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Eagles-Saints: Pre-game stats that matter | Paul Domowitch

A statistical look at the state of the Eagles' offense and defense, as well as a breakdown of both Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz heading into Sunday's game against the Saints.

Carson Wentz, (QB) warms up during Eagles practice at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, PA on November 15, 2018. JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
Carson Wentz, (QB) warms up during Eagles practice at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, PA on November 15, 2018. JOSE F. MORENO / Staff PhotographerRead moreJose F. Moreno

Some stats to help get you ready for the Eagles-Saints game:

State of the offense

— The Eagles are 13th in total offense. They are averaging 372.9 yards per game, which actually is 7.1 yards per game more than last year. But they're averaging just 5.90 points per 100 yards, which is the 10th lowest average in the league. The combined record of the nine teams below them: 25-58. Last year, the Eagles averaged 7.80 points per 100 yards.

— The Eagles have had 22 touchdown drives. Just eight of them (36.4%) have been seven plays or less. Last year, 28 of their 47 TD drives (59.6%) were seven plays or less. The Eagles had nine TD drives last season that were three plays or less. So far this year, they've had one.

— The Eagles are 25th in average drive start this season (26.7-yard line). Last year, they were fifth (30.0). Just 15 of their 100 possessions have started at their own 40 or better. Last year, they had 43. Their opponents' average drive start has been the 28.5-yard line. That's the highest in the last three years.

— The Eagles, who scored 106 first-quarter points last year and had the highest first-quarter point differential in the league (plus-58), have scored just 21 points in the first quarter in their first nine games. Their 2.3-point first-quarter average is the worst in the league, behind the Jets, Browns and Dolphins (2.4) and the Giants and Raiders (3.3).

— A breakdown of the Eagles' first possession in their nine games: two touchdowns (v. Colts and Giants), six punts, one lost fumble, 11 first downs, 3.6 yards per play.

— A breakdown of their second possession: no TDs, no field goals, four punts, two interceptions, two missed field goals, 14 first downs, 4.1 yards per play.

State of the defense

— The Eagles have dropped to 23rd in the league in opponent rush average. They're giving up 4.7 yards per carry.

— In their last four games, the Eagles' opponents have averaged 7.6 yards per carry on first down.

— The Eagles have forced just seven turnovers, which is the third fewest in the league, behind only the 49ers (5) and the Bucs (6). They have just four interceptions, one in the last five games.

— In the Eagles' last six games, opponents have a 106.7 passer rating against them in the fourth quarter and overtime. In the first three quarters: 86.3. Teams have a 68.1 completion percentage with five touchdowns and no interceptions in the fourth quarter of the last six games.

— The Eagles have registered four sacks in three of their last four games.

      Catching up with Carson

— Carson Wentz has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 22 straight games. He's thrown two or more TD passes in 17 of those 22 games, including all seven of his starts this season.

— Wentz has had a 100-plus passer rating in five straight games. He's seventh in the league in passing with a 108.5 rating.

— Wentz is eighth in fourth-quarter passing (109.8). His 73.9 fourth-quarter completion percentage is the second highest in the league behind Matt Ryan's 77.3.But Wentz has thrown just four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. That's the 13th most in the league. The Colts' Andrew Luck has an NFL-high nine.

— Wentz is 12th in third-down passing (99.0). He was first last year (123.7). Fourteen of his 33 touchdown passes last season came on third down. This year: just four of 15.

— Wentz hasn't been nearly as effective on third-and-long this season. Last year, he had a league-best 133.0 rating on third-and-eight or more, including a 69.0 completion percentage and 24 first downs on 58 pass attempts (50.0). This year, he has a 91.5 rating on third-and-eight-plus with a 57.7 completion percentage and just eight first downs on 26 pass attempts (30.8 percent).

More three-WR, less two-TE

— The Eagles used a lot more 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) against the Cowboys last week than they had in the previous eight games. Forty-three of their 62 plays(69.3 per cent) against the Cowboys were with 11 personnel. Two other plays, including Carson Wentz's first-quarter interception, featured four wide receivers. In their first eight games, the Eagles had used sets with more than two wide receivers just 49.8 percent of the time. Rookie Dallas Goedert, the team's No. 2 tight end behind Zach Ertz, had played at least 40 percent of the snaps in each of the previous six games. Against the Cowboys, he played just 29 percent (18 snaps).

— Wentz has thrown 15 touchdown passes this season. Just three of them have come with 11 personnel (145 attempts). Eight have been with 12 (1 RB, 2 TE) personnel (96 attempts) and four with 13 personnel (26 attempts).

— The Eagles have used 12 personnel on 222 of their 604 offensive plays this season (36.7 percent). One hundred forty-three of those plays, or 64.4 percent, have been pass plays. They've used 13 personnel (1 RB, 3 TE) on 67 plays (11.1 percent). Twenty-nine of those plays have been pass plays.

Ertz effect

— Tight end Zach Ertz has 75 catches for 789 yards and five touchdowns in the Eagles' first nine games. He's on pace to break the single-season record for both receptions and receiving yards by a tight end. Former Cowboy and current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jason Witten holds the record for catches by a tight end in a season with 110. The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski has the record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,327. Ertz is on pace for 133 receptions and 1,403 yards.

— Ertz has a team-high 42 receiving first downs, including 33 in the last six games. He had 46 last season. Ertz had 14 catches last week against the Cowboys. Eight produced first downs.

— Ertz has five red-zone touchdown catches, which is tied for the third most in the league. His 10 red-zone receptions are the second most in the league. Ertz and Alshon Jeffery have nine of the Eagles' 13 red-zone TD receptions.

— Ertz has been targeted 100 times already. His career-high is 112 in 2015. He was targeted 110 times last year. His 75.0 catch percentage is the highest of his career. His previous high was 73.6 in '16 (106 targets, 73 catches).

— In Carson Wentz's seven starts, Ertz has been targeted on 77 of Wentz's 269 pass attempts (28.6). Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has been targeted 28.9 percent of the time by Matt Ryan. Vikings wideout Adam Thielen has been targeted on 28.4 percent of Kirk Cousins' attempts. Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been targeted by Ben Roethlisberger on 26.0 percent of his attempts.

A breakdown of Ertz's 100 targets by passing distance: 7 behind the line of scrimmage (six catches for 16 yards), 61 from 0 to 10 yards (45-359-3), 26 from 11 to 19 yards (19-280-2) and five from 20-plus yards (5-74).

This and that

— Jim Schwartz has faced Drew Brees twice in the last nine years, in 2009 and again in 2013 when he was the Lions' head coach. The numbers aren't pretty. Brees had a 145.2 passer rating in the two games, completing 52 of 70 passes for 700 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked just twice by the Lions in those two games.

— Jake Elliott has the league's fifth best touchback percentage (49.1). Thirty-four of his forty-three kickoffs have been touchbacks.

— Saints kicker Wil Lutz has made his last 17 field goal attempts.

— Rookie running back Josh Adams is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, 6.7 on first down. In the last three games, the Eagles' other two backs, Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood, have averaging 1.7 yards per carry on first down.

— The average distance of Wentz's throws against the Cowboys was 8.91 yards. That was the second highest average of the season. He averaged 8.97 yards on his throws v. Minnesota.

— Wentz has attempted 32 passes this season that have traveled 20 or yards. He has completed 15 for 527 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

— Wentz has fumbled six times and lost four of them.