Okay, we know that we are not currenly in the "suck for luck" race that ESPN has been nominating teams for, hoping to keep the fans of losing teams more fully engaged.
We also know that we are not perfect. We know that we have flaws. We know that we had a tough time gift wrapping this team before we let four winnable games slip past us and into the loss column.
Which leaves us wondering how good this team really is? Are we really the team that shut down the hated cowboys team better than any team in 2011 so far? Are we the team that can run the ball at will? Or are we the team who is susceptible to missed assignments, turnovers, poor tackling?
Will the real Philadelphia Eagles please stand up?
Before getting all caught up in the near misses, close shaves, or any sportscasting bandwagon loading up to tell us how wonderful our team is, let's explore what was wrong with our team in 2010 and try to get a perspective:
(1) Sacks surrendered
No doubt about it, this one scared me. No way Vick lives to the post season on a team allowing a fleet footed quarterback to be sacked 49 times. This year, we are on pace to allow nearly half that amount. This was Mudd's number one assignment - REDUCE SACKS. Eagles? A+
(2) Pass rush
Again, this was a huge issue. Without a pass rush, the eagles defensive backfield were tested longer. We had to blitz to generate any pressure on the quarterback. And a patient quarterback simply sat back and waited for the open man. IN 2010 we were at a modest 39. This year, we are on pace for 50. The number is not the tallest order of the day. The fact that we are generating pass rush with minimal blitzing is a huge plus. This was Washburn's number one assignment - Increase pass rush. Eagles? A+
(3) Red zone - 2010 was a terrible year for the eagles in the red zone. Offense or defense, take your pick. I don't think we're in great shape this year either. The biggest challenge is finding an updated data base that is both timely and relevant. The feeling this year, however, is the rise of the Eagles rushing game. In 2010, Shady rushed for 1080 and 7 TDs. In 2011 (at 7 games), he's already at 754 yards and 8 TDs. that's projecting to 1700 yards rushing and 18 TDs. It's tough to deny that will have a positive effect on our red zone offense.
On the defensive side, the picture is much foggier. We were riddled by Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez, but we did manage to shut down Jason Witten, who is far superior in his play. Eagles? Incomplete
(4) Right cornerback. What's to say, really?! NA/DRC>>>>>>>>>anything the eagles fielded in 2010.
(5) Linebacker play? Despite the perception that the eagles LBs were doing okay, the fact that our pass defense was riddled in 2010 by both TEs and RBs tells a differing tale. We stunk in 2010. But, we KNOW we stink in 2011 and that means we've at least some chance of improving as the season wears on. Eagles? Incomplete
We dropped a bunch of games carelessly already. And there are some who are calling for our Team to do very well this year. But using the above factors and the 10-6 record from 2010, I expect we can finish the season somewhere between 6 and 7 wins. That puts us at either 9-7 or 10-6 by season's end. (note, our current teams performance- starting the season over today, would fall at a 12-4 pace)
So that's where we are in my opinion. What do you think?