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Let's clear some misconceptions about the Eagles Secondary


Guest Westbrook36

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Guest Westbrook36

For the past few months, especially around here, I have been reading about how either:

(1) Sheppard and Brown will really stink and our upgraded pass rush will be neutralized by the CB’s inept play, or (2) Sheppard and Brown will have no problem filling the voids left by Vincent and Taylor and our pass defense will continue to be a strength.

I am more of the latter crowd but I thought I should do a little research on the actual statistics to find out how the two “kids” truly fared last year when all four were on our defense.

The results are in some ways surprising and in other ways…inconclusive. So here are the results in a nutshell – take what you wish from them:

Including the playoffs, the Eagles played 18 games last year. In those games, the Eagles’ secondary was started by BOTH Vincent and Taylor six (6) times, Brown and Sheppard twice (2), and the remainder was started by either Vincent OR Taylor AND Sheppard OR Brown (10 games). (Note that Vincent technically started the Buffalo game but since he was injured on the first defensive series, both Sheppard and Brown were the realistic “starters” of the game.)

In the six games that both Vincent and Taylor started, the Eagles had a 4-2 record. The opposing quarterback threw for 1062 yards (177 yd/gm), 7 TD (1.17 TD/gm), 5 INT’s (0.83 INT/gm), had a completion percentage of 63% (112 for 179) and had a quarterback rating of 80.34.

In the ten games that either Vincent or Taylor started but not both, the Eagles had a 7-3 record. The opposing quarterback threw for 2099 yards (210 yd/gm), 11 TD (1.10 TD/gm), 7 INT’s (0.70 INT/gm), had a completion percentage of 60% (197 for 329) and had a quarterback rating of 80.84.

In the two games that both Sheppard and Brown started, the Eagles had a 2-0 record. The opposing quarterback threw for 567 yards (283.5 yd/gm), 2 TD (1.00 TD/gm), 2 INT’s (1.00 INT/gm), had a completion percentage of 56% (52 for 93) and had a quarterback rating of 72.29.

It should also be pointed out that two games isn’t really a good sampling to get good results, especially since these two games were in weeks 4 and 5 – basically a lifetime ago. Both could easily be much better now than they were at the beginning of last season. It should also be pointed out that the two largest samplings were virtually identical with the exception of yards per game.

Two other statistical oddities: Statistically, the Eagles’ BEST games (in terms of quarterback rating) were against the Cowboys (49.5) and the Dolphins (50) – both games also started by Vincent and Taylor.

However, the Eagles’ WORST games (in terms of quarterback rating) were against the Panthers in the regular season (107. and again in the post season (109.5) – both games also started by Vincent and Taylor.

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It's a no brainer that the Eagles best games statistically were against the Cowgirls and Dolphins; they both have terrible passing offenses.

If you just take a step back and look at it, while getting up there in age, Taylor and Vincent are still superior players to Sheppard and Brown. How much of a dropoff the defense will experience is still in question, but I don't think it will be back breaking.

Also, Pats is not the best place to get a cheese steak in Philly. Have you had it? The meat is so thick and hard to chew....it's like horse meat.

Oh yeah, :eaglesuck

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Guest Westbrook36

Ok, so is it normal for people to just overlook stats and still spit out the same tired argument around here?

Ok, different approach. Look at the stats and tell me what they tell you...

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How's this for a different aproach? Take off your homer glasses and realize that you didn't draft a pair of guys to replace both your former Pro-Bowlers in the same draft class (want stats, figure the odds on the Eagles actually doing that. Has it ever happened in NFL history?) Stats are funny in that you can use tham however you see fit to prove or disprove your point.

Example, did the Eagles win big in the games that Taylor and Vincent started, thus forcing the oposition to throw on every down and inflate the passing numbers against them?

I've watched enough football to know that Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor made up one of the better tandms of CBs I've watched play. I've also watched and experienced enough football to know that when you blitz with inexperienced corners you pay for it.

Use the stats however you like, I'll go with what I've learned from the game.

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are Brown and SHeppard stiffs? no. Are they as good as Taylor and Vincent? No. They will give up big plays and they cannot deal with big WRs. Dawkins will help them, but by no means is this a position of strength for the Iggles. Also there is no depth behind them, last year BRown and Sheppard could fill in for Taylor and vincent when they got hurt and they were good nickel backs, but now they're being asked a lot more than they can do.

