In this week's 10 random Eagles observations, we look at the most effective opposing quarterback ever in Philadelphia, the lack of a third-down pass rush, Jason Peters' health, the top 10 Eagles to never make a Pro Bowl and much more!
With the Eagles facing a pivotal home game Sunday against the Vikings, here's a Week 5 edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles observations!
1. It’s only Week 5, but Sunday’s game against the Vikings really feels like one of those pivotal games for the Eagles. The Vikings are coming in seeking revenge after getting humiliated 38-7 in last year’s NFC Championship Game. Kirk Cousins has always put up big numbers against the Eagles, especially in Philly. The Eagles’ secondary and offensive line are reeling after Sunday’s loss to the Titans. They’re banged up in several key spots. Their best outside pass rusher, Derek Barnett, is out. And looming after the Vikings and before the bye are a nationally televised Thursday night road game against the Giants, the 2-1 Panthers at home and the 3-1 Jaguars in London. Rough stretch. I still think the Eagles are a playoff team, but a loss Sunday and things could get away from them. We know the 2017 Eagles were tremendous at handling adversity. Can this team do it too? We’ll have a good idea by Thursday evening.
2. This is a truly astonishing stat considering the firepower they have at defensive end: On third down, the Eagles have faced 43 pass plays and have only two sacks. Only two teams — the Vikings and Giants — have fewer third-down sacks this year than the Eagles.
3. Carson Wentz is the first quarterback in Eagles history to begin a season with consecutive games with 66 percent accuracy and 250 or more passing yards.
4. Doug Pederson acknowledged that Jason Peters’ quad injury is affecting his performance, but he didn’t really have to because all you have to do is watch film of the Titans game to know he’s just not himself. He’s clearly having trouble anchoring, and he’s getting pushed around by guys who have no business pushing him around. Here’s the issue facing the Eagles: Peters at 70 percent is better than Halapoulivaati Vaitai. But Big V is much better when he gets a full week of practice with the 1’s and starts a game than if he has to come in midstream. He played well down the stretch last year, but when he has to enter a game cold he struggles. So do the Eagles risk rolling Peters out there and hoping he can get through games with a quad that’s affecting his performance or do they shut him down for a week or even two and get Big V ready during the week and take their chances? There’s no ideal answer. Hopefully, Peters can get through the next four games and get better during the bye week. But he’s 35 now and he’s not going to heal as fast as he used to. I’d still take my chances with Peters, but if that quad gets any worse the Eagles might have to make a tough decision.
5. Cousins has only started four games in a Vikings uniform, but he already has more games with 420 yards, 72 percent accuracy and at least three TD passes than every other Vikings quarterback in franchise history combined. He has two. Tommy Kramer had one against the Browns in 1980. Cousins is already the only QB in NFL history with two such games in a season. And it’s Week 5. Only six other quarterbacks have even had two in a career. Cousins is very dangerous and has always played well against the Eagles. The Eagles need to be better in coverage and with their pass rush to win this game.
6. One more on Cousins: Of the 70 quarterbacks in NFL history who’ve played against the Eagles in Philadelphia more than twice, Cousins has the highest passer rating at 112.0 in four games at the Linc. He’s completed 68 percent of his passes and has 12 TDs and just three interceptions playing in Philly for the Redskins. His completion percentage is second-highest ever by an opposing QB in Philadelphia behind Aaron Rodgers’ 70 percent, and the 12 TDs are third-most, behind Eli Manning (21 in 14 games) and Sonny Jurgensen (13 in 10 games). This is a very tough place to play, but it never has been for Cousins.
7. Then there’s this: The Vikings are 1-8 in Philadelphia in their last nine games here. The last time the Vikings won in Philadelphia on a day other than Tuesday was 1985.
8. Happy that the Eagles are honoring Todd Herremans Sunday (see story). The ToddFather never made a Pro Bowl team but was a very good, very consistent, very tough offensive lineman on some really good teams during his 10 years here. It got me thinking who the best Eagles are who never made a Pro Bowl team. So here’s my top 10 Eagles since 1960 who never made a Pro Bowl: 1. Sheldon Brown, 2. Randy Logan, 3. Brent Celek, 4. Guy Morriss, 5. Nate Ramsey, 6. Todd Herremans, 7. Herm Edwards, 8. John Bunting, 9. Carl Hairston, 10. Ron Baker. And gotta have Mike Patterson somewhere, too!
9. I literally cannot believe the Mychal Kendricks situation. I like Mychal and I always thought he was a better player than the Eagles gave him credit for. He was tremendous in the playoffs last year. What I don’t get is why a guy who has made about $22 million — $21,725,215 according to SpoTrac — would risk his career and freedom to make a relatively small amount via insider trading. Kendricks just turned 28 last week. He’s in his prime. I really hope he has the opportunity to play football again.
10. Since 2013, only five NFL players have had a season with 800 or more yards, a per-catch average of at least 17.8 yards and eight touchdowns. They are: Josh Gordon, Marvin Jones, James Jones, Calvin Johnson and … Riley Cooper!