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Zero
QUOTE
The Eagles ended the season in last place of the NFC East with a 7–9 record, but finished with a whopping plus-36 point differential. That was not only better than two teams that finished ahead of them in the division (the 8–7–1 Redskins at plus-13, and 11–5 Giants at plus-26), but outpaced the 12–4 Raiders (plus-31), the 10–6 Dolphins (minus-17), the 9–7 Titans (plus-3), the 9–7 Lions (minus-12), and the 9–7 Bucs (minus-15). This meant that Philly ended the year 2.21 Pythagorean wins below expectation — despite being dealt the second-toughest schedule in the NFL, per DVOA.

A big reason for all of that was Philly’s 1–6 record in one-score games. In those seven games, their average margin of defeat was just 4.3 points, including two one-point losses to the Lions and Ravens. The moral of the story? The Eagles were better than their record might indicate, and if they just go .500 in one-score games next season, they should be in the thick of the playoff hunt.
2016 ...

Rookie QB should be better. Team seems determined to upgrade both WR and CB, last year's two biggest holes. Draft seems strong in team's weak points. Even if they are status quo with their personnel moves, they should still be better ... so will everyone else.
nephillymike
I see Zero is spouting the Optimystic point of view these days.
Joegrane
He's not just feeling optimistic but he he providing reasonable evidence for it.

He could have added that they had a near-Pro Bowl caliber OT out for most of the year and were caught with inadequate backup at that position after trading to try to plug the void--actually canyon--at WR.

Essentially the Eagles had some big holes last year that they should be able to plug somewhat in the off-season.

They also had some very young players at some very important positions--QB, CB, WR, OT.

They are not expected to loose much if anything in free agency.

On the other side you could also argue that they have at least two very important players from last year who are SO old that they could be expected to break down at any time--Peters and Sproles.

Finally they will likely loose two starters from their D Line. That should not hurt them badly as long as F Cox stays healthy.

Another negative is that I think they snuck up on some people in the early part of the season. That won't happen next year.

"Everyone else" won't be able to "be better" next year. Some will loose valuable free agents or will have to release valuable players due to cap limitations. Dallas will be a great example, unless they can find a way to dump some of Tony R's salary.

Overall I agree with Zero's assessment. They could improve enough to be in the thick of playoff contention.

QUOTE (Zero @ Feb 20 2017, 08:41 PM) *
2016 ...

Rookie QB should be better. Team seems determined to upgrade both WR and CB, last year's two biggest holes. Draft seems strong in team's weak points. Even if they are status quo with their personnel moves, they should still be better ... so will everyone else.

Rick
Same story we've seen for the past few years--Eagles lost these close games. Why? Because they haven't been a very good team. Good teams win close games. Good teams don't make the mistake at the end to lose it. The Eagles have constantly made that mistake--allowing a WR to get behind the defense, a turnover, a bad penalty, etc. Until they clean these plays up, they will continue to be a mediocre (at best) team.

Better players at certain positions should help but it's a culture. Why do teams like the Patriots, Seahawks, etc. tend to win those close games? Skilled players is certainly one aspect of that but they have a culture of winning those games. Players are playing those games as if they're going to win them. The Eagles never seem to have that.

Losing these close games drives me crazy for sure.
Zero
QUOTE (nephillymike @ Feb 20 2017, 09:11 PM) *
I see Zero is spouting the Optimystic point of view these days.

Sure, Opti brought me a few beers but there are some interesting numbers to support the optimism. The point differential could be a product of sneak up as Joe suggests, but that's an impressive number considering the terrible receiver production and that their starting RB was often injured. And Rick's point about losing close games is valid but we also have to take into account how terrible the CBs were and the big plays they were responsible for.

Schwartz has a track record and should help instill that winning attitude. We'll have to wait and see with Pederson but Fipp seems to have his guys there. So it's not blind, there's more than Optibeerism here. biggrin.gif
Pila
A rookie coach lost us 2 games minimum while the games still counted. The Ravens game 2-point decision was a matter of already being out of it. In a case where the game mattered, they'd have kicked the point after.

Rookie coach was pretty good overall, showed good imagination on play design and playcalling for the most part, especially when you consider the lack of respect for any playmakers not named Sproles. That will need to continue, minus the rookie mistakes.
nephillymike
I think the optimism is justified.

The 7-9 was really a 9-7.

Pedey was fine.

What worries me is what over valuations will they suffer this year.

The inability to improve WR last year was inexcusable.

Hopefully they won't be equally inadequate this year at recruiting WR and CB.
The Franchise
QUOTE (nephillymike @ Feb 21 2017, 08:00 PM) *
The 7-9 was really a 9-7.

Pedey was fine.


Agreed, but the 7-9 wasn't 9-7 BECAUSE of Pedey, and that's only the games he blatantly lost by himself, not including those with ridiculous pass/run ratios. My biggest worry was him inheriting Andy's boneheaded gameday management, and I was right so far. I hope he gets an intervention soon.
Rick
Whether Pedey was fine is still debatable. We'll see if he's learned from his mistakes he made in his first season. From what I saw during his first season, he may not learn from his mistakes as he made the same mistakes more than once last season. Basically, as of right now, I'm not a fan of him.
Zero
QUOTE (Rick @ Feb 22 2017, 06:08 AM) *
Whether Pedey was fine is still debatable. We'll see if he's learned from his mistakes he made in his first season.

This is where I am, it's a wait-and-see situation.
The Franchise
QUOTE (Rick @ Feb 22 2017, 07:08 AM) *
From what I saw during his first season, he may not learn from his mistakes as he made the same mistakes more than once last season. Basically, as of right now, I'm not a fan of him.


Precisely. Some of his mistakes were egregious, and repeated. As has been mentioned on this board by me and others, it often felt like watching a 12 year old play Madden.

But I'm holding my breath, and will see what his sophomore year looks like.
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