My Season Outlook for the Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

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National Football League
Philadelphia, PA United States
National Football Conference

Season Report Card

This season, the Eagles had horrible quarterback play. Carson Wentz completely regressed as a passer in terms of accuracy and decision making. Fortunately for Philly, rookie QB Jalen Hurts provided a spark with rushing production. However, neither Hurts nor Wentz was a quality QB. According to PFF, Wentz averaged 2.2 turnover-worthy plays per start and Hurts averaged 3.7. Moreover, Hurts led all QBs in uncatchable pass percentage (28.8%), and Wentz had the second-highest percentage (25.5%).
Running Backs
Miles Sanders and Boston Scott were a quality RB duo for the Eagles. Sanders surpassed 1,000 total yards and averaged the fifth-highest YPC. Additionally, Boston Scott eclipsed 500 total yards in his limited time as a back-up. However, Sanders has to improve at ball security and catching passes, considering he had four fumbles and eight drops.
Protection & Blocking
The Eagles' OL was battered by injuries in 2020. Jason Kelce was the only starting OL who started and finished the entire season. Due to these injuries, the OL allowed Carson Wentz to be the most sacked QB through 16 weeks, despite only playing 12 games. Additionally, Jalen Hurts was sacked 12 times and had ten throwaways from weeks 13-16. Fortunately, OG Nate Herbig and OT Jordan Mailata showed some promise as the season progressed.
The Eagles receiving corps completely collapsed after the midpoint of the season. Wideout Jalen Reagor played out of position as a possession receiver while his deep-threat and screen-passing ability were poorly utilized. Likewise, WR Travis Fulgham was phased out of the Eagles' scheme despite leading the NFL in receiving yards in weeks 1-5. Nevertheless, he led Philly with 539 receiving yards.
Big Play Ability
Red Zone Success
Skills Analysis Notes
The Philadelphia Eagles were horrible offensively, ranking 23rd in yards per game and 25th for points per game. Injuries derailed the team's OL, with Jason Kelce being the only starter who started and finished the season. While role players like Jordan Mailata and Nate Herbig exceeded expectations, the entire line was horrible in pass protection, where they allowed 4.1 sacks per game. Furthermore, playmakers like Dallas Goedert and DeSean Jackson were efficient but were hampered by injuries and poor QB play. Speaking of QBs, neither Carson Wentz nor Jalen Hurts was a quality passer in terms of accuracy. While few QBs could excel with a subpar OL and receiving corps, they ranked in the bottom two in uncatchable pass percentage (PFF). As a result, this offense was riddled with inconsistency and failed to produce any big-plays in the passing game. The Eagles had speed and made big plays in the run game, but it was not enough to sustain quality production.
Defensive Line
The strength of the Eagles' defense is their defensive line. DL Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat, and Derek Barnett were all solid pass rushers who generated 6+ sacks. As a whole, the Eagles accumulated the third-most sacks in the NFL (49).
Similar to the offensive line, this LB unit has been battered with injuries. Regardless, these linebackers have been horrendous in coverage. As a result, teams have enjoyed tremendous success targeting players like Nathan Gerry in coverage. However, Duke Riley, Alex Singleton, and T.J. Edwards are a decent group. Still, Philly desperately needs to draft a high-end MLB.
Defensive Backs
As a whole, this unit has been the most underrated positional group. Darius Slay is a solid corner who made tackles in space and shadow WR1s. However, he surrendered the eighth-most yards in coverage. Likewise, Nickell Robey Coleman, Cre'Von LeBlanc, and Avonte Maddox struggled to cover wideouts. Fortunately, Philly’s safeties have been solid. Rodney McLeod and Marcus Epps have been great safeties, especially in coverage. Jalen Mills also provided an aggressive spark in run defense and pass rush
Passing Game Defense
Stopping the Run
Controlling Field Position
Stopping The Big Play
Causing Turnovers
Special Teams and Coaching
Special Teams
Place Kicking
Kickoff/Punt Returning
Kickoff/Punt Coverage
Overall Unit Analysis
Jake Elliot has been abysmal from 50+ yards and shanked two 20-29 FGs. His struggles probably played a role in Doug Pederson's aggressiveness on fourth-downs. Cameron Johnston ranked in the top 15 for net punt yards and yards per punt but sadly ranked 19th for the percentage of punts inside the 20. In terms of kick/punt returns, the Eagles were far from an explosive unit. Greg Ward is a sure-handed punt returner, but he averaged less than 7 yards per attempt. Jalen Reagor is a more explosive returner who took a punt 73 yards to the house, but he also struggles with muffed punts.
Decision Making
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
There are many knocks against Pederson's coaching. For instance, the offense that Pederson gave Hurts would certainly have benefitted Carson Wentz with simple bootlegs and read-option plays. Additionally, he abandoned the run prematurely against teams like the Browns, even when Carson Wentz struggled to move the ball through the air. However, the biggest knock against Pederson is that his team's execution has been sloppy throughout the season. While many Eagles fans want Doug Pederson to be fired, he has been a solid head coach. His aggressiveness on fourth down plays is an analytically sound strategy, especially considering that his place-kicker shanked multiple FGs inside of 29 yards. Likewise, Pederson's ability to transition his offense to accommodate Jalen Hurts' skill set is impressive. Despite having poor QB play throughout the season, his creative playcalling kept the team in games against teams like the Dallas Cowboys.
Overall Team
Overall Team Grade
Overall, this team has completely underperformed expectations. On the offensive side of the ball, Carson Wentz's mind-boggling turnovers killed this team in multiple losses. His tendency to hold onto the ball too long, coupled with his offensive line's litany of injuries, led to numerous drive-killing sacks and fumbles. Moreover, his bad reads and poor chemistry with wideouts like John Hightower led to too many interceptions. While Jalen Hurts provided a spark in his first two starts, his productivity quickly fizzled out against the Cowboys and Washington. On the defensive side of the football, the Eagles were equally inconsistent. On the bright side, this team forced 49 sacks, which ranked third during the regular season. Additionally, Marcus Epps and Rodney McLeod were great safeties, especially in coverage. However, this team has a glaring weakness at the LB position, with players like Nathan Gerry struggling profusely in coverage. However, Nickell Robey Coleman, Cre'Von LeBlanc, and Avonte Maddox have struggled to cover wideouts.
Did the team's performance
meet your expectations?
Drastically Underperformed
Expectations/ Outlook
The Eagles now enter 2021 with an injury-riddled roster. Pass catchers like Jalen Reagor, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert all suffered lingering injuries that kept them off the field for multiple games. Furthermore, Alshon Jeffrey and Zach Ertz are expensive veterans who failed to be productive in their limited time on the field. Both of these pass catchers will likely be moved in the off-season along with other veterans. The one positive in the off-season is that key players like Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard will return to the offensive line in 2021. However, this team will be making important decisions at the QB, LB, and WR positions. After signing Wentz to a franchise-caliber contract worth $120+ million, it looks like he will be traded to a team like the Colts. However, without a quality WR1 or MLB, the Eagles will most likely need to address those holes in the draft since the Eagles are over the cap by $70+ million.