A group of Eagles bloggers decided the mid-point of this season, no matter how disappointing it's been, would be a good time to reflect on the team as a whole, and hand out some grades. I believe I'm the first to take the plunge, so check back in the coming days for links to the other blogs.
We'll go position by position:QB
- Donovan McNabbStats
- 172 completions, 287 attempts, 59.9%, 9 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 2044 yards.Behind the Numbers
- I'd say McNabb has probably had the least impressive first half for a QB who's on pace to throw for 4,000 yards in the history of the league. He's only put the entire package together for one game, Detroit. His final line was good in a couple of other games, but the final line hasn't told the story. McNabb's accuracy has killed this team. He used to be able to make up for missed opportunities (bounced passes) by making something out of nothing with his legs. The legs aren't there anymore. Dropped passes haven't helped, but stripped of his amazing athleticism he's an easy target in the pocket, couple that with the aforementioned inaccuracy and you just don't have a franchise quarterback. Not any more.Grade
(Only because I can't name 16 QBs who have played better than him. He's average.)RB
- Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Tony Hunt, Thomas TapehStats
Behind the Numbers
- Westbrook - 126 attempts, 601 yards, 6 TDs, 4.8 AVG. 49 catches, 435 yards, 2 TDs, 8.9 AVG.
- Buckhalter - 40 attempts, 193 yards, 1 TD, 4.8 AVG. 10 catches, 77 yards, 7.7 AVG.
- Hunt - 9 attempts, 14 yards, 1 TD, 1.6 AVG.
- Tapeh - 4 attempts, 18 yards, 4.5 AVG. 4 catches, 25 yards, 6.3 AVG.
- Forget about the other guys, Westbrook is really the only guy we need to talk about here. He's been, by far, the best Eagle for the past three seasons. This year, he's made the divide laughable. I truly feel sorry for him, because he's going to be the one that suffers the most from this dismal season. Take last week's disgusting loss to the Cowboys, Westbrook had 16 carries for 65 yards, and 14 catches for 90. 30 touches. We've all been screaming for Andy to get Westbrook more touches for as long as I can remember, but to do that to the guy in a game that was a blowout in the second quarter is just a disgrace. The Eagles entire offense in the second half was dumping the ball off to Westbrook and letting him kill himself for extra yards against a defense that was lying in wait. Reid should be ashamed of himself. Westbrook should be an All Pro, and probably have a statue somewhere in the near the Liberty Bell by the time all is said and done.Grade
- A+WR/TE -
Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis, L.J. Smith, Brent Celek, Matt SchobelStats
Behind the Numbers -
- Curtis - 37 catches, 633 yards, 4 TDs, 17.1 AVG
- Brown - 27 catches, 374 yards, 2 TDs, 13.9 AVG
- Avant - 12 catches, 145 yards, 1 TD, 12.1 AVG
- Baskett - 8 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD, 10.4 AVG
- Greg Lewis - 3 catches, 65 yards, 21.7 AVG
- L.J. Smith - 7 catches, 68 yards, 9.7 AVG
- Schobel - 7 catches, 69 yards, 1 TD, 9.9 AVG
- Celek - 7 catches, 59 yards, 8.4 AVG
This group is by far the most disappointing on the team. Curtis tallied most of his production in the Detroit game, Reggie Brown has come on as of late, but was invisible for the first 5 or 6 games. No one else has even come close to making any kind of an impact. I never thought I'd say this, but James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, FredEx and Torrance Small provided more playmaking at the WR position than this group. L.J. Smith's injury has kept him out and the backups absolutely did not make up for his missed production. The receivers can't get off the line, can't find holes in coverage and drop too many passes. That's a pretty awful combination, combine it with a QB who bounces one in five passes and, well, you've got a 3-5 team.Grade - F
- William Thomas, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Shawn Andrews, Jon Runyan, Winston JusticeStats
- 30 sacks allowed for 153 yards (3.7 per game). 906 yards rushing on 180 attempts (not including QB scrambles), 4.7 average.Behind the Numbers
- As a group, you can hang one loss on the offensive line (Giants), but William Thomas was out and Winston Justice was left on an island and regularly abused. If you take those 12 sacks out of the equation, the o-line has done an excellent job of protecting a barely-mobile McNabb. They've also done a fine job of opening up holes for the running game. I think this group's performance is suffering from average QB play, poor WR play, and questionable play calling. They remain a strength of the team.Grade - B+D-Line
- Trent Cole, Jevon Kearse, Broderick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Juqua Thomas, Darren Howard, Victor Abiamiri, Montae ReagorStats
Behind the Numbers
- Trent Cole - 42 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles.
