The sad reality of Howie Roseman’s drafts, Jason Peters’ legacy and the most shocking Carson Wentz stat yet.
All that and tons more in this weekend’s Roob’s 10 random Eagles observations.
1. In 2013, the Eagles drafted Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz. Since then, Howie Roseman’s drafts have landed the Eagles exactly one Pro Bowl player, and that’s Carson Wentz. The only defensive player Roseman has ever drafted who’s made a Pro Bowl is Fletcher Cox, the 12th pick in the 2012 draft. One defensive Pro Bowler in nine drafts (not counting this year). He’s never found a defensive Pro Bowler after the 12th pick overall. Wentz is also the only Pro Bowler Roseman has drafted who’ll be in his 20s on opening day next year. It’s not just J.J. Arcega-Whiteside instead of D.J. Metcalf. This has been happening for years. Scrounging up functional starters from the late rounds or the practice squad or the waiver wire is fine. But you need stars to win big. Studs. Elite players. And Howie’s failure to deliver star power to this roster has made it virtually impossible for the Eagles to compete on a regular basis with the NFL’s best teams. Maybe Miles Sanders or Dallas Goedert becomes a full-fledged star, but right now there isn’t a single elite player in his 20s on this roster, and that’s a damning indictment of Roseman’s draft record. Every GM has misses. Every GM has big misses. But you can’t afford to have the big misses without the big hits. Doug Pederson has been awful. Wentz has been terrible. But when you look at the Eagles’ decline, it all starts in the GM’s office.
2. Or put it this way: During the 18 years from 1986 through 2002, the Eagles drafted 14 defensive Pro Bowlers. During the next 18 years, they drafted two (Trent Cole in 2005 and Cox in 2012).
3. Through 10 games, the Eagles have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns, 3rd-most in the league. That’s already the most rushing TDs the Eagles have allowed in an entire season since 1998 and the most they’ve allowed through 10 games since 1973, when they allowed 17 (and were also 3-6-1). The Eagles have allowed only 13 passing touchdowns (3rd-fewest in the league) and are on pace to allow their fewest passing TD since 2000. The last time the Eagles allowed more rushing TDs than passing TDs in a season was 1975. Weird year.
4. I’m all for Jalen Hurts getting more playing time the last month and a half of the season. Why not? What exactly do you have to lose? What the Eagles have been doing on offense obviously isn’t working and you have a 2nd-round pick that you need to learn as much as possible about. Why wouldn’t you play him more?
5. The Eagles were 0-for-9 on third down vs. the Giants and 2-for-12 vs. the Browns. This is the first time since the NFL began tracking 3rd-down stats in 1991 that they’ve been under 17 percent two straight games. They had only been under 17 percent twice in the previous seven years (and never in three years under Chip Kelly). The Eagles actually have more 4th-down conversions over the last two weeks (3) than 3rd-down conversions (2).
6. I’ve been thinking a lot about Jason Peters’ legacy and how much damage he’s doing to it. Most fans have had enough of the injuries, the contract demands and the poor play, and it’s understandable. He’s a shell of the player he used to be, and his awkward contract demand painted him as more of a me-first guy than a team player. It’s easy to forget this is one of the greatest left tackles in the history of the game. I just hope that after this season mercifully ends and J.P. rides off into the sunset and a few years pass, people will be able to look back and remember all the terrific seasons and Pro Bowls and accomplishments and remember how lucky we were to have J.P. here in the prime of his career and forget the sad image of a washed-up 38-year-old Jason Peters getting pushed around by guys he used to dominate and hobbling off the field game after game. We’ll get there. It’s just going to take a while.
7. The Eagles’ six interceptions in their last 20 games is the fewest in franchise history in any 20-game stretch. The previous low was a stretch from early 1983 through 1984 where the Eagles had nine INTs. So they blew away that record.
8. Wentz’s passer rating is 73.3 and just to get an idea of how bad that is for a QB with his experience, consider this: The last NFL quarterback with a passer rating under 75 in his fifth season who had a rating of at least 100 in ANY of his first four seasons is Frankie Albert, who had a 102.9 rating in 1948 for the 49ers and a 52.3 rating in 1950, his fifth season. That was 70 years ago.
9. And let’s be clear about one thing. Wentz isn’t just having one of the worst seasons of any QB this year, he’s having one of the worst seasons in NFL history. He’s on pace to become only the sixth quarterback in the last 40 years to throw 22 interceptions, complete less than 60 percent of his passes and average less than 6.2 yards per attempt in a season. The last one to do it in his fifth year as a starter or later is Joe Ferguson in 1983. This is historic stuff Wentz is putting together here.
10. The Ravens have 18 players on the COVID list. The Broncos lost all their quarterbacks and are going to play anyway. The 49ers play in a county that’s banned all contact sports. The NFL did a terrific job keeping COVID under control the first 2 ½ months of the season, but as the numbers have increased dramatically nation-wide the NFL has experienced a similar increase, and it feels like we’re at a crisis point as we go into Week 12. I wonder if it would be best for the league to just shut down for a week or two, let everybody quarantine and stop spreading the virus to their teammates and coaches and then try to get the rest of the season in. That would also give league officials some more time to figure out a bubble format for the playoffs. Too much at stake financially (and competitively) for the league to risk an outbreak during the postseason.
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