The Eagles’ 3-0 start has been nothing short of remarkable. The Eagles have played really well. Here is where you say: “Thanks Captain Obvious.” Well, you would have in the 90’s…Anyhoo, back on the serious tip; we all know this team has been good so far, but it’s kind of insane just how good. Like, on a historical level. Honestly, I’ve found it hard to even process the flood of stats and factoids I’ve seen over the last few days, telling me how amazing the Eagles have been. So in that vein, I figured I’d try to put as many of these (AWESOME) stats, factoids, and truisms in one place for you…and for me *inserts winking face emoji; hits send; immediately regrets hitting send*). Anyway, with that train wreck in the rearview mirror, let’s get to the good stuff.
Let’s start with the basics. Here are some stats that stand out through three games, including where the Eagles rank compared to the rest of the NFL:
Points Per Game: 30.7 (2nd)
Turnovers: 0 (1st)
Time of Possession: 36:47 (1st)
Points Against Per Game: 9 (1st)
Yards Allowed Per Game: 274.3 (4th)
Sacks: 10 (T-3rd)
Takeaways: 6 (T-7th)
Through 3 weeks, two teams own top-5 scoring offenses AND defenses:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) September 27, 2016
These are just a few of the team stats that help illustrate why the Eagles have been so successful this season. Most importantly, they’re scoring points while keeping their opponents from doing the same; simple, but also the point (pun intended) of the game. More specifically, the Eagles have controlled and protected the ball on offense, while playing stout team defense that consistently has success rushing the passer – which has been notably important, because they’ve done it by only rushing four defenders the majority of the time. Here’s more stats/ranks goodness if you’re interested:
The Eagles are ranked in the top 10 in a boatload of statistical categories: pic.twitter.com/2HbKt92jOQ
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) September 27, 2016
Bill Barnwell does a nice job of detailing that last point in this piece where he ranks the best defenses in the NFL through three weeks. Spoiler alert: The Eagles are high. And spoiler alert again: They should be! That last spoiler alert probably wasn’t necessary because I was just giving you my opinion, but I still kinda like it there. Regardless, here is my favorite nugget from Barnwell’s article:
The Eagles blitz on just 15.0 percent of opposing dropbacks, the second-lowest rate in the league behind the Steelers, who are at 13.5 percent. The problem for Pittsburgh is they also don’t get any pressure without blitzing, while the Eagles are 11th with a 27.4 percent pressure rate. When you compare the Eagles to every other team when they’re not blitzing, Philly’s pressure rate is sixth best in the NFL.
Want some more defense-love? Me too. I can’t get enough of it. How about this one from Robert Mays where he shows just how terrific this line was against the Steelers:
Among 37 qualified quarterbacks in the 2015 season, Roethlisberger finished 36th in pressure rate. On Sunday, he was under siege. Philly’s final numbers — four sacks and eight QB hits — don’t come close to conveying how menacing its pass rush truly was. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham tormented the right side of the Steelers offensive line.
Now that we’ve properly honored Jim Schwartz’s defense, let’s turn our attention to the offense. Hmmmm…does anyone on the offense stand out? Hahaha. Ok, let’s talk Carson.
Here’s some “Mind-blowing stats for Carson Wentz.” While I don’t know if I would have gone with “mind-blowing” for these, I do like this one quite a bit:
Carson Wentz is the first rookie quarterback since 1960 to throw 30+ passes and win in each of his first 3 career starts.
He’s also the first rookie to win his first three starts without throwing an interception. Only one other rookie has won his first three starts period actualy…but let’s not talk about that guy.
Here’s another fun rundown of some more of Wentz’s awesomeness from our buddies at Birds 24/7. I mean, just look at some of these factoids:
- Only NFL quarterback to attempt 100-plus passes and have a 100-plus passer rating through his first three games (since 1960)
- First rookie in NFL history to not throw an interception in his first 100 pass attempts
- First player in NFL history with 100-plus attempts, 60-plus completions, five-plus touchdowns, and zero interceptions through his first three games
More Carson you say? Done. Check out this piece from the king of facts and factoids Reuben Frank. Here’s a little taste to whet your appetite:
On Sunday, he became the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in a game, complete 74 percent of his passes and throw two or more TDs and no interceptions.
The conclusion I have come to is this: it’s Carson Wentz’s world, we’re all just living in it. Moving on…how about we widen our view and look at the team’s 3-0 start on the whole. How about this INSANITY:
Eagles are 11th tm under current playoff format (1990) to win 1st 3 games of season by 14+ pts. Previous 10 made playoffs & 4 won Super Bowl pic.twitter.com/UHxso8AGpz
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 25, 2016
Oh but that stat doesn’t tell the full story; the recent trend is even more pronounced: This is from TMac’s awesome piece on the Birds’ 3-0 start.
They are also the fifth team in the last 10 seasons to start 3-0 while winning each game by 15-plus points. Each of the previous four made the Super Bowl.
Soooooooooo…Super Bowl? WTF is happening right now?!?!?! Someone needs to hose me down immediately. Back to reality, as you saw (if you read TMac…which you should), the Eagles’ Super Bowl odds have increased dramatically since the start of the season, and they are a statistical favorite to make the freaking playoffs. For real. Check it out:
Football Outsiders: 69.0% chance to make playoffs
FiveThirtyEight: 70% chance to make playoffs
ESPN FPI: 81.7% chance to make playoffs
I can’t believe it, but this Eagles team is totally for real. The numbers say so, and my eyes do too. But for some reason, my brain just can’t seem to fully get on board. Writing this helps to make me believe; I’m getting there. I hope you are too. One thing I am sure of however – which allows me to leave you with one last stats/factoid/truism on the way out- Doug Pederson definitely has bigger balls than Chip Kelly:
The Eagles are 4-for-4 on 4th Down conversions. Not to mention, they’re the only team that’s even attempted going for it four times on 4th Down. So yea, suck it Chip. #BigBallsDoug