Roob's Random Points, Part 1: Wentz's historic start, incredible run defense, Philadelphia A's

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Roob's Random Points, Part 1: Wentz's historic start, incredible run defense, Philadelphia A's

A little Mack Hollins, a little Robbie Robertson, a little Philadelphia Athletics, a little Donnie Jones and a little crosswalk etiquette.

Put it together and you're on your way to Part 1 of this week's 25 Random Points!

Here are the first 12½ random points ... 12½ more coming soon!

1. Carson Wentz isn't just having one of the best seasons of any quarterback this year. He's having one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever had. He's on pace for 39 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The only QBs who've ever had 39 TDs and single-digit interceptions in a season are Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. This is historic stuff!

2. Crazy that there's a former Eagles running back who went to Pitt who's having a terrific year for an AFC East team, but it isn't LeSean McCoy. Shady is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry for the Bills, but Dion Lewis — who replaced Shady at Pitt and was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round in 2011 — is averaging 5.3 yards per carry for the Patriots.  

3. Most of the run defense numbers the Eagles are putting up are insane, but the one that amazes me the most is that opposing teams have run the ball only 123 times all year against the Eagles. That's 17.6 attempts per game, and that's the second-lowest figure ever against any NFL team through seven games! The only lower figure was against the 1991 Saints (119 carries through seven games). The Eagles have been so dominating against the run, opposing teams aren't even trying to run the football! And Kareem Hunt remains the only opposing running back to reach even 40 yards against the Eagles this year. That's crazy! 

4. I'm going to say it right now: Eagles-Rams at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 10 will be for No. 1 seed in the NFC. And I ain't picking against the Eagles!

5. Interesting that the Eagles are playing the Redskins and 49ers back-to-back. When that happened in 1989, it produced two of the greatest fourth-quarter finishes in NFL history. In the first game, the Eagles trailed the Redskins, 30-14, at halftime at RFK Stadium, then outscored the Redskins, 28-7, in the second half to win, 42-37. A week later at the Vet, the Eagles led the 49ers, 21-10, early in the fourth quarter before Joe Montana threw four touchdown passes in the final 13½ minutes to give the Niners a 38-28 win. Two of the most historic comebacks the Eagles were ever involved in, and they happened seven days apart! 

6. Speaking of those two games, the Eagles are the only team in NFL history to be involved in consecutive games in which the home team led by eight or more points going into the fourth quarter, then allowed 21 or more fourth-quarter points and lost. In fact, after being involved in two such games in eight days, they've been in only two more in the last 28 years — a 40-26 win over the 49ers at Candlestick in 2008 after trailing, 26-17, after the third quarter, and the 38-31 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium in 2010 after trailing, 24-10, going into the fourth quarter — the DeSean punt return game!

7. I feel like it's only a matter of time before Mack Hollins is getting more targets than Torrey Smith.

8. One of my favorite stats ever was courtesy of baseball stats guru Jayson Stark: Before Wednesday night, there had been 17 extra-inning home runs in the 115-year history of the World Series. Then there were five in 42 minutes.

9. I find it absurd that the Athletics have won more championships than any major professional sports team in Philadelphia history.

10. If you are crossing the street or walking across a parking lot or crossing anywhere I’m driving, I will always stop and let you go by. Every single time. But you better show some hustle! Even if it's just a courtesy jog, you gotta give me something!

11. I find this fascinating: Three of the Band's most beloved songs are The Weight, I Shall Be Released and It Makes no Difference, and each was sung by a different band member — and none were sung by Robbie Robertson! Richard Manuel sang I Shall Be Released, Rick Danko sang It Makes no Difference, and Levon Helm sang The Weight (except the fourth verse, sung by Danko). A truly unique band.

12. Donnie Jones is so underrated.

12½. It blows my mind that four of the seven QBs in NFL history with four touchdown passes and 60 rushing yards in a game were Eagles, yet none of them were Donovan McNabb! On Monday night, Wentz joined Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham and Bobby Hoying in that elite group, along with Rodgers, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. Bobby Hoying? Really???

Roob's 10 late-March Eagles observations

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Roob's 10 late-March Eagles observations

Some random late-March thoughts on Michael Bennett, Cris Carter, Mike Wallace, Billy Brown and (of course) Nick Foles in this weekend’s 10 Random Eagles Observations!

1. I have no idea what Michael Bennett did or didn’t do on Super Bowl Sunday at NRG Stadium last February, but I do know this is a precarious situation for the Eagles. Team chemistry was the Eagles’ biggest strength last year, and that’s not easy to duplicate when the roster changes. What Bennett is accused of is truly terrible. But it’s a weird story. How is there no video of an incident that occurred at a Super Bowl? Aren’t there cameras everywhere? And why didn’t the cop who allegedly witnessed the incident arrest Bennett once he was assured the alleged victim was OK? Bennett didn’t go anywhere. The 14-month gap between incident and charges is odd. And how could the Eagles not know about the investigation? The bigger question is exactly what kind of person are the Eagles getting in Bennett, and is he someone they want in the locker room for the next year. Maybe the answer is yes. Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas seem to have a pretty good feel for this stuff. But this is definitely a major distraction and just about the last thing the Eagles need to deal with right now.

