Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is still living in a dream world where the Philadelphia Eagles are considered better than their opponents. Following Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Washington Redskins—Philadelphia's sixth straight defeat—DRC continued to insist that the Eagles are still one of the league's most talented teams.
But the sample size is large enough now for us to conclude otherwise. Mental mistakes might be a major factor, as Rodgers-Cromartie suggests, but talent isn't purely physical, is it? Like, if you continually screw up and get beat, are you really that talented?
The reality is that this team is one of the worst in football. Take away a mirage of a four-game winning streak to conclude 2011, and they're 7-15 since that post-lockout makeover that had us fools believing they were football's version of the Miami Heat.
Some more disturbingly ugly numbers to back up the claim that Philadelphia is just a bad team:
- In the last four weeks, opposing quarterbacks have completed 84 percent of their passes against the Eagles for a YPA of 9.3, 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 143.
- After missing only nine tackles in their first two games (a not-terrible average of 4.5 per game), the Eagles have missed 61 in the last eight, which works out to 7.6 per outing. Remember how bad they were at tackling last year? Well, even in 2011, their average for the season was 6.8 (per Pro Football Focus).
- The offensive line is giving up 13.4 pressures per game, which is the second-highest average in the NFL, according to PFF. The high-priced Demetress Bell is ranked 69th out of 70 qualifying tackles. Dallas Reynolds is ranked 35th out of 36 centers.
- Former Pro Bowlers Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are ranked 83rd and 94th, respectively, out of 106 qualifying cornerbacks. DRC is the most-penalized defensive player in the NFL.
- Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are ranked 70th and 73rd, respectively, out of 77 qualifying safeties. That duo has missed a combined 23 tackles, which works out to 11.5 each. Only eight players in the NFL have missed 12 or more individually.
- PFF rates Mychal Kendricks as the league's worst outside linebacker. The rookie has more missed tackles and penalty flags to his name than any other player at the position and has been equally as terrible in coverage.
- One year after they led the entire league in sacks with 50 (3.1 per game), only two teams have fewer sacks than the Eagles (16, or 1.6 per game).
- Their minus-14 turnover ratio ranks 31st in the NFL. They've won the turnover battle only once in 10 games this season.
- PFF has cumulative team rankings based on all of the factors above, and everything else under the football sun. In that "overall" category, the Eagles rank 28th offensively, only ahead of the Jets, Panthers, Jaguars and Cardinals.
Of course, it goes beyond the numbers. This is a team that has not been coached well either. If the Eagles could find a way to measure play-calling success, they'd have to be ranked somewhere between 31st and 33rd in the NFL. They become especially bad in the red zone, and they've given up an unacceptable number of touchdowns in which the coverage was simply blown.
How is that the case with a team featuring so many veterans, especially in the secondary?
It's baffling. You can't pin dropped passes and missed tackles on the coaching staff, but it's been a team effort as far as sucking goes.
I mean, how exactly does wide receiver/smurf Santana Moss get up and over double coverage from Rodgers-Cromartie and Coleman to turn this into a touchdown catch?
OK, that's on the personnel. But this one's gotta be on defensive coordinator Todd Bowles too. You can't have your veteran defense leaving guys this open ever, let alone in Week 11.
Those two plays combined for five dropped passes, some errant throws, mediocre-at-best pass protection and six missed tackles. It's no wonder the Eagles were blown out by Washington.
It's poor planning, poor execution, poor everything. And when you throw in that the Eagles simply don't appear to care, at least based on their body language and lack of intensity with the season on the line, you're forced to wonder if this team will win again this year.
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