're supposed to focus on the offense.
Key Stat –** 40%, which is the Eagles' success rate in the red zone this year, a mark that ranks 29th in the league. For all of the success of the Eagles offense through six games, there is still room for improvement inside the 20 as the Eagles look to regain their offensive dominance.
Room For Improvement –Aside from the red zone, the other area in which the Eagles would like a stark improvement after the bye is in turning the ball over. The Eagles' 14 giveaways are the most in the league, which must surely be of concern to Kelly. Last year, the Eagles only turned the ball over 19 times, tied for the fourth-fewest in the league. Nick Foles was never going to match his 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but Foles' seven interceptions through six games are, as he would tell you, too many. That the Eagles rank second in the league in points scored despite -5 turnover differential only speaks to the untapped potential of the unit moving forward.
|Eagles Offense Through Six Games|
|Yards Per Game||378.3 (11)|
|Yards Per Play||5.54 (17)|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||116.0 (15)|
|Rushing Yards Per Play||4.19 (17)|
|Passing Yards Per Game||262.3 (10)|
|Passing Yards Per Play||6.64 (22)|
|Sacks Allowed Per Pass Attempt||2.95% (4)|
|Third Down Conversions||40.96% 15)|
|Red Zone %||40% (29)|
|Avg. Time of Possession||26:09 (31)|
|Points Per Game||305 (2)|
|Football Outsiders DVOA||20|
|Turnover Differential||-5 (26t)|