Eagles

Eagles

Jason Peters' future, a long-term deal for Jordan Howard, Carson Wentz on third down and a weird Josh McCown stat.

It's Saturday, which means it's time for a new edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Points! 

1. We're seeing signs of life from the Eagles' pass rush, which is huge considering the rush was virtually non-existent the first month of the season — three sacks through four games. I don't put a ton of stock in the 10-sack game against the Jets. That wasn't an NFL-caliber team or QB. But for the record, 18 sacks over the last four games is the Eagles' most in a four-game stretch since 2011. More important is seven the last two weeks, four against the Bills. Brandon Graham has 5½ sacks in his last four games, Derek Barnett has 3½ in his last five. Anything the Eagles get from the rest of the ends is gravy. Those two guys have to consistently get pressure and sacks, and it's encouraging to see that's starting to happen. Steady pass pressure combined with a secondary back at full strength should make this a significantly sounder defense. 

2. Dave Zangaro wrote today about how Jordan Howard would like a long-term deal here, and I love the idea. No reflection on Miles Sanders, who we're starting to see some really good stuff from. Sanders has a chance to be very good. I just love the dimension two capable running backs with different skill sets gives an offense. Whether it's Duce and Westbrook, Ajayi and LeGarrette or Miles and Howard, the offense is more dangerous when the defense doesn't know what's coming. 

 

3. Speaking of Howard and Sanders, they're the first Eagles running back tandem to both average at least 4.4 yards per carry with at least 250 yards at the midpoint of the season in 18 years — since Duce Staley (their position coach) and Correll Buckhalter in 2001. Before that, you have to go back to 1978, with Wilbert Montgomery and Mike Hogan.

4. Jason Peters has been here so long the dude blocked for Donovan McNabb. That seems like an eternity ago. Peters is in his 17th NFL season, his 11th with the Eagles, and once again he's hurt. The guy has been so good for so long it's hard to imagine the Eagles without him. Think about this: The only player in Eagles history to make more Pro Bowls than Peters is Chuck Bednarik. He's tied with Reggie and Dawk. An absolute freak of nature at left tackle, insanely strong, impossibly athletic, frighteningly physical. But it's all coming to an end, and in a way that's tough to see, just because of what J.P. has meant to this franchise for over a decade. Andre Dillard has played better each week and if Doug Pederson puts Peters back out there when he's healthy, the odds are we're going to be right back on that carousel where he's playing, he's hurt, he's playing, he's hurt, and that's a tough situation for everybody. Dillard is solid and he's the future. Peters is an all-timer, but what seemed unthinkable just a few years ago may be reality today. It could be time. 

5. Only one Bears quarterback in the last 75 years has had a passer rating over 100 for a full season, with a minimum of 100 pass attempts. That's current Eagle Josh McCown, who had a 109.0 rating in 2013, throwing mainly to Alshon Jeffery. 

6. I was curious where Carson Wentz ranks in total third-down efficiency, so I put together a spreadsheet that combines third-down passing stats and rushing stats. Here's what I came up with: DeShaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo and Wentz are the top three third-down QBs in the league, Watson converting third downs at a crazy 64.5 percent, Garoppolo at 56.8 percent and Wentz at 53.5 percent. Dak Prescott (51.6) and Derek Carr (50.8) are the only other ones over 50 percent. Combining passing and rushing numbers really gives a good overall look at a QB's production on the most critical snaps. Who's at the bottom? Among regular QBs, the bottom three are Marcus Mariota (32.1), Joe Flacco (32.1) and Case Keenum (31.4). League average is 42.6. 

7. On our Tuesday Eagle Eye podcast, Dave Zangaro and I picked our first-half MVPs, and I thought it was a no-brainer. On a team full of guys who have either been inconsistent or struggled, Brandon Brooks has been flat-out exceptional all year. What he's done coming off an Achilles tear is nothing short of astounding. To think that he blew out his Achilles against the Saints in January, was playing at a high level by opening day in September and has just picked up where he left off last year? Remarkable. Brooks sat out 20 snaps at the end of the win over the Redskins on opening day but has played all 486 offensive plays since. At a very high level. An incredible story.

 

8. I'm not sure what to expect from Genard Avery, but the disturbing thing is that the Eagles like him enough to trade away a 4th-round pick now but not enough to take him in the 4th round last year. They took Josh Sweat with the 132nd pick, and Avery went 18 picks later to the Browns. Now they're giving up another 4th-round pick because — among other reasons — Sweat hasn't performed. He's played 152 snaps and has one sack, against the hapless Jets. If they liked Avery last year as much as they want you to believe, they would have drafted him. 

9. The Eagles have the 8th-most offensive touchdowns in the league.

10. I've never seen a wide receiver do what Mack Hollins did in October: Four games, 141 snaps, no catches. Doug Pederson said this week Mack is "doing everything we ask him to do." So they're apparently not asking him to catch passes.