- Jevon Kearse - 11 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss.
- Broderick Bunkley - 16 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss.
- Mike Patterson - 40 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss.
- Juqua Thomas - 12 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
- Darren Howad - 2 tackles.
- Victor Abiamiri - 1 tackle
- Montae Reagor - 2 tackles, 1 sack.
- This group was the one that worried me most coming into the season. I didn't think the Birds did enough up front to stop the run. I couldn't have been more wrong. Trent Cole, Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson have really anchored this line, and honestly the entire defense. Cole is a tenacious pass rusher, and he's holding his own against the run as well. Mid-way through the season, Cole deserves a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. He's been that good.Grade - ALBs
- Omar Gaither, Takeo Spikes, Chris Gocong, Stewart BradleyStats
Behind the Numbers
- Gaither - 49 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception
- Spikes - 45 tackles
- Gocong - 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss
- Bradley - 5 tackles
- The Eagles made the most drastic changes to this position in the offseason. The last-minute replacement of Trotter with Gaither was shocking (to me at least), but has really paid dividends. Gaither is all over the field, and he's an every-down backer who handles all of the defensive play calling. Takeo Spikes has brought some toughness to the group, and Gocong has played well. The only problem I have with this group is their lack of big plays. They haven't accounted for one sack at the mid-point of the season, haven't forced one fumble, and have only intercepted 1 pass. They do a great job against the run, but the lack of momentum-changing plays hinders their grade.Grade - B
- Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard, Brian Dawkins, Sean Considine, William James, Quintin Mikkel, Joselio Hanson, J.R. ReedStats
Behind the Numbers
- Brown - 35 tackles, 2 interceptions, 9 PDs
- Sheppard - 16 tackles, 1 interception, 2 PDs
- Dawkins - 9 tackles, 2 PDs
- Considine - 36 tackles, 1 interception, 3 PDs
- James - 27 tackles, 1 interception, 3 PDs
- Mikkel - 44 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PDs
- Hanson - 25 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD
- J.R. Reed - 6 tackles
- With the exception of last week's game vs. Dallas, and one drive in the Chicago game, this unit has been solid. Solid, not great for one reason. They aren't causing turnovers. In fact, that's a recurring theme with this defense. 5 interceptions through 8 games is not enough, especially with the talent the Eagles have in the defensive backfield. Injuries to Lito and Weapon X have definitely contributed to this problem. Considine is done for the year, so we're going to get a good look at Mikkel a strong safety.Grade - B-Special Teams
- David Akers, Sav Rocca, Reno Mahe, Correll Buckhalter, J.R. ReedStats
Behind the Numbers
- Akers - 17/21 FGs, 15/15 XPAs
- Rocca - 36 punts, 42 yd AVG, 38.3 net AVG, 10 inside the 20, 3 touchbacks
- Buckhalter - 27 kick returns, 559 yards, 20.7 AVG
- Reed - 7 kick returns, 164 yards, 23.4 AVG, 2 punt returns, 8 yards, 4 yd AVG, 1 fumble.
- Reno Mahe - 15 punt returns, 155 yards, 10.3 AVG
- Rocca and Akers are going to take a hit here. Akers is horrible in the Meadowlands, but he's been perfect elsewhere. Rocca has boomed a couple, and showed a nice touch on punts inside the 20. None of that matters for this group. The punt returners cost the Eagels a game. When you lose because of your special teams, that unit has failed.Grade - F
Offense - D+
Defense - B-
Coaching Staff - D
Team - D+