These are all accepted Eagles truths, passed down over the years and taken for granted as gospel.
Only one thing.
We’re here today to dispel 10 long-standing Eagles myths. To shoot down the conventional wisdom and replace it with cold, hard, indisputable facts.
It probably won’t help, but we’re going to try!
Myth No. 1: Donovan never won any big games!
To this day, only 11 quarterbacks in NFL history have won more playoff games than McNabb, and every one that’s eligible is already in the Hall of Fame. Playoff games are big games. McNabb may not have won the biggest game, but he won plenty of big games.
Myth No. 2: Mike Mamula was a first-round bust!
Mamula averaged .41 sacks per game as an Eagle. Brandon Graham has averaged .36 sacks per game as an Eagle. Mamula played five seasons and had 31 1/2 sacks, or 6 1/2 sacks per season. Trent Cole is considered an all-time Eagles great and averaged 8 1/2 sacks per season. Two sacks fewer sacks per season than a multiple Pro Bowler doesn’t make one a bust. Now, should he have been the 7th pick overall? Of course not. But Mamula was an average player. Jon Harris and Marcus Smith were defensive end busts. Not Mike Mamula.
Myth No. 3: Todd Pinkston was worthless!
Pinkston didn’t have a great career, but he served a purpose. During the four years from 2001, his first season playing significant snaps on offense, until 2004, his last season before his career-ending Achilles injury, Pinkston had 19 catches of 40 yards or more. During that same four-year period, only Terrell Owens (25) and Randy Moss (22) had more in the entire league. Pinkston’s 15.1 yards-per-catch during that span was 7th-highest in the league. Pinkston overall had a disappointing career for a 2nd-round pick, but he was actually one of the NFL’s top deep threats in the league when he was healthy.
Myth No. 4: Chip Kelly was a terrible coach!
Chip Kelly was indeed a terrible general manager. One of the worst. His personnel decisions were unfathomable. He had no clue how to communicate with players, how to deal with the scouting staff, how to build a roster. But he did go 10-6 and 10-6 in his first two seasons as the Eagles’ head coach — one of only three Eagles head coaches to win double-digit games in his first two years — and became the first Eagles coach with a top-4 offense two years in a row since Greasy Neale in the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship seasons. Chip’s .553 winning percentage as Eagles head coach is higher than Buddy Ryan, Dick Vermeil or Ray Rhodes. And Chip certainly build a very good coaching staff. Six of the assistants he hired were on Doug Pederson's staff in 2017.
Myth No. 5: Doug Pederson has to run the ball more!
The Eagles have the 9th-most rushing attempts in the NFL in four years under Pederson.
Myth No. 6: Trent Cole was a good player but always faded at the end of the season!
This one always bugged me because people would keep repeating it but never bother looking it up. Trent had 24 1/2 career sacks in Weeks 1 through 4, 18 1/2 Weeks 5 through 8, 25 1/2 weeks 9 through 12 and 22 Weeks 13 through 16. So in his 10-year career, he actually had more sacks the second half of the season (47 1/2) than the first half of the season (43).
Myth No. 7: If Alshon didn’t drop that pass in New Orleans, the Eagles would have beaten the Saints in their 2018 playoff game!
Alshon’s drop, which turned into a Marshon Lattimore interception, ended the season, but the narrative that the Eagles would have beaten the Saints if he held onto the ball is flawed. If Alshon caught that pass — the last pass Nick Foles threw in an Eagles uniform (so far) — the Eagles would have had 3rd-and-3 at the Saints’ 23-yard-line at the two-minute warning down six. The Eagles were 12-for-25 that year on 3rd-and-3 so there was only a 48 percent chance they’d even have a chance to convert a fourth down. And even if they did, they were 20th in the NFL in 2018 in red-zone touchdown percentage (33 of 56 drives). And even if the Eagles did score, the Saints may have had time to do get within field goal range. A lot more had to happen for the Eagles to win that game than Alshon catching that pass.
Myth No. 8: The Eagles should have kept Nick Foles instead of Carson Wentz!
Since the Super Bowl, Wentz has completed 66 percent of his passes with 48 TDs, 14 interceptions and a 96.4 passer rating. Foles during the same span has completed 68 percent of his passes with 13 TDs, 10 INTs and an 87.8 passer rating.
Myth No. 9: Buddy Ryan was a great coach!
Imagine having Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen, Clyde Simmons, Wes Hopkins, Byron Evans, Andre Waters, Keith Jackson, Mike Quick, Keith Byars and Randall Cunningham and never winning a playoff game?
Myth No. 10: The Eagles should have moved on from DeSean Jackson. He’s always hurt!
Even missing most of last year, Jackson has still played the second-most games of any NFL wide receiver since he was drafted in 2008, behind only Larry Fitzgerald. Jackson and Fitzgerald are the only active NFL wide receivers to start 10 or more games in 10 seasons.
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