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The Eagles by the numbers, before the season finale is upon us

Things will probably be better next year.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have played 15 football games this season. They have one left. I took a look at a few numbers that caught my eye.

190

The NFC East is the only division in the league in which all four teams have a positive point differential. Combined, the four teams are +190 through 60 combined games.

The Eagles have been so unconventional this year that, while the only team in their division, they don’t rank last in point differential. Their +22 mark, tied with Washington for second-best in the division is actually five points better than the Giants, who are +17 and are going to the playoffs.

Dallas, of course, leads the NFC East with a stellar +129 rating.

Two different divisions — the AFC South (surprise, surprise) and the NFC North (alright, yeah, that’s a surprise) — with just one team with a positive point differential. The South has the Colts, who are not going to the playoffs. The NFC North has an Aaron Rodgers-powered Packers offense.

And yet the NFC North will send at least one team, maybe two, while the Eagles sit at home.

Frustrating, right?

Consider this, too: according to Pro Football Reference’s expected wins and losses metric, which takes things like point differential, turnover rates, and strength of schedule and then calculates how many games a normal team would win, the Eagles are expected to have 8.1 wins and 6.9 losses right now.

Alas, they are 6-9, and they are not going to the playoffs. What a life Eagles fans live.

2

Only two teams in the league have just one wide receiver with at least 400 receiving yards. One, unsurprisingly, is the Cleveland Browns.

The other is the Philadelphia Eagles.

That means the Eagles’ second receiver, Dorial Green-Beckham (377 yards), is less prolific than the wide receivers on these teams:

  • The Chip Kelly-led San Francisco 49ers, who have won two games season, both against a dreadful Los Angeles Rams team which was so bad that it fired its head coach with a month left in the regular season. The 49ers’ No. 2 wide receiver, Quinton Patton, has 408 yards, or 31 more than Green-Beckham.
  • Those same Los Angeles Rams, who have lost to the 49ers twice this year and are quarterbacked now by bust-to-be in Jared Goff. The Rams’ No. 2 wide receiver, Brian Quick, has 549 yards, or 172 more than Green-Beckham. (The Rams’ No. 3 wide receiver, Tavon Austin, has 114 more receiving yards than Green-Beckham.)
  • The ding-danged New York Jets, who, while having talented wideouts like Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa on the roster, have also used a trio of Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Bryce Petty at quarterback. If ever there were a case for the ability of great wide receivers to make bad quarterbacks functional, this season’s Jets team is it. The Jets’ No. 2 wide receiver, Enunwa, has 776 receiving yards, or more than double Green-Beckham’s total.

Not that we needed another reminder, but the Eagles’ wide receivers are awful. Pray for your local Carson Wentz.

15

The Eagles picked up 15 first downs in their win over the Giants in Week 16, tied for the fewest first downs they’ve had this season in a win. It happened against the Vikings in Week 7 this year. They also picked up 15 first downs in last year’s win against the Patriots, and also in 2010, when they beat the Jaguars, 28-3.

Interestingly, 15 has been the low-water mark for the team’s first down total in wins for the past six years. The Eagles had picked up at least 15 first downs in each win since 2009. In those six years, if they didn’t pick up at least 15 first downs, the Eagles lost. The last time it happened came when they beat Washington, 27-17 while picking up just 11 first downs in Week 7 of 2009.

The Eagles scored plenty of unconventional touchdowns that day, including a 67-yard run from DeSean Jackson, a 57-yard touchdown pass (also to Jackson), and an interception return by Will Witherspoon. David Akers also kicked two 40-yard field goals. Washington out-gained the Eagles by more than 40 yards that day, but the Eagles’ chances were almost never in jeopardy.

Since that win, the Eagles have gone 0-8 in games in which they don’t pick up at least 15 first downs. Even 15 is pushing it, really. My guess is they should try to pick up more first downs if they’d like to win games, but that’s just my very unscientific conjecture. Who knows? Maybe 11 is the perfect number against division rivals.

It just seems a little unlikely.

And one last number, a parting shot to make you sad...

2

That’s how many more receiving yards DeMarco Murray has than Dorial Green-Beckham this year.