How far away are the Philadelphia Eagles from making the Super Bowl? Some might argue that they're not close given the issues that were highlighted as they collapsed down the stretch in 2014. Others might point out that, despite the myriad of turnovers and big plays allowed, the team still managed to go 10-6.
According to ESPN and Pro Football Focus, there's reason to believe the Eagles aren't that far off from winning their first Super Bowl title. PFF came up with a methodology to determine how close teams are to contending. Their explanation:
"What makes a Super Bowl contender? When Pro Football Focus analyzed the 28 teams that played in the conference championship games for the 2007 to 2013 seasons, it found that, on average, 40 percent of those rosters were composed of good/elite players (you had to play 250-plus snaps to qualify). Using that methodology, PFF determined how many above-average players stood between your team and contending for this year's Super Bowl."
The Eagles were one of four teams (along with the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, and Baltimore Ravens) that were supposedly only two good/elite players away from winning it all. Funny enough, the Dallas Cowboys were zero players away. Here's a look at how PFF evaluated the Eagles roster:
Some of these rankings are agreeable. Others... well, not so much. Connor Barwin and Matt Tobin in the same tier? LeSean McCoy being ranked as "bad" along with Riley Cooper and Bradley Fletcher
The biggest issue with the Eagles in 2014 were turnovers and big plays allowed. Turnovers resulted due to lackluster quarterback play from Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez. Big plays were allowed due to a lack of talent in Philadelphia's secondary. The Eagles weren't going to make a run in the playoffs if those issues persisted. As it turned out, it would be those issues which prevented Philadelphia from even being able to make the post-season.
So, what do you think? How far off were the Eagles from making the Super Bowl in 2014?