Here are the gory stats:
The Eagles defense has given up 17 touchdowns this season. Only the Chiefs have given up more. The Eagles defense has given up 11 passing touchdowns. Only the Chiefs have given up more.
The Eagles defense has given up 140 rushing yards per game -- third worst in the NFL.
Under Jim Johnson, the defense thrived on turnovers. This Eagles D only has three interceptions in five games (despite a defensive backfield full of Pro Bowlers) -- only five teams have fewer. The Eagles defense has only forced two fumbles, only the Chargers have produced fewer (one). So the D has only forced turnovers through five games.
That leads us to the offense.
How do you rack up 1,000-plus yards of offense in two weeks and lose both games (only the third team to do that in NFL history)?
Their turnover differential is minus 10 -- tied for worst in the NFL. Since Andy Reid took over as coach, they were third in NFL in turnover differential. Reid’s teams always took care of the ball and caused turnovers. It’s the exact opposite this year.
The No. 1 stat to determine wins and losses is turnover differential. Turnovers are the main reason they have lost four straight. During the four losses they have 14 turnovers and have only caused four.
This, while they have out gained the four opponents (Falcons, Giants, 49ers and Bills) by 400 yards!
The offense is one of the most potent in the league. They are third in yards per game (445). They lead the NFL in rushing. But they have not been as effective in the red zone and are turning the ball over.
Michael Vick is one of the main culprits.
In his first six starts last year, he did not throw an interception. The Eagles went 5-1. In his last six starts last year (including playoffs), he threw seven interceptions as the Eagles went 3-3.
This season in five games, he has already thrown seven picks and the Eagles are 1-4.
So the Eagles have lost six of seven going back to last season.
Other than turnovers, the main problem in my view is a bad philosophy from Reid and the front office. A lockout was coming and they made drastic coaching changes -- also changing the way they play.
They promoted Juan Castillo, first-time defensive coordinator in the NFL, first-time making calls during a game. They changed the defensive philosophy (less blitzing) and changed the way they play defensive line with a new coach there. They brought in a new offensive line coach and changed the way they played O-line. Continuity should have been the key when you have a lockout and don’t have mini-camps.
They have misjudged talent at linebacker and safety. And they haven’t had a leader on defense since Brian Dawkins left. Is there anyone on this defense that can lay somebody out -- a hard-hitting player that other teams fear?
This all adds up to a bad football team. It’s all about how hot you are at the end of the season going into the playoffs. But at 1-4, time is running out to get that chance.