The only number that matters is wins, right? That's what old school fans would love you to believe. But other fans know that part of the fun in following a team is tracking their stats to see where a player ranks and who is playing well. So let's take a look at some Eagles and how they are doing this season.
* Jeremy Maclin had 108 yards receiving on Thursday. He's now up to 1,088 for the season. That is already a career high and he's got four games left to go. The player Maclin is often compared to is former teammate DeSean Jackson. Jackson had a career high 1,332 yards last year. Maclin only needs 245 yards to pass that total. That's just 62 yards per game.
Maclin has nine touchdowns, which is just one short of his career high. I would guess he'll get to 10 touchdowns and it seems like he's got an excellent chance to surpass Jackson's yardage mark. The next big stat for Maclin will be the dollar amount of his new contract. He made the wise decision to only sign a one-year deal prior to the season so he'll be a free agent come March. Expect big money to come his way, hopefully from the Eagles.
* Jordan Matthews is the new Riley Cooper. Matthews took Jason Avant's spot as the slot receiver, but he seems to have taken Cooper's spot as the number two target in the passing game. Matthews has 54 catches and seven touchdowns. Last year Cooper finished with 47 catches and eight touchdowns.
Cooper is the new Avant. Cooper has 43 catches and only one touchdown. He averages under 11 yards per reception. Last year Avant had two touchdowns and averaged just over 11 yards per reception. The big plays and deep balls that Cooper got last year are gone. Cooper is moving the chains, like Avant did. Cooper is a terrific blocker, like Avant was. Cooper and Mark Sanchez have not been on the same page on a few throws and that certainly has affected their chemistry, but Cooper wasn't lighting it up with Nick Foles either.
* James Casey is the new Cris Carter. Remember when Buddy Ryan proclaimed about Carter that "All he does is catch touchdowns"? That's literally true with Casey. He has three catches this year, two of them were touchdowns. That's what you call a role player making impact plays. To put that in perspective, Avant has never had more than three touchdown catches in a season and he usually had between 30 and 50 catches.
* Last year the Eagles led the NFL in rushing with 2,566 yards. This year the team is on pace for 2,083 yards. The big difference is quarterback rushing yards. Michael Vick and Nick Foles combined for 527 yards last year. This season Foles and Sanchez have combined for 104 yards. If you remove QB runs, the Eagles averaged 127.5 yards per game on the ground last year. This season that is down to 121.5. That's impressive when you think about all the injuries to the offensive line.
* Darren Sproles has 480 punt return yards so far this year. In the last two seasons combined, the Eagles had 481 yards. That is 32 games vs. 11 games. Man, talk about impact. DeSean Jackson never had more than 441 punt return yards in a season. In his last four years with the Eagles, Jackson had a total of 413 yards. He wasn't a full-time returner in all those yards, but that was four years vs. 11 games. Wow.
* Brandon Graham is having the year year of his career. He's third among Eagles linebackers with 5.5 sacks. He leads the team with seven tackles-for-loss and four forced fumbles. That is very impressive, especially when you consider that Graham is a backup. In a normal year he might be pushing for a starting role, but Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are playing at a high level as well so Graham has to settle for being a great backup.
Longtime nemesis Jason Pierre-Paul has fewer sacks, TFLs and FFs than Graham. In the last three years combined, Graham has 14 sacks to JPP's 12. Graham's seven forced fumbles in that time are more than JPP has in his career.
* Mychal Kendricks has emerged as a major playmaker in Bill Davis's 3-4 scheme. In Kendricks last 16 games, he has put up some big numbers: 7 sacks, 8 TFLs, 2 INTs, 4 FFs, 5 PDs. Eagles fans haven't seen numbers like that from a linebacker since the days of Seth Joyner. Kendricks can still get better as he gets more and more comfortable in the scheme. The one complaint with him is durability. He's missed games in both years.
* If not for J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin might be in the mix for Defensive Player of the Year. Barwin has 12.5 sacks, a career high. That's second in the league to Justin Houston. Barwin has five pass deflections, three tackles-for-loss and two forced-fumbles. He can set the edge vs. the run. He can cover tight ends and running backs. He's been disruptive as a rusher beyond just the sack total.
I don't know that any NFC player is close to Barwin. He's been absolutely tremendous this year. One fun argument for the offseason will be where Barwin ranks among the best Eagles free agent additions of all time.
* The Eagles are on pace to have 56 sacks as a team. That would match the high total of the Jim Johnson era (2002). The Eagles also had 56 back in 1992, the last full season of Gang Green. You have to go back to 1989 to find a higher total. The Eagles had 62 sacks that year.