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Time of course will tell if these two corners can replace Vincent and Taylor. Johnson, IMHO, is the big reason why the Eagles consistently win. He is a good DefCord that keeps the Eagles in games.

Not to go into detail, but these two are just not as good as Vincent and Taylor. I also agree that stats don't always tell the whole story, especially in a situation like this.

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Guest Westbrook36

My point is they played the MAJORITY of last year and will be greatly benefitted by having a dominant pass rush which the Eagles simply didn't have last year.

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Originally posted by Westbrook36

My point is they played the MAJORITY of last year and will be greatly benefitted by having a dominant pass rush which the Eagles simply didn't have last year.

Brown played in 16(which tells you nothing), but started 3.

Sheppard started 9.

They have 12 starts between them for their career. Thats not much experience. And the Pass rush is totally dependent on Kearse, if he's hurt or ineffective(he hasnt been the same since he switched to the Left side-Johnson should play him over the RT) the Eagles defense will fall apart.

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Guest Westbrook36

Kearse is a very vital part of the pass rush but please don't overlook the fact that the Eagles had FIVE DL get injured and either miss the entire season or had to play at a limited compacity due to severe injuries.

All of them appear to be at 100 percent and the sheer number of starter quality D Lineman we will be switching around is going to give offenses fits all year long.

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Originally posted by Westbrook36

Kearse is a very vital part of the pass rush but please don't overlook the fact that the Eagles had FIVE DL get injured and either miss the entire season or had to play at a limited compacity due to severe injuries.

All of them appear to be at 100 percent and the sheer number of starter quality D Lineman we will be switching around is going to give offenses fits all year long.

one very good dlineman:

Kearse

one good dlineman:

Simon

one above-average:

Walker

whole bunch of stiffs:

Kalu, Thomas, Burgess, Grasmanis, Rayburn, Bradley, Johnson

two unknown quantities:

McDougle, Green

one injury to the first three and the iggles are in trouble. They're too dependent to McDougle and Green becoming solid starters.

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Originally posted by 3DaysLatr

How's this for a different aproach? Take off your homer glasses and realize that you didn't draft a pair of guys to replace both your former Pro-Bowlers in the same draft class (want stats, figure the odds on the Eagles actually doing that. Has it ever happened in NFL history?) Stats are funny in that you can use tham however you see fit to prove or disprove your point.

Example, did the Eagles win big in the games that Taylor and Vincent started, thus forcing the oposition to throw on every down and inflate the passing numbers against them?

I've watched enough football to know that Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor made up one of the better tandms of CBs I've watched play. I've also watched and experienced enough football to know that when you blitz with inexperienced corners you pay for it.

Use the stats however you like, I'll go with what I've learned from the game.

Well sir.....

The Eagles actually did draft both brown and Sheppard to replace Taylor and Vincent.....that's a fact that even Coach Reid will admit. It's common knowledge in Philadelphia, but since you aren't from Philly, i guess you wuldn't know that.

Also, you statement about blitzing is true, which is why the Birds got Kearse and are counting heavily on the DL recovering from all the injuries. With Kalu, McDoogs, a healthy Burgess with Walker and Simon, the Eagles won't have to blitz as much, unless they bring Dawkins. The young guys will have help from the LB's and S's, but most importantly, the Eagles can now play straight up which they haven't been able to do since Hugh Douglass left.

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Guest Westbrook36
Originally posted by Akhhorus

one very good dlineman:

Kearse

one good dlineman:

Simon

one above-average:

Walker

whole bunch of stiffs:

Kalu, Thomas, Burgess, Grasmanis, Rayburn, Bradley, Johnson

two unknown quantities:

McDougle, Green

one injury to the first three and the iggles are in trouble. They're too dependent to McDougle and Green becoming solid starters.

80 percent of them are better than all your starters on the DL.

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Not in defense of the Eagles overall roster, but Reid really is that good of a coach and evaluator of talent. Philly isn't his only quest in the NFL and he was well respected before going there.

Many times we rationilyze what we think is the best way to approach a team, especially one like Philly's fans in years past led some to believe. Not all their fans are those morons.

