Eagles-Jaguars: numbers you need to know | Paul Domowitch
The Eagles need to get their run game going early Sunday. Their 3.22-yards-per-carry average in the first quarter is the third lowest in the league behind Tennessee and Buffalo.
LONDON – Did you know the British consume 382 million portions of fish and chips every year? You didn't? Well, here's some more stuff you might not know about Sunday's Eagles-Jaguars game:
–If the first seven weeks of the season are any indication, you probably can sleep in Sunday morning and skip the first quarter, and maybe even the second as well. The Eagles, who led the league in first-quarter scoring differential last season, are 28th in first-quarter scoring this season (3.0). Jacksonville is 29th (2.9). The Eagles are 23rd in first-half scoring (9.6). The Jaguars are 28th (7.6)
–The Jaguars have been outscored in the first quarter of their last three games, 23-0, and in the first half, 57-0. Needless to say they've lost all three games.
–The Eagles have scored just twice this season on their first possession – touchdowns v. the Colts in Week 3 and the Giants in Week 6. In the other five games, the Eagles have a combined 11 net yards on their first possession.
–The Eagles have yet to score on their second possession. They had missed field goals against the Colts and Panthers.
–They have averaged just 3.5 yards per play on their first two possessions.
–The Eagles are averaging just 3.22 yards per carry in the first quarter. That's the third worst first-quarter rush average in the league, behind only Tennessee (3.00) and Buffalo (3.11).
The state of the defense
–Opposing quarterbacks have an 87.6 passer rating against the Eagles in the first three quarters this season, but a 100.8 rating in the fourth quarter and overtime.
–The Eagles are sixth in points allowed, giving up just 19.7 points per game. That's just 1.3 points more than last season. Their 92.5 opponent passer rating, though, is considerably higher than last season (79.5).
–Through seven games, the defense has just four interceptions and six total takeaways. The six takeaways are tied for the fourth fewest in the league. If they're going to improve that number, this would be the week. The Jags' 17 turnovers are the second most in the league. The Eagles are tied for 27th in turnover differential (minus-4). The Jags are 31st (minus-12).
–The Eagles have the third best third-down defense in the league (31.5 percent). Opposing quarterbacks have a 74.7 passer rating against the Eagles on third down, including a 55.5 completion percentage and a 5.5 yards-per-attempt average. Just 21 of 40 third-down completions by opposing quarterbacks have resulted in first downs.
–Opponents have converted just nine of 49 third downs of seven yards or more (18.4 percent) against the Eagles.
–The Eagles have given up 16 pass plays of 25 yards or more. That's the seventh most in the league. Last year, they gave up 24, which was the sixth fewest.
–In the last two games, the Eagles have given up 268 rushing yards on 34 attempts. That's 7.9 yards per carry. In their first five games, they had held opponents to 3.3 yards per carry.
–The Eagles have been gashed to the tune of 9.5 yards per carry on first down in their last two games. In their first five games, opponents were averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on first down.
Ertz and Jeffery
–Eighty-four of Carson Wentz's 158 passes in the last four games, or 53.2 percent, have been targeted for Zach Ertz (45) and Alshon Jeffery (39).
–Ertz and Jeffery have caught 61 of the 84 passes Wentz has thrown them in the last four games, for an impressive 72.6 catch rate. Wentz has 62 passing first downs the last four games. Ertz and Jeffery have caught 41 of them (66.1 percent). They have accounted for 709 of Wentz's 1,247 passing yards in the last four games (56.8 percent).
–Ertz is second in the league in receiving with 57 catches. Only the Vikings' Adam Thielen has more (67). That's a 130-catch pace, which would be 50 more than his previous season high.
–Ertz has 70 or more receiving yards in five of the Eagles' seven games this season.
–Jeffery has four touchdown catches in four games since returning from shoulder surgery. All four have been in the red zone. He had a career-high seven red-zone TD catches last season.
–Jeffery had a 47.5 catch percentage last season (57 catches, 120 targets). That was the lowest catch rate of his career. His 64.1 catch rate this season (25 catches, 39 targets) would be a career high.
Making sense of Wentz
–Carson Wentz has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 20 straight games. He's thrown two or more in 15 of those 20 games.
–Wentz's 81.1 completion percentage against Carolina last week was the highest of his career. He's completed 66 percent or more of his passes in all five of his starts.
–Wentz has recorded a 100-plus passer rating in each of the last three games. He's had a 100-plus rating in nine of his last 14 starts.
–He has just one interception in 195 attempts and hasn't thrown a pick in his last 173 attempts. The club record is 237 by Nick Foles in 2013.
–Wentz has a 71.3 completion percentage on first down in his five starts this season. Last year, his first-down completion percentage was 59.8.
–One hundred twenty-four of Wentz's 189 attempts (65.6 percent) have been throws of 10 yards or less. That's slightly higher than last year (62.3).
–Wentz has completed five of eight attempts of 20 yards or more in the last two games. He was 5-for-12 on 20-plus yard throws in his first three starts. The breakdown of Wentz's 10 completions on 20-plus-yard throws: Zach Ertz (3), Alshon Jeffery (3), Nelson Agholor (1), Shelton Gibson (1), Jordan Matthews (1) and Wendell Smallwood (1).
–Wentz has six rushing first downs in his five starts. He had two last week on fourth-down quarterback sneaks, the first two he's tried since returning from knee surgery.
–Wendell Smallwood is averaging 3.9 yards per carry with 11 personnel, 5.1 with 12 personnel, and 5.4 with 13 personnel. Corey Clement is averaging 2.5 with 11, 4.8 with 12 and 3.2 with 13.
–Two hundred forty-four of the Eagles' 480 offensive plays (50.9 percent) have been run with 12 (1RB, 2TE) or 13 (1RB, 3TE) personnel. One hundred forty-eight of those 244, or 60.7 percent, have been pass plays. Last year, the Eagles ran just 31.3 percent of their offensive plays with 12/13 personnel.
–A breakdown of Ertz's receptions this season by formation: 21-223-1 in 11 personnel, 27-293-0 in 12 personnel and 9-102-1 in 13 personnel.
This and that
–Last year, the Eagles averaged 4.72 yards per carry on first down, which was the league's second best rush average on first down. Through seven games this season, they're averaging just 4.32, which is 17th.
–Wide receiver Nelson Agholor is second on the team in receptions with 38, but is averaging just 8.5 yards per catch, which is nearly four yards per catch less than last year. He led the team in third-down receptions last year, but has just two in the last four games. Last week against Carolina, Agholor was targeted seven times. Six of those targets were at or behind the line of scrimmage.
–The Eagles have converted just two of 27 third-down opportunities of 10 yards or more this season (7.4 percent). Last year, they converted 20 of 67 (29.8 percent).
–They've converted just 11 of 19 third downs of two yards or less (57.9 percent). That's nearly a 10 percent drop over last year (67.6 percent).