These are some interesting statistical observations and thoughts of mine. All stats are official from NFL.COM.
Safeties: Since the beginning of the season I had my doubts about Macho Harris as our Free Safety. I just don't think a 5th round drafted rookie can be an effective starter especially when he has gigantic shoes to fill. I really wanted Sean Jones to be the starting free safety before the season and after Sunday's game, I believe he should be starting. Macho Harris in 6 starts so far, only 18 tackles and 1 pass deflected. Sean Jones played sparingly in just 5 games and has 15 tackles and 2 passes deflected. In the Washington game alone, he had 6 tackles and 1 pass deflected. He missed a crucial sack on Campbell on 3rd down though. I seriously thought he was going to take off Campbell's head. Lucky for Jason, he is elusive. Redskins went on to score a touchdown. Macho Harris' name rarely gets called during the games because he is just not making enough plays and I really hope Jones gets the starting job. I also noticed he is not listed as SS anymore on NFL.COM but simply as Safety.
Jeremy Maclin vs Desean Jackson: Maclin quietly is having a very good rookie season. In his 5 starts he has 18 catches, 246 yards and 2 TDs. He is coming off another good game with a 5 catch 53 yard performance against a stingy Redskins defense. He also had a great block on that Desean end around rush TD. If he continues at this pace of 3.6 catches per start, he will end the season with 54 catches and 739 yards. I am optimistic that Mcnabb and Maclin will get better as the season goes on which will give Jeremy a chance to match or even surpass Desean's rookie numbers. Either way the future is bright at Wide Receiver.
Linebackers: Will Witherspoon is looking like the steal of the year after his first game. He deserved to win NFC Defensive Player of the Week for recording 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 INT, 1 QB Hit, 1 pass defended and 1 TD but that honor went to Adrian Wilson. That is one hell of a stat line for your first game with a team. He is well on his way to another 100+ tackle season. Akeem Jordan had a good game as well with 10 tackles. He is on pace to have 99 tackles on the year. He has developed into a good tackler but still needs to improve in coverage. A lot of those tackles came after the tight end caught the ball. Fred Davis, Skins' second string tight end had 8 catches 78 yards and 1 TD. You might say that the Eagles were playing a prevent defense but I didn't see Campbell going a lot of other places with the ball. Hopefully as Witherspoon gets more comfortable in the system, he will take on more coverage roles against the tight ends and do well. Chris Gocong on the other hand is once again below average with just 3 tackles Sunday. He is averaging 4 tackles a game and is on pace for 64 tackles. His usual average per season. One of the main jobs for the SAM is to blitz and Gocong has just 4 sacks in 4 years. Dismal. Elite Strongside linebackers such as Lance Briggs and Chad Greenway average 100+ tackles per season. They also make plays quite often. Compared to them, Gocong is below average. Unless Witherspoon is playing lights out at MLB for the rest of the year, I predict Bradley at MLB, Witherspoon at SLB, and Jordan at WILL next year. Witherspoon has similar size to Greenway and Briggs so size will not be an issue.
Brent Celek: Witten who? Despite having 3 semi-quiet games, Celek is on pace to have 88 catches and 1029 yards for the season. Even if he averages just 4 catches a game for the rest of the year he will finish with 73 catches for 854 yards. He should be mentioned among the elites from now on. I gotta admit, I doubted him before the season but he really impresses with his route running, RAC and toughness. Blocking still needs some work though.
The Wildcat/Spread Eagle: The wildcat for the most part has been shutdown. Defenses have been stacking the box and running out of the wildcat just hasn't worked. It probably has a lot to do with the O-line and company not executing blocks. Andy ran it 5 times on Sunday and it gained a grand total of 5 yards. The worst call came with just over five minutes left in the second quarter and the Eagles threatening after a muffed punt by the Skins. McCoy took the snap and was gobbled up by the Redskins defense, costing the Eagles two yards and forcing a third and long that wasn't converted. I reeeeaally hope Andy is setting it up for the Giants next week. I would love to see something like Arizona's "Philly Special". Mcnabb could be spread out wide right, Vick pretends to run to his left, the defense bites, Vick passes to Mcnabb across the field for a Maclin/Jackson bomb. If he has nothing like that planned, then F' the Wildcat!
Eagles team rankings(OFFENSE): 27.2 ppg (7th) 336.7 ypg(17th) 233 pass ypg(15th) 103.7 rush ypg(18th)
Offensively the only thing that's impressive is the points per game and that's because our defense can score or contribute to half the points every game. Everything else is around the middle of the pack. Mcnabb needs to be more accurate, receivers need to drop less passes, running game has got to be more effective and most of all the O-line has got to get their act together. Andy Reid also has keep the play calling balanced. If most of these get taken care of, this offense will truly make defenses piss their pants.
Eagles team rankings(DEFENSE): 19.3 ppg(12th) 287 ypg(7th) 190.2 pass ypg(9th) 96.8 rush ypg(11th)
Defensively, impressive across the board even though the only good offensive team they played are the Saints. If you think about it, the Saints offense basically scored just 27 out of the 48 they put up. 2 TDs came from pick 6's and 1 TD came after the fumble near the end zone. Mcdermott should have blitzed the shit out of Brees. Brees will always pick you apart if he has time. Jets and Dolphins(at least for 1 half) blitzed really effectively against Brees, forcing 5 sacks, 1 TD-3 INTS and a combined 68.9 QB rating. Other than that, defense is in good shape.
Donovan Mcnabb: Like it or not haters, Mcnabb is the best QB on the roster even for this system. Yes, Kolb is more accurate on short- mid passes but right now he is also more likely to lose the game for you. He just can't see the safety. Baltimore and Saints game, almost the exact same kind of pick 6. I honestly think if 5 was the quarterback in the Saints game, we would have won. He would not have thrown that pick 6 near the end zone which basically was a momentum killer and it badly hurt the chances of winning. You guys want to put Kolb out there now when the schedule is ridiculously tough? I will take 5-6 passes in the dirt over a pick 6, thank you. Mcnabb still has a 93 QB rating for God's sakes! Some of you are ready to ship him out after a couple of mediocre games.
We are 3-1 with Mcnabb starting(4-0 if not for bad tackling and 2 missed field goals).The season is far from over and you know how hot the Eagles can get once they are in rhythm. Think about it. The Eagles won easily 27-17 in an away game, in front of 88,000 people, against a talented but struggling Skins' team who had a top 5 defense coming into the game. It was not an impressive win but a win nonetheless. Mcnabb completed 60 percent of his passes, didn't turn the ball over, finished with a 91 QB rating and most of all, won the game. If we beat NY next week, we are definitely beating Dallas. No way the Cowgirls are winning in our house and I'll be damned if Miles Austin can keep playing like that 4 weeks in a row. If we don't beat NY but still beat Dallas, it's still all good. Lose both games, we are fucked!
GO E-A-G-L-E-S! GO PHILS! New York teams are gonna be pwned this week!