The most underrated Eagles ever and more in Roob’s 10 observations
A ridiculous Reggie Brown stat, why Clyde Simmons is the most underrated player in Eagles history and the Eagles’ chase for an all-time winning record.
It’s all here in this week’s Roob’s 10 Random Eagle Offseason Observations!
1. One of my favorite things about Boston Scott is his ability to pick up yards in the red zone, where defenses are so condensed. Scott was one of the most effective red-zone runners in the NFL last year. He’s got exceptional vision and a powerful lower body that allows him to keep his legs moving in traffic. Scott averaging 4.2 yards per carry last year inside the opposing 20-yard-line, which was 3rd-highest in the NFL among running backs with at least 10 red-zone carries (behind Justice Hill and former Eagle Raheem Mostert). The league average was 2.8. Scott had 14 red-zone carries and scored on five of them! As impressive as Miles Sanders was as a rookie, he averaged 2.8 yards on 29 red-zone carries with two TDs. I don’t know exactly what Scott’s role will be next year, but I guarantee you he’ll be a big part of the Eagles’ red-zone package.
2. Reggie Brown had more catches in his first three NFL seasons than Mike Quick or Harold Carmichael.
3. Interesting distinction between Nick Foles and Carson Wentz. Nick has had six starts in his career with a passer rating over 130 and Carson hasn’t had any (although he’s had 21 of at least 100). But Nick has also had four starts in his career with a rating under 50 and Carson has only had one. Nick has started 34 games and Carson 56. So your chances of getting an off-the-charts game are much better with Nick but your chances of getting a terrible game are far higher as well. If the QB with the wild extremes happens to line up the high points with the biggest games of his life you win a Super Bowl. But in the long run, you’re better off with the guy who’s very good most of the time and rarely awful than the guy who’s occasionally brilliant but also occasionally terrible.
4. Take a look at Miles Sanders over the second half of his rookie season: He ran for 524 yards with a 4.6 average and caught 31 passes for 235 more yards. That made him only the fifth rookie in NFL history with 500 rushing yards and 30 catches over the last eight games of a season. The others are Hall of Famers Edgerrin James and LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Forte and Saquon Barkley, his college teammate.
5. When will the Eagles reach a .500 record in franchise history? They’re on their way. The Eagles have never had an all-time winning record. Their best record ever was 3-3-1 late in 1933 before they lost their last two games and then opened the next season 1-5. They haven’t been at .500 since. At their lowest point, five weeks into 1987, they were 288-385-24 — 97 games under .500. Since then, they’ve slowly but steadily worked their way back toward .500. Since Week 6 of that 1987 season, the Eagles are 298-223-22 - 75 games over .500. That’s put them at 586-608-26 all-time. So the Eagles have gone from 97 games under .500 to 22 games under .500 in 32 years. So they’re making up about 2.4 games per year. At that pace, they’ll get to .500 early in the 2028 season. Slightly earlier if they switch to a 17-game season!
6. And this is crazy, but the Eagles have had more winning seasons since 1989 than before 1989!
7. How good was Clyde Simmons? During the four years from 1989 through 1992, the heyday of the historic Eagles’ defense, Clyde actually had MORE sacks than Reggie White! Clyde had 55 during that four-year span, tied with Pat Swilling for second-most in the NFL behind only Derrick Thomas’s 58. Reggie was fourth with 54. Did Clyde benefit from the double teams Reggie drew? Sure. But trust me, that worked both ways. There were times Reggie benefited from Clyde’s presence, too. Clyde actually averaged 7 ½ sacks per year in six seasons after he left the Eagles, without White across from him. Reggie was the best ever. But Clyde was a flat-out superstar in his own right, a sack machine and a monster against the run. The most underrated player in Eagles history.
8. Kind of crazy that Tommy Thompson threw 25 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions in 12 games for the Eagles during the 1948 NFL Championship season. That’s 2.08 TDs per game and to this day – 72 year later – that’s still 3rd-most TDs per game in a season by an Eagles QB, behind only Carson Wentz in 2017 [2.5] and Sonny Jurgensen in 1961 [2.3]. Although a couple AAFC quarterbacks did it, Thompson was the only QB with 25 or more TDs and 11 or fewer INTs in an NFL season until Roger Staubach in 1979.
9. The active 7th-round picks with the most career interceptions are Kurt Coleman and Jordan Poyer, the Eagles’ 7th-round picks in 2000 and 2013. They’re the only active 7th-round picks with more than 7 career interceptions.
10. The weather in Los Angeles was so bad for the 1949 NFL Championship Game between the Eagles and Rams that both owners asked NFL Commissioner Bert Bell to postpone the game a week. But the game went on in heavy rain, and only 22,000 people showed up in the 70,000-capacity L.A. Coliseum. After the Eagles won 14-0 for their second straight NFL title, Rams coach Clark Shaughnessy complained about the weather: “We just don’t have the stuff for that kind of football. I wish it could have been dry. We had to play both the Eagles and the weather.” Oh, boo hoo hoo.
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