I think the Philly secondary was above average, but is now below that, because Reid was able to mask it with key movements of players, whether in a scheme or rotation. As long as Reid can manipulate the defense, he will stay in games for the most part. Whether he wins or not, well law of averages says, he's in his last "social" year with the Title of the East. I think so and I say it because of the facts.

Reids' problem is his offense. They just can't march down the feild consitantly and without that schoolyard look. Yet, since the departure of key people all around, you just have to believe Philly's appearance on getting the NFC East title or even qualifying for the playoffs, is so close to being upside down - in last place, by a couple of plays, or inches or even - players. You call it your way, I say They win the East or get dethroned by Dallas or Washington.

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Originally posted by Number5

Well sir.....

The Eagles actually did draft both brown and Sheppard to replace Taylor and Vincent.....that's a fact that even Coach Reid will admit. It's common knowledge in Philadelphia, but since you aren't from Philly, i guess you wuldn't know that.

Also, you statement about blitzing is true, which is why the Birds got Kearse and are counting heavily on the DL recovering from all the injuries. With Kalu, McDoogs, a healthy Burgess with Walker and Simon, the Eagles won't have to blitz as much, unless they bring Dawkins. The young guys will have help from the LB's and S's, but most importantly, the Eagles can now play straight up which they haven't been able to do since Hugh Douglass left.

You are reaching with your statement about the Eagles drafting them both to become starters. That was a depth draft for the Eagles, point blank. And what I was saying was that the Eagles are not going to replace a pair of Pro-Bowlers (at the level they are capable of playing) with a pair of CBs they drafted in the same season.

How the hell did the Eagles ever play straight up? They've always been very good at disguising blitzes but don't kid yourself, they've always blitzed. The difference has been having a pair of pro-bowl corners on the islands. That luxury is now a thing of the past and Johnson will really earn his check if they are able to keep it up with the dynamic duo gone.

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When I watch a football guy like Seth Joyner, who if I am not mistaken, used to BE an Eagle, say on NFL Total Access on NFL Network that even though the Eagles have now got a good pass rushing DE like Jevon Kearse that it will make no difference because they don't have a good secondary now that both Troy Vincent nd Bobby Taylor are gone, well, that is something I do take seriously

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I remember when the eagles drafted sheppard and brown, the big talk was that it was more of a knee jerk reaction to the offenses they were having to face, primarily the rams wide open 4 and 5 receiver sets along with, to a lesser degree, Spurrier's entry into the nfl.

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Originally posted by Westbrook36

Ok, so is it normal for people to just overlook stats and still spit out the same tired argument around here?

Ok, different approach. Look at the stats and tell me what they tell you...

As a Redskins fan, I see 2 young guys with potential to thrive in their positions...or fall flat on their faces. I try my hardest NOT to overlook anyone, regardless of what you (not personally, but generally) may read into what I say. Regardless of whether I think that McNabb is overrated or QC or Roy Williams or the Eagles secondary, overlooking anyone is just plain stupid.

That being said, the stats tell me that the Eagles secondary is set up so that when the starters are out because of injury, they still can pull out wins. Statistically, they had less INTs in the 7-3 run on an average, but that doesn't mean much. They allowed 1000 yds more than in the 4-2 run, but there were also 4 more games played in that stat.

The bottom line is, overlooking the Eagles period is a bad idea. They have proven time & time again that they can beat you on any given Sunday. Though my opinion goes farther than that, I will leave it at that because what goes further has nothing to do with the stats you have posted.

BTW, good post. :cheers:

Oh, and...:eaglesuck ;)

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their lack of depth at CB is a really good point. westbrook36, this has to be a matchup which u would have to be scared about. the small dexter wynn covering the tall, strong, and fast darnerian mccants.

brunell drops back, throws, caught by mccants...dexter wynn is trying to tackle him but mccants just keeps dragging him along

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Lets not forget either though that the Skins Offensive line should be the best it has been at least since '99 when they were just overpowering defensive lines. That was one of those, "you know we are running the ball, but you STILL can't do anything about" type offensive lines. While it would be silly to think that this line will reach it's full potential in year one of Gibbs' return, you do have to note that Samuels is a 2-time probowler, Jansen is just about there. Randy Thomas was our best lineman last year, and Cory Raymer was a part of that '99 Offensive line.

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