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Philadelphia Eagles have a lot of room for improvement

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How the 2015 Eagles compared to the NFL average.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles' season have been over for a while now, but let's take a look at how the 2015 team performed compared to the NFL average and see where improvement is needed. The organization clearly felt Chip Kelly wasn't the right guy to fix things moving forward. Here's a closer look at the team Doug Pederson is inheriting.

GENERAL

Category Eagles Rank
Point Differential/Play -0.033 19
Yard Differential/Play -0.3 23
Turnover Differential -5 25

The Eagles gave up more points and yards than they amassed. They also turned the ball over more than they took it away. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that this isn't a recipe for success.

OFFENSE

Category Eagles NFL AVG Difference Rank
Yards/Game 364.4
352.7 11.7 12
Yards/Play 5.29 5.48 -0.19 24
RushYards/Game 108.9 108.8 0.1
14
RushYards/Play 3.94 4.13 -0.09 21
PassYards/Game 255.4 243.8 11.6 12
PassYards/Play 6.56 6.82
-0.26 20
Interception Rate 2.89% 2.38% 0.51% 25
Sacks/Pass Attempt 5.94% 6.49% -0.55% 13
First Downs/Game 21.2 20.1 1.1 7
3rd Down Pct 39.57% 38.96% 0.61% 15
4th Down Pct 50.00% 48.95% 1.05%
15
RedZone Pct 55.81% 56.17% -0.36% 15
Goal to Go Pct 70.83% 69.58%
1.25% 13
Points/Game 23.6 22.8 0.8 13

After taking a step back in 2014, Kelly's offense declined yet again last season. The offense ranked above average in volume stats (yards per game) but it was well below average in efficiency (yards per play). Despite pass protection being above average, the team's interception was too high due to the struggles of Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. It's up to Pederson to make this unit better. At least the offense was slightly above average when it came to converting on key downs. Maybe that's something to build on.

DEFENSE

Category Eagles NFL AVG Difference Rank
Yards/Game 401.6 352.7 48.9 30
Yards/Play 5.60 5.48 -0.12 21
RushYards/Game 134.6 108.8 25.8 32
RushYards/Play 4.50 4.13 0.37 28
PassYards/Game 267.1 243.8 23.3 28
PassYards/Play 6.75 6.82 -0.07 14
Interception Rate 2.37% 2.38%
-0.01% 15
Sacks/Pass Attempt 5.85%
6.49% -0.64% 25
First Downs/Game 22.8 20.1 2.7 30
3rd Down Pct 42.86% 38.96% 3.9% 26
4th Down Pct 66.67%
48.95% 17.72% 27
RedZone Pct 65.57% 56.17% 9.4% 31
Goal to Go Pct 68.75% 69.58% -0.83% 15
Points/Game 26.9 22.8 4.1
28

These numbers clearly aren't great, and that's understating it. They don't tell the whole story, though. The Eagles had a very good defense for the first half of the season. It ranked No. 2 overall in DVOA heading into Week 10. A big reason why Philadelphia's defense fell off a cliff is due to the tempo of Kelly's offense. The fast pace that Kelly runs is always bound to make his defense's volume stats look really bad. It's the opposite effect of how it makes the offense's volume stats look better. If you look at yards per play, however, the Eagles weren't AS bad. With that said, there's still a ton of room for improvement. The Birds need a more effective pass rush, which could lead to an improved pass defense. Third down and red zone situations were way too easy for opposing offenses. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz needs to get that fixed as well.

SPECIAL TEAMS (FOR):

Category Eagles NFL AVG Difference Rank
Punt Return Avg 11.4 8.5 2.9 2
Kickoff Return Avg 20.9 23.6 -2.7 25
Field Goals Made 80.77% 84.50% -3.73% 27

Thanks to Darren Sproles, the Eagles once again had one of the NFL's best punt return units. He's such a big weapon there. The kick return unit, meanwhile, wasn't very effective. Josh Huff has shown the ability to take it to the house but he wasn't very threatening last year. When it came to field goal percentage, the Eagles were unfortunate to lose starting kicker Cody Parkey for the season. They had to rely on Caleb Sturgis, who struggled early on.

SPECIAL TEAMS (AGAINST):

Category Eagles NFL AVG Difference Rank
Punt Return Avg 5.1 8.5 -3.4 3
Kickoff Return Avg 20.7 23.6 -2.9 7

This is a big reason why the Eagles kept Dave Fipp around. Their ST coverage units have been very good under his guidance. Click here for a more detailed special teams breakdown. Tight end Trey Burton was a big part of Philadelphia's success on these units.

...

Now a look at some unconventional stats.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS

Category Rank
Team DVOA 22
Offense 26
Pass Offense 26
Rush Offense 17
Defense 17
Pass Defense 14
Rush Defense 28
Special Teams 10

The offense was worse than you thought. The defense was better than you thought. The special teams was about as good as you thought.

PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

Category Rank
Overall 16
Offense 14
Pass Offense 11
Receiving 32
Rush Offense 32
Pass Block 17
Run Block 2
Defense 15
Run Defense 22
Pass Rush 5
Pass Coverage 21
Special Teams 24

Some of these rankings are curious. Run blocking looks way too high and special teams is way too low, for example. Other areas such as receiving and rush offense look about right.