clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ESPN ranks Eagles as one of the NFL's worst offenses

New, comments

The Birds need more talent.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Bill Barnwell recently ranked the NFL's best offensive triplets currently on each team. The triplets consist of one quarterback and two other skill players (running back, wide receiver, and/or tight end). To little surprise, the Philadelphia Eagles do not have one of the better triplets in the league. Instead, the Birds rank very close to the bottom.

"30. Philadelphia Eagles - QB Sam Bradford, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Jordan Matthews

You could make a case that this group should include tight end Zach Ertz over either Mathews or, um, Matthews, but the offense's relative strength is depth as opposed to top-level talent. New coach Doug Pederson has useful second-tier weapons such as Ertz and Darren Sproles, and it's too early to count out 2015 first-rounder Nelson Agholor, who struggled through his rookie season with a high ankle sprain. There are three viable starters at quarterback, but the problem is that none of the three options -- Bradford, Chase Daniel and rookie Carson Wentz -- would project to be above average if given the reins in 2016. Philly will need its offensive line to return to form and its front seven to stay healthy to take a leap forward during Pederson's first season."

Only the San Francisco 49ers (hey, Chip) and the Cleveland Browns rank worse than the Eagles. Fun.

I'd definitely put Ertz above Mathews. The veteran running back can't stay healthy and figures to be part of a running-back-by-committee anyway. Not that it necessarily matters in this ranking, but Ertz is also a long-term piece on Philadelphia's offense.

Overall, though, it's hard to disagree with the ranking. The Eagles aren't loaded with talent on offense. Quarterback is obviously the biggest factor and Bradford isn't much more than an uninspiring stop-gap. Matthews is a good option in the slot but Philadelphia's other wide receivers aren't anything to write home about. Having a committee at running back is necessary when a team lacks a great lead back option.

One of the biggest question marks on offense has nothing to do with the players and everything to do with Doug Pederson. How is the rookie head coach going to fare as a play-caller? How much will he deviate from Andy Reid's system, if at all? How much influence will offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo have?

The offense might not be a total disaster. Philadelphia's offensive line has the potential to be improved with the addition of Brandon Brooks at right guard. The competition at left guard between Allen Barbre, Stefen Wisniewski, Isaac Seumalo, and others could help that spot improve as well. Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson are coming off injury-plagued seasons that caused them to struggle in 2015. The Birds are counting on them to rebound this year. Strong offensive line play could mitigate some of the overall offensive concerns.

It's not difficult to look beyond the Eagles' 2016 offensive outlook considering Bradford is a lame duck. Carson Wentz projects to be the team's starter in 2017. The Eagles will have to find a way to add some more offensive pieces to this roster next offseason.