8 games into the season, the Eagles are officially at the halfway mark of the 2018 NFL season. How are the starters playing from a stat standpoint?
Let’s check out the notable 16 game pace for the offense and defense on the stat sheet.
QB Carson Wentz: 70% completion percentage 3,576 YDS 26 TD 4 INT
It didn’t seem possible that Wentz could improve from his record-breaking 2017 performance but he has. Wentz has made the same jaw-dropping plays with his arm and legs but he has improved dramatically with his accuracy.
Wentz is currently completing 70% of his throws while still averaging eight yards per attempt. He is averaging 273.7 passing yards a game and if he keeps this up with a second-half run of wins, he might be thrown into the MVP conversation.
RB Wendell Smallwood: 120 carries 514 YDS 2 TD 4.3 YPC
RB Corey Clement: 100 carries 334 YDS 4 TD 3.3 YPC
RB Josh Adams: 40 carries 214 YDS 0 TD 5.4 YPC
QB Cason Wentz: 42 carries 178 yards 0 TD
Rushing Total: 1,706 YDS 12 TD 4.1 YPC
The final stats also come from injured running backs like Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles, as well as carries from wide receivers. The main takeaway here is this backfield will continue to be a committee-type approach.
Crazy turnaround for Smallwood who went from an inactive player down the stretch last year to the lead ball carrier this year with over 100 carries.
Clement has been a disappointment so far but hopefully, he can exceed these numbers and get that 3.3 YPC number up significantly. He was expected to be a big part of the offense this year.
Expect Josh Adams to increase his yardage projection but it will be hard to sustain the 5.4 YPC he has currently. Adams has run the ball really well when he is given the opportunity. Expect the rookie to be a big part of the backfield in the final eight games.
TE Zach Ertz: 122 REC 1,288 YDS 6 TD
WR Nelson Agholor: 82 REC 744 YDS 2 TD
WR Alshon Jeffery: 58 REC 682 YDS 8 TD
WR Jordan Matthews: 20 REC 400 YDS 2 TD
TE Dallas Goedert: 36 REC 376 YDS 6 TD
RB Wendell Smallwood: 30 REC 286 YDS 4 TD
Some promising numbers here. Zach Ertz is on pace to crush the all-time receptions record for a season that was set by future HOF TE Jason Witten. He is also close to breaking Rob Gronkowski’s single-season yardage mark if he can surpass 1,300 yards. He has put up WR1 numbers which is mind-blowing. Ertz has been the best TE in football this year.
Jeffery, Ertz, and Dallas Goedert have been red-zone nightmares this year, on pace to combine for 20 touchdowns.
Nelson Agholor’s 82 receptions would be 14 more than last year’s 68 but his yardage would be down by 24. A lot of that has to do with his usage and now that Golden Tate has been added to the mix, expect Agholor to get more shots down the field which should get him close to the 800-yard mark.
7th in pass blocking efficiency
5th in run blocking efficiency
The offensive line was a huge liability in pass protection over the first five weeks of the season but ever since the Vikings loss, it has looked like the Eagles line of old.
Starting Issac Seaumalo at left guard has worked out pretty well but the line will need to overcome Lane Johnson’s MCL injury for the next few games, while Jason Peters continues to play through multiple injuries including a torn bicep.
DT Fletcher Cox: 50 TKL 8 Sacks 28 QB Hits 62 Hurries
DE Michael Bennett: 32 TKL 7 Sacks 24 QB Hits 40 Hurries
DE Brandon Graham: 44 TKL 3 Sacks 8 QB Hits 64 Hurries
DE Chris Long: 26 TKL 6 Sacks 18 QB Hits 34 Hurries
The defensive line is still a top unit against the run and pass.
Fletcher Cox is playing like a DPOY candidate, on pace for 8 sacks and over 60 QB hurries. Unreal with all the double teams he gets.
Michael Bennett has had one of the most underrated seasons of any Eagle, constantly getting to the QB. If some brutal penalties weren’t called against Bennett this year, his numbers would be even higher.
LB Jordan Hicks: 142 Tackles 6 Sacks 4 TFL 8 PD
LB Nigel Bradham 82 Tackes 4 Sacks 4 PD
Bradham and Hicks continue to be one of the best LB combos in the NFL. They are on pace for 10 sacks combined as Jim Schwartz as dialed up more blitzes this year, allowing the two athletic LBs to get after the quarterback.
S Malcolm Jenkins: 84 TKL 4 TFL 12 PD 2 FF 2 REC 0 INT
CB Jalen Mills: 84 TKL 2 TFL 18 PD 0 INT
CB Ronald Darby: 76 TKL 2 TFL 24 PD 2 INT
S Avonte Maddox: 38 TKL 2 TFL 2 PD 2 INT 2 FF
CB Sidney Jones: 34 TKL 4 TFL 2 PD
CB Rasul Douglas: 4 TKL 4 PD 2 INT
Jim Schwartz wants his corners to be able to tackle but it isn’t a good sign when the starting outside corners combine for over 150 tackles. It is a strong suit of Mills but the high tackle numbers come as a direct result of the soft coverage the Eagles used throughout the first half of the season.
Malcolm Jenkins continues to be a Swiss-Army knife for this Eagles defense.
Rasul Douglas hasn’t played a lot in 2018 but when he has, he makes plays when the defense needs him.
Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox have been the unsung heros of the secondary. Both have played positions that they sparingly played in college with Maddox moving to safety to replace Rodney McLeod, and Sidney Jones moving inside to replace Patrick Robinson in the slot. Both have stepped up in those areas this year.
Need. More. Turnovers.
K Jake Elliott: 12-16 FG, 4-4 20-29, 7-8 30-39, 1-2 40-49, 0-2 50+, 18-18 XP
P Cameron Johnston: Long of 68 YDS 49.9 AVG 43.7 NET IN20 11
Elliott has been up and down this season. He has struggled with longer kicks that last year he had no issue making but his short yardage kicking has been a lot better.
Johnston has been a great surprise for the Eagles in replacing Donnie Jones.
Matchups to watch in Cleveland
On today’s Locked On Eagles:
A look at the key matchups for Sunday’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
How will the Eagles defend the Nick Chubb-Kareem Hunt backfield?
Is this the game Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz finally get things right?
Wentz Wednesday: Week 11
On today’s Locked On Eagles:
Carson Wentz went from looking like Jameis Winston all year to Sam Bradford on Sunday
Evaluating the inconsistencies in Wentz’s throwing mechanics that were apparent against New York
Wentz deserves blame without always steering the attention to Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman
Doug and Howie on the hot seat?
On today’s Locked On Eagles:
Even in a first place position…..it is time to think big picture with the Eagles
Are Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman safe beyond 2020?
Should Jeffery Lurie continue to be patient or is a shake-up needed?