MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles gets treatment on the sidelines against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Last week, Football Outsiders released study of what they call "adjusted games lost," which essentially measures weights injuries based on the importance of the players affected, the extent of the injury etc.
Last year, by their measure, the Eagles were decimated by injuries ranking 27th in the league in AGL (the lower, the worse). They lost 70 games worth of injuries. This year, the fortunes were totally reversed. They lost 21.9 games to injury, which was the 2nd least in the NFL. However, contrary to conventional wisdom about how important staying healthy is... they won 2 fewer games than in 2010.
The Patriots and Giants, the two Super Bowl participants, lost the 3rd most and the 7th most games to injury in the league. Although, and I don't know much FO weights this, they didn't lose a game from their starting QBs...
And that's not an insignificant point. Remember, the Giants went 9-7 last year. The Eagles went 8-8. Funny enough, one of those wins for the Eagles and losses for the Giants was when Vince Young was filling in for Vick... But it does underscore the point that of all injuries, there's really one big one that can decide your season. Of all guys that have to stay healthy for the Eagles to improve next year, Michael Vick is far and away the most important.
This is not to say that health of your team isn't important. Baltimore, New Orleans & Detroit were the other 3 of the 4 healthiest teams in the league and they all made the playoffs. But again, none of their quarterbacks missed any games either.
But all that said, this just makes last year all that much more disappointing.