2. If the Eagles don’t sign a veteran tight end, keep an eye on Billy Brown, who had an impressive training camp last summer and spent the season on the practice squad. He’s 6-foot-4, 260 pounds with great hands. Yeah, he was an undrafted rookie. But remember, that’s how Trey Burton started out.

3. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you Mike Wallace isn’t a significant upgrade over Torrey Smith. Wallace last year had 16 more catches (52 to 36), 318 more yards (748 to 430), twice as many TDs (4 to 2) and a much higher yards-per-catch average (14.4 to 11.9). Over the last two years, the difference is more dramatic (124 for 1,765 to 56 for 697) with inferior QBs. And Wallace is cheaper. With Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Wallace, the Eagles are loaded at wideout.

4. I heard Cris Carter ripping Nick Foles the other day, saying he’s not an NFL-caliber starter and only had a handful of good games last year. He also only played a handful of games. And one of them was the Super Bowl, if I remember correctly? Foles may never get credit outside Philly for what he accomplished last year, but at this point, it doesn't matter. The Lombardi Trophy lives at the NovaCare Complex now.

5. Speaking of Foles, in the 2017 postseason on third down, he was 26 for 32 for 398 yards and four TDs and a 158.1 passer rating.

6. Read that again. Foles threw six incomplete passes on third down during the entire 2017 postseason.

7. The Eagles converted 71 and 62 percent of their third downs in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl, respectively. They had only converted 62 percent of their third downs in consecutive games twice previously since 1991.

8. The conversations about whether the Eagles are better or worse than last year are silly, considering we're six months from opening day. The Eagles last year added Chris Long, Patrick Robinson, Tim Jernigan, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Graham and Ronald Darby later in the offseason than it is now. And Jay Ajayi during the season. The roster is a long way from being a finished product.

9. I’ve got Derek Barnett with 12 sacks next year. Interesting that from Week 6 on, Barnett had only one fewer sack than Brandon Graham (6 1/2 to 5 1/2). You could just see him getting better and better each week. Can’t wait to see the 2018 version of Derek Barnett.

10. And finally, we need to keep throwing out Carson Wentz stats so nobody forgets just how freaking talented he is: Wentz had 10 games last year with two or more touchdowns and one or fewer interceptions. Only four quarterbacks in NFL history have ever had more through 13 games: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo. Pretty good company. Except for Romo.

Thank Carson Wentz (and 1 other thing) for landing Mike Wallace

Thank Carson Wentz (and 1 other thing) for landing Mike Wallace

During the 2016 season, Mike Wallace thought his Baltimore Ravens were going to steamroll the Eagles, who had a first-year head coach and first-year quarterback. 

He was wrong. 

Sure, the Ravens were able to sneak away with a 27-26 win back on Dec. 18, 2016, but Wallace watched up close as the gutsy Carson Wentz had the Eagles one two-point conversion at the end of the game away from walking out of Baltimore with a win. 

A year and a half later, when Wallace was testing free agency, the veteran receiver thought back to that game and thought to himself, “I want to play with that guy.” 

So how responsible is Wentz for Wallace’s landing in Philly? 

“Ninety-nine percent. Ninety-nine,” Wallace said at his introductory press conference Friday afternoon after signing a one-year contract. “The other percent was the rest of the team. I’m impressed by the way he plays football, the way he moves in the pocket, the way he throws the football and his competitiveness. You can see it.”

Wallace, 31, continued to watch Wentz during the 2017 season, when the second-year quarterback was seemingly on his way to an MVP award before a serious knee injury landed him on injured reserve.  

Having been through changing teams before, Wallace said the most difficult part for him is learning the new quarterback. He hopes this process won’t take exceedingly long, but he and Wentz might be at a disadvantage. Wentz is still recovering from a torn ACL and LCL and might not be ready until the season opener, if that. 

“You can just work on that watching film and things like that, but until he gets out there, there’s no real way to simulate it,” Wallace said. “I think he’s a great young quarterback who’s fired up. Whatever extra reps we need to try to get up to speed, I’m all for it.”

Wentz is, of course, a part of the big reason Wallace decided to join the Eagles. Wallace has played nine seasons in the NFL with four different teams. He’s made money, but he hasn’t been able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. That’s what he wants. 

On Friday, Wallace said he turned down more money to join the Eagles. 

“I had options but I just wanted the best chance,” Wallace said. “I feel like this is my best opportunity to make a run. This is my 10th year. Can’t play this game forever. You don’t want to come out feeling empty. I want to get a ring.”

Wallace had been a free agent twice before this offseason and he admitted, that when he was younger, free agency was about money. He signed a five-year, $60 million deal in 2013 to join the Dolphins. 

But now, Wallace said, his family is secure. He’s made a lot of money in the NFL to make sure those close to him are well off. Now, he’s allowing himself to make a decision that benefits him. 

“I didn’t try to come into this game to leave empty-handed,” he said. “I had to secure the bag and I did that. Now it’s time to secure a ring.”