Adam Shein, writer for NFL.Com has penned a piece that is breathtaking in it’s similarity to Bleacher Report Eagles-Homer writing; so much so, that it is worthy of review. Let’s dive in.
Shein lists nine reasons, what he calls "Schein Nine" style, why the Eagles will win the NFC East. What follows could easily become one of those BR Slide Shows "Nine Reasons the Eagles Will Dominate!" (Yaaaaaay! Go Eagles!)
Lets take his reasons point by point.
1) The offense.
"Kelly’s system, which has the Eagles moving he ball and scoring in bunches (27.7 points per game, fourth best in the NFL)…"
He fails to mention here that Dallas is second best in scoring. And second, if I am not mistaken, is better than fourth. Advantage Dallas.
2) Nick Foles can play
"In four appearances this season…. " Let me stop you right there, Shiene. Foles has one and a half games this season. The other appearances in 2013 were a tiny smattering of snaps which mean nothing. All of those six quarters of play came against winless teams. Last year Foles threw five picks against six TDs and fumbled five times.
He has been stellar against inferior competition for six quarters this year. But he is not fast, in fact, his Combine results hurt him badly in the draft. Teams will find a way to get to Foles, to fool him about coverages and begin to cause turnovers. He does look like a solid passer with poise, I will give you that. But pretending he has had four significant appearances this year is just silly. He’s played above average for six quarters and things tend to regress to the mean. Which could happen this week.
3) The schedule is favorable
The schedule is nearly identical to Dallas’ schedule. That doesn’t give the Eagles an edge.
Dallas has Raiders (actually the Thanksgiving game), Bears, Packers, Redskins, Eagles at home. Combined record thus far: 13 wins, 15 losses. The Thanksgiving game gives Dallas as mini-bye week, with 10 days off.
And Dallas plays its most important game of that stretch at home: the Eagles. Obviously, the Eagles play the most important game on the road.
4) Did I mention Dallas is banged up?
"Of course, even with those key players, Dallas is flawed, thanks to a suspect defense (ranked 30th overall), shaky coaching and constant chaos"
A couple laugh-out-loud moments there. 1. The Eagles defense, by all accounts is much worse than Dallas’ defense. 2. Shaky coaching? Dallas has two potential Hall of Fame defensive coordinators, an offensive coordinator that has delivered the league's second highest scoring offense and a head coach that is so steady, he’s considered boring to those who must endure his press conferences. As for injuries, Philly just lost I don’t know, It’s starting QB And they are dinged on the the O-line and at safety. That seems pretty significant.
5) Washington won’t be able to catch up. Really? Philly has such an insurmountable lead that Washington can’t catch them? They are one and half games back with ten more to play. And RGIII is getting stronger. Hmmm.
6) The Giants are awful. Well, duh. But once a team is dead, it doesn’t really help your case to keep bringing them up, does it? They are irrelevant to the division now, move on.
7) First to reach nine victories takes the crown. Looks like someone is running out of reasons to stuff into his nine-point argument. I’m pretty sure they still make you finish the schedule even if you amass nine wins. And the schedule ends in Dallas.
8) Chip Kelly can coach. Well, there it is. Everyone else can just give up. Kelly can coach. Forget that in Washington they have a two-time Super Bowl winning coach. Forget that Dallas has an offensive coordinator who took a team to the Super Bowl, a defensive coordinator who won a Super Bowl, a strength coach who has six Super Bowl rings. And yes, the Giants are miserable, but they have a two-time Super Bowl winning coach as well. But forget all that, because Kelly can coach.
9) The defense doesn’t have to be great, just opportunistic. Well, it’s a good thing they don’t have to be great, because they are the terrible. Philadelphia ranks 30th in points allowed, despite having played two winless teams that happen to be ranked 29th and 31st in scoring.
Now just think about that for a moment. We all know that playing an opponent like the Broncos can give a team bad defensive stats . But the same is true in reverse. If you play the league's second-lowest scoring offense, that gives your team a great chance to pad defensive stats. But instead, the Eagles allowed the Buccaneers, with a rookie QB, to score well above their average. The Bucs average 13 points a game, but against the Eagles they scored 20.
One of the worst mistakes analysts make when using statistics to assess team strength is failing to look at level of competition in the games where the stats were amassed. When assessing the strength of the Philadelphia defense, it's critical to take into account the fact that they played two of the worst offenses in the NFL.
That accounts for 33 percent of the games that make up their defensive statistics. Both the Eagles and Cowboys faced the Broncos and gave up 51 points. But Dallas has held three teams under 18 points: the undefeated Chiefs, the 3-3 Rams and the Redskins. Those teams are ranked 9th, 15th and 20th in scoring offense.
The Eagles haven't held any teams under 20 points this year. Their two best defensive efforts have come against the 29th and 31st scoring offenses. Yet they allowed 20 or more points against each of them.
Dallas will continue to fight through injuries, as all teams do, but their defense is far and away the best in the NFC East. This, coupled with their high-scoring offense is why they will win the East. Thus endeth the lesson.