Through six weeks of the 2017 campaign, the Eagles have utilized a balanced offense that ranks third in the league in total yards per game. Sophomore sensation, Carson Wentz, is off to a terrific start to the year. He has now thrown for 16 TDs against just three interceptions – all of which, if I’m not mistaken, came off of tipped passes. He has accumulated a passer rating of 99.6 through six games to begin the year. With so much excitement surrounding the team’s defense, the offense has emerged as one of the best in the league.
The Big Boys
As with any team, offensive success begins with the big fellas up front:
According to Pro Football Focus, during the first two weeks of the season, the Eagles ranked 16th in the league in Pass Block Efficiency with a grade of 79.0. During weeks three-five, the Eagles ranked first in the league with a Pass Block Efficiency grade of 90.6.
With Wisniewski having seemingly locked down the LG spot, the offensive line can continue to gel, and unfortunately for opposing teams, continue to get better. The Eagles boast an offensive line with four of the best players in the league at their positions. Their dominant offensive line is headlined by the great one, and currently the best offensive tackle in the league, Jason Peters:
JP has been at the top of his game for years. It really is amazing that a man at his size, and at his age, can be so light on his feet. Through six weeks, JP has been the top-rated OT in the NFL. His counterpart, Lane Johnson, isn’t far behind.
JP was perfect in pass protection against Carolina.
Now, obviously, a lot can change with eleven weeks remaining in the regular season. However, we all know that games are won and lost in the trenches, and of all the NFC teams currently in playoff positions, no team has a better group down there than the Eagles.
The Pretty Boys
The Eagles have been able to impose their will on opposing teams both in the run and pass-game. There are many who deserve credit for this: Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz, the offensive line, etc. Obviously, Carson Wentz has been phenomenal to begin the year, but of the other skill players not named Zach Ertz, there hasn’t really been one guy who is the clear-cut star player.
Yes, Nelson Agholor has been in a zone. Yes, LeGarrette Blount, Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery have all made positive impacts on the offense. But there really isn’t one player who the Eagles HAVE to have dominate and play well in order to win. And that, has been one of their biggest reasons for success.
The versatility of this offense has been fun to watch this season. The Eagles can beat opposing teams in so many ways, it makes it nearly impossible on opposing Defensive Coordinators to scheme up a win. If opposing teams don’t crowd the box, LeGarrette Blount will feast. If they do crowd the box, Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor can beat them vertically. On top of that, oppositions have to matchup with Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz on every play. It’s a tough offense to game plan for, and an even tougher offense to execute said game plan against.
Over the last few weeks, we have been seeing the beginning stages of a complete offense. That is important to remember. This is still the beginning.
In perhaps the biggest game of his young career, when kept clean in the pocket, Carson was nearly perfect with the football.
The media, for good reason, has been making a lot out of the young passer for his improvement on third-downs this season. Per Pro Football Focus, this is Carson Wentz’ passing chart on third down and long (10+) through the first five weeks of the season:
Carson has been other-worldly on third downs this year.
LeGarrette Blount is who they said he was. It seems he, too, has been coming into a zone the last few weeks. Ranked number one in the league in Elusive Rating among running backs with at least 56 carries, Blount has averaged 4.9 yards after contact per carry this year. Only eight other running backs in the league currently average 4.9 yards PER CARRY. Beast.
With a vicious defense, and an emerging offense, can the Eagles keep on winning? We hope so, as, their next few games will be vital for positioning in the NFC playoff picture – particularly, their next game, Monday night, against Washington.
While many Eagles’ players and coaches will declare this as “just another game”, we all understand the implications of a Monday night win against the Redskins. The Eagles would almost certainly win the division if that’s the case – something that the city of Philadelphia undoubtedly deserves.
Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports