As always, win or lose, pretty or ugly, I present...
10 Eagles awards!
1) The Comeback Player of the Year: Jeremy Maclin
What Maclin has done a year after tearing his ACL is remarkable. Over the last two games, Maclin has 18 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns. For the season, he has 45 catches for 790 yards and eight TDs, which projects to 90-1580-16 on the season. At this point in the season, there's a strong argument to be made that he has been the Eagles' most valuable player and the favorite to land the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Maclin is going to be a free agent after this season. He's going to get paid.
2) Winning Ugly Award: The Eagles
The Eagles had four turnovers against the Texans. That brings their total on the season to 21 turnovers, which leads the NFL. They're on pace for 42. Last season, they had 19 all season. They are playing incredibly sloppy football.
And yet, despite handing opportunities to their opponents on a silver platter all season, the Eagles are 6-2.
They have the best point differential in the NFC...
And the worst turnover differential...
That's unbelievable. In fact, according to Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders, the Eagles are just one of five teams in NFL history to start a season with a 6-2 record or better, and have a turnover differential of -10 or worse. They others were the 1945 Lions, the 1971 49ers, the Super Bowl winning 1983 Raiders, and the 2011 Steelers.
3) The Devastating Injury Award: Nick Foles and DeMeco Ryans
Nick Foles broke his collarbone:
He could be out a month or more:
Meanwhile, DeMeco Ryans tore an achilles tendon. He's done for the season. We already saw how Mychal Kendricks' absence forced a patchwork group of inside linebackers into action, except this time, the Eagles lose the guy who makes pre-play defensive adjustments.
And now Todd Herremans can add an ankle injury to his already serious bicep injury.
4) The "Please Be Awesome, Mark Sanchez" award: Philly sports talk radio
If Mark Sanchez plays well between now and whenever Nick Foles returns, Philly sports radio hosts can just roll into work, say, "Nick Foles or Mark Sanchez... We're taking your calls." And the phone lines will light up for days.
5) The Injury Gods Are Mean Award: Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, and Mychal Kendricks
The injury gods giveth, and the injury gods taketh away. Mychal Kendricks returned last week against the Cardinals, but did not look like he was 100%. Against the Texans, he most certainly did, collecting 11 tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a hit on the QB.
Jason Kelce returned against the Texans, but his shotgun snaps were shaky all day. The hope would be that Houston was his "shake off the rust" game.
And next week, Evan Mathis will return against the Panthers.
So... three guys back, three guys hurt.
6) The "But At Least the Injury Timing Isn't Awful" Award: The run game
In their first four games this season, the Eagles ran for 87 yards per game. Over the last four, they've run for 162 yards per game.
The offensive line is getting healthy, and oh hey, look at how well (or rather, not so well) the Eagles' next four opponents stop the run:
Backup QB? Healthy OL? LeSean McCoy? Darren Sproles? Chris Polk? How about we make November the month of the 3-headed monster?
7) The Needs More Polk Award: Chris Polk
Speaking of Chris Polk, he had eight carries for 50 yards and a TD. He also picked up several key first downs in short yardage situations. He runs mean, and is a perfect complement to the shifty duo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. Use Polk more please, Chip.
8) The Cast Away Award: The Eagles' 8 minute TD drive
Cast Away was kind of a boring movie, right? I mean, at least if you compare to, like, RoboCop 2. It's 143 minutes, and at the end of it, when you ask yourself, "What actually even happened in the movie?" there aren't many things you can list that were all that exciting. And yet, once it's over, you leave satisfied that it was a good movie. That's kind of what the Eagles' 15 play, 80 yard, 8 minute TD drive felt like. It was boring, I don't want to watch it again, and yet, it was great.
9) The Red Zone Greatness Award: Eagles offense
Here is what the Eagles were able to do in the red zone through the first seven games of the season:
That would be a red zone efficiency of 34.8%. Gross.
Against the Texans, the Eagles were 3/3 in the red zone. The Eagles are now up to 42.3%, which is still only 31st in the league, but... Progress!
10) The NFC East Leaderboard Award: Eagles
I didn't realize this, but the Eagles started 3-5 in each of the last three seasons:
Lots of issues indeed, but the results are nice:
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