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PFF: 10 takeaways through 3 weeks

What do the analytics say about the 2018 Eagles?

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

While Pro Football Focus will always be a controversial company due to its grading system, truth is, the player grades are just a fraction of what they have to offer. The immense data collection team allows PFF to collect and analyze data on parts of the game that the casual fan might not ever even notice. Below is a collection of some data points and trends I’ve found using their Premium Stats 2.0, which is only available to Elite members.

Chris Long hasn’t skipped a beat.

According to PFF’s stat, Pass Rushing Productivity, which “measures pressure created on a per snap basis with weighting toward sacks”, Chris Long has been one of the more dominant Edge Defenders in the game this season. With a PRP of 11.7, Long ranks 7th out of 110 Edge Defenders with at least 23 pass rushing snaps this season. Derek Barnett (6.8), Michael Bennett (6.8) & Brandon Graham (6.6) are clustered around 40th.

Nick Foles is still Nick Foles.

After playing his ass off and winning the Eagles their first Super Bowl Championship, Nick Foles has come back down to earth in a bad way. This season, his passer rating when facing no pressure, which is typically considered a more stable metric, is just 79.6, or 28th out of 31 QBs. To help put this into perspective, 12 Quarterbacks have a higher passer rating when under pressure.

Sidney Jones has been the team’s best Cornerback.

Among 78 cornerbacks with 75 or more coverage snaps, Sidney Jones ranks 7th in yards allowed per snap (0.41) & 15th in passer rating when targeted (62.2). Mills comes in at 55th (1.31) & 68th (123.), while Ronald Darby comes in at 73rd (1.98) and 35th (83.5).

Nelson Agholor has found hands, it seems.

In 2015, Agholor dropped 14.8% of his targets.

In 2016, 16.3% of his targets.

In 2017, 7.5% of his targets.

In 2018? 0 drops so far on 25 targets.

Maybe we overhyped the coverage ability of Jordan Hicks.

The general consensus about Hicks seems to be that he is a phenomenal young coverage Linebacker, when healthy. His coverage abilities and “football IQ” are that of a perennial Pro-Bowler. This season, Hicks, who has been healthy, has not been great in that regard. Through 111 snaps in coverage, Hicks has allowed a passer rating when targeted of 140.6, good for 43rd of 50 LBs. On the other hand, Hicks is yet to miss a tackle on 15 attempts.

Doug Pederson loves a good Tight End.

Through three weeks, Eagles Quarterbacks have targeted the tight end position an insane 53 times. The next closest team, the Colts, have only 36 TE Targets. The Eagles have targeted Wide Receivers just 38 times, Running Backs 22 times, and, of course, Nick Foles, once.

3 of the leagues top 15 run stoppers this year are on the Eagles.

Brandon Graham has made a stop on 7 out of 35 rushing plays. (20% t-1st/115 D-linemen). Michael Bennett is right behind him with 3 stops on 17 plays (17.6%, 4th/115), and Derek Barnett is 15th with 5 stops on 33 runs (15.2%). Because of impact players like these three, the Eagles have a Run Defense grade of 82.3, which is 4th highest in the league.

Jason Peters is still one of the top Tackles in the league.

Over the course of 85 pass blocking snaps, Jason Peters has allowed just 2 Quarterback hurries (0 sacks and 0 Quarterback hits). Lane Johnson, on the other hand, has struggled to contain the pressure this season, allowing 2 sacks, 1 QB Hit, and 12 QB pressures. With 15 pressures allowed, only 4 Tackles have allowed more, and odds are good you’ve never heard of them.

Jake Elliot has not been good.

Elliot has made just 60% of his field goal attempts, which is t-3rd worst out of 27 kickers with at least 4 attempts. What is more concerning than missing just 2 kicks out of 5, is that Elliot is 0-2 from more than 39 yards, which is an area he was once thought to be somewhat of a prodigy.

Corey Clement produces in chunks.

Corey Clement has gained 46.4% of his total rushing yards on just 3 of his 27 carries. At any time, Clement is a danger to turn a small run into a big gain, and almost half of his production has come from big plays. In addition to his abilities on the ground, Clement is a threat in the passing game, generating an average of 11.3 yards after catch per reception, which ranks 4th out of 43 RBs.

If you are interested in diving deeper into the data, head on over to Pro Football Focus where you can find tons of cool stats like these.

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