The Philadelphia Eagles have been nothing short of dominant this season. They currently hold the best record in the NFL at 9-1. Last season they floated in mediocrity, finishing with a record of 7-9. This year, they have rolled over some of the NFL’s better teams, including the Panthers, Redskins (twice) and the Broncos. They are first in the NFL in total offensive yards, boasting one of the most prolific offenses in the league this year.
So what’s the reason for this? One of the biggest reasons behind the performance of the offense is the man steering the ship, second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has been an absolute machine this year, notching 23 TD’s and 5 INT’s and a passer rating of 104.1. He has blossomed into an improvisation machine, showing the uncanny ability to continuously make something out of nothing on play after play. He has also shown that he can spread the ball out among his receivers. Both his tight-end Zach Ertz and new receiver Alshon Jeffery have 500 yards or more, and former first-round pick Nelson Agholor has 428 yards on the season. These things combined has caused the offense of the Eagles to be one of the league’s best. They average 377 yards-per-game, which ranks 5th in the NFL. They are also second in the league in both total rushing yards (1,231) and points per game (31.4), as well as being first in total points (283). The main focus of the offense is running the ball, which explains why they have the third-most rushing yards-per-game at 136.8. Overall, the Eagles high-powered offense has been one of the best in the NFL this year, if not the best.
However, don’t think Philly’s only strength is their offense. These same Eagles currently boast the best rushing defense in the NFL, allowing just 66.4 yards per game and 598 total rushing yards over 9 games (both first in the NFL). This has played to their advantage, as they have forced teams to throw the ball and use less time as a result. This likely explains why the Eagles currently lead their opponents in time of possession, 33:12 to 26:48. Their pass defense is around the middle of the league in both yards allowed per game and total passing yards allowed, but they are tied for second in the league in interceptions (11). They rank sixth in total sacks in the league with 25.0 and have shown that their defense is nothing to be messed with. Even the special teams unit in Philly has been playing well, with newcomer Jake Elliott proving to have one of the biggest legs in the NFL as a rookie and ranking 14th in average yards per kickoff return and third in average yards per punt return.
We still have seven more games to watch Philadelphia play in the regular season. Which is good, because in my opinion they are one of a select group of teams that are exciting to watch. However, I am convinced that this is a team geared for a deep playoff run this year. Carson Wentz has proven to be everything that was advertised, the receiving corps has vastly improved from last year, and the defense is very solid. I believe we will be watching the Eagles play home games in January, and maybe even February.