Schedule Analysis with DVOA (long)

Team Est Wins DVOA Offense Defense Sp Team
2009 Eagles 10.9 28% 14% -11% 4%

Much of what you expect from the Eagles in 2010 depends on how you expect Kolb will do vs. McNabb.  Considering that McNabb was only an average QB last year according to DVOA, Kolb does not have to be a star for this offense to essentially repeat last year's performance.  This is especially true when you consider that we lost no contributing players from offense, that Maclin is entering his 2nd year and DJax his 3rd (both are jump years for young receivers), Peters has an entire year and offseason to work with the OL, and Andrews might even contribute at guard.  If Kolb is good enough to start in the NFL, the Eagles should repeat their stellar offensive production from last year.

Defense is more difficult to predict than offense, but it is worth noting that, despite the impressions left in the last 2 games, we had a top defense last year (#6 overall DVOA - remember that in DVOA negative is good for defense).  This was without Bradley, and with a bit of a mess at safety, and with a rookie DC.  We have only lost one contributor on D from last season (Brown), and given that we are likely to focus on defense in the draft there is every likelihood that we will at least be as good as we were last year in this area.

Special teams is the one area I expect we will take a hit, for 3 reasons.  First, there is generally a lot of variations year to year here anyway.  Second, Akers is another year older.  Third, I think Djax will be returning a lot fewer punts this year, to protect him.  We'll downgrade our expectations on ST to only average.

So, looking forward based on last year's final DVOA rankings, how does the 2010 schedule look for us?  A whoooooole lot better than you might think, mainly because we have a lot of relatively easy games, and most of our hard games will be at home.  When looking at the chart of 2009 DVOA below, remember that teams will vary, but it's extremely hard to tell before the fact which teams will get better, which will get a lot better, which teams will get worse, a lot worse, and which will stay the same.  So take this for what it's worth.  I have included a few comments of analysis for some of the games.

Week At Team Est Wins DVOA Offense Defense Sp Team Analysis
1 H Packers 11 30% 23% -14% -6% Pack better in O, D, worse in ST - But at home - loss
2 A Lions 2.3 -51% -25% 21% -4% Win
3 A Jags 7.3 -9% 7% 14% -1% Win
4 H Redskins 7.3 -6% -5% 0% -1% Win
5 A 49ers 7.8 1% -10% -12% -1% Win
6 H Falcons 8.6 2% 9% 6% -1% Win
7 A Titans 7.5 -6% 8% 13% -1% Win
9 H Colts 11 18% 20% 2% -1% Worse O, better D and ST, at home - toss up
10 A Redskins 7.3 -6% -5% 0% -1% The main question is how much difference will McNabb make vs. what they had last year?  (hint: not much) Win
11 H Giants 8.1 4% 12% 6% -2% Win
12 A Bears 5.7 -20% -17% 7% 4% Win
13 H Texans 9.6 9% 13% 6% 2% O same, better D and ST, home, Toss up
14 A Cowboys 11.2 26% 25% 0% 1% Worse O, better D and ST, away, loss
15 A Giants 8.1 4% 12% 6% -2% Win
16 H Vikings 10.2 18% 16% 2% 4% Worse O, better D, at home, W
17 H Cowboys 11.2 26% 25% 0% 1%  At home this time - toss up
Avg         8.4 3% 7% 4% -1%


Overall, our schedule averages out to, well, average.  The offenses we're facing are pretty good, the defenses not so much, and the average estimated wins is only 8.4.  Looking deeper, we see 2 almost guaranteed wins (Lions and Bears), 4 more where our opponent has a negative DVOA and are therefore highly likely wins, 4 games where the opponents have a DVOA under 5%, and then a murderers list of 6 which will be really tough.  But 5 of those 6 are at home, and only the Packers are actually higher than we are in our final 2009 DVOA.

Looking at things this way, I would say we will be favored to win 11 games, have an even chance at 3, and be an underdog in 2.  That can look to be as good as 12 or 13 wins.  Yes, I am seriously saying that the Eagles can win 13 games this year.

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