Fun With Numbers

Posted: January 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 81 Comments »

I was checking out some stats tonight while doing some research and stumbled across something interesting.

Let’s compare 2006 Donovan McNabb vs 2013 Nick Foles. Each guy started 10 games, although Foles played in a few others. They had almost the exact same number of passing attempts.

McNabb – 5-5
Foles – 7-3

McNabb – 180-316 – 57%
Foles – 203-317 – 64%

McNabb – 2647 yards
Foles – 2891 yards

McNabb – 18 TDs, 6 INTs
Foles – 27 TDs , 2 INTs

McNabb – Yds per Attempt 8.4
Foles – Yds per Attempt 9.1

McNabb – sacked 21 times for 140 yards
Foles – sacked 28 times for 173 yards

Kind of interesting, huh? You can look at this one of two ways. Either Foles has a chance to be as good as McNabb or Chip Kelly has one amazing system. That was the 2nd best season of McNabb’s career in terms of passing stats. Foles posted better numbers than him in only his 2nd season.

You really do wonder just how good Foles can be when he figures out what he’s doing and truly adjusts to the NFL.

* * * * *

TEs didn’t have quite the role we anticipated in 2013, but they did make an impact. Brent Celek (6) and Zach Ertz (4) combined for 10 TD catches.

2012 – 3 TE TDs
2011 – 6 TE TDs
2010 – 5 TE TDs (including catch by Todd Herremans)
2009 – 8 TE TDs
2008 – 5 TE TDs (including catch by Todd Herremans)
2007 – 3 TE TDs
2006 – 7 TE TDs

Chip Kelly got the football to big guys in the Red Zone. Celek, Ertz and Riley Cooper combined for 18 TD catches. That seems like a simple notion, but Andy Reid struggled to embrace that or didn’t push it on his QBs enough. No matter how you slice it, the ball wasn’t getting to the right people outside of 2004, when McNabb fed it to TO.

Whether you give credit to Foles or Kelly, the ball went to the right guys. Sometimes we make football too complicated. In the Red Zone, just get the ball to the tall guys. Life is then a lot simpler.

_


  • Manu Uriasson

    You mean to tell me, getting the ball to Chad Hall in the Red Zone was a bad idea??????

    Oh Andy, how I don’t miss your Red Zone head-scratching play-calling.

    • eagleyankfan

      Amen. Chip called a few plays I didn’t like but I think Chip learns from stuff like that. Andy would run the same failed plan again and again and again. Then say “I have to do a better job there”…..LMAO

      • Mike Flick

        Chad Hall is working his tail off. He is fine.

  • suthrneagle

    Tommy… I think it`s only gonna get better. Kelly uses bigger guys to win the battles. And if Ifeanyi Momah can get his act together,Eagles`ll have 4 red zone weapons. Be a terror for any opposition.

  • Joe Minx

    Andy was constantly obsessed with coming up with ways to try to outsmart the defense in the red zone, when all he ended up doing most of the time was outsmarting himself. That made us very easy to stop. Chip is sometimes guilty of this as well but to a MUCH lesser degree.

  • Sean

    Foles has now started 16 games in his career:GSQBrecCmpAttCmp%YdsTDTD%IntInt%LngY/AAY/AY/CY/GRateQBRSkYdsNY/AANY/ASk%4QCGWDAV ▴169-7-036458262.54590335.771.2637.98.512.6229.5101.0483046.807.357.62215

    • Sean

      The great thing about Foles’ success is that it neutralizes any argument an Eagles hater might make. Either Foles is incredible, or Chip Kelly is one of the greatest offensive minds in the history of the game. It has to be one or the other. No one can reasonably dismiss both Foles and Kelly, though we know many other fan bases care little for reason.

      • OregonDucker

        Chip is the genius, Foles is the pupil.

    • Jamie Parker

      Player X sounds like an awesome name to me.

      • Mac

        LOOK OUT!

      • ICDogg

        If he’s anything like his uncle, Weapon X…

        • Always Hopeful

          Wish I could give multiple up votes :-)

    • Anders

      Andy Dalton posted very similar numbers, with only his ints been too many and people are talking about him been crap.

      • xeynon

        Throwing a lot of interceptions, which Dalton does and Foles doesn’t, is kind of a big strike against a quarterback, is it not?

      • BreakinAnklez

        Also a lot of talk how if Dalton didn’t have playmakers making eye-popping catches/plays; his numbers would not be as solid. AJ Green / Marvin Jones have made some spectacular plays on balls this year preventing INTs or incompletions

        • Chippah

          A lot of scouts have been saying Bengals receivers are the best “bad ball” catchers in the league. They definitely cover for a lot of Dalton’s over and under thrown balls.

  • D3Center

    http://www.gizoogle.net/xfer.php?link=http://igglesblitz.com/ In case anyone has trouble reading Tommy’s original post

  • Nah__Roots

    Westbrook post-TO

  • Ryan Highlands

    One Reid play I did like in the Red-zone was the McNabb to Westbrook bootleg shovel pass. That was money.

    • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

      Reid called the goal line shovel pass on Saturday. Worked like a charm.

  • Jamie Parker

    Just like Winston throwing it up to Benjamin the other night. Interesting that 2004 was when they fed TO and TO was a big WR. Why this never dawned on AR/MM we will never know.

    I don’t think they attacked the end zone enough and that led to the red zone troubles too.

    Also, Foles was 8-2.

  • xeynon

    Pretty impressive stats from Foles, especially given that he started his first six games with a team that was ridden with injuries on the O line and at the skill positions, for a coach who was on his way out, and switched systems going into his second year. He’s not the fastest or strongest arm quarterback, but there have been several HoF caliber QBs who made up for similarly limited physical abilities by being good-to-elite in the other aspects of the position, and Foles so far shows no evidence that he can’t do likewise. His accuracy, decision making, coachability, pocket presence, work ethic, leadership skills, toughness, etc. all appear to be excellent.

    One criticism that has been made is that he can’t be an elite QB because he “doesn’t make the guys around him better”, but honestly think that’s a pretty questionable claim. Cooper for one really emerged as a playmaker after he took over as the starter, as did Ertz to a lesser extent.

    Bottom line, his career is still in the very early stages, but I see no reason to be anything other than extremely bullish on him at this point.

  • Jack Waggoner

    There is a point where you can’t ignore that he’s throwing guys open, that he has good poise in the pocket, that he can move around a bit and pump fake and even pick up some first downs running, and that his throws are pretty accurate. Where you have to let go of the notion that he’s the next Kolb, Hoying, or Feeley, and accept that he’s good.

    But those stats are just ridiculously good.

    • bentheimmigrant

      It is remarkably hard to convince ourselves that we have found a legit QB… and I was on the Foles train pretty early. I’m just kinda waiting around for everything to fall apart. But yes, he passes the eye test and puts up the numbers pretty consistently. And this in his first proper year! There were times when he had poor vision, and that cost us yards and points – that means there’s improvement to be made on his already unbelievable output.

      • anon

        Lots of QBs look great year one and not so great year 2. I’ll be excited to see him next year. Then i’ll be ready to anoint him the first nick foles.

        • bentheimmigrant

          No doubt, but he comes across as such a hard worker, and Kelly is a great coach, he’s in a much better position to succeed than most of the one year wonders (and of course comparing his season to their “great”… it’s not even close)

      • ICDogg

        If there is improvement, though, I don’t expect it to be so much reflected in statistics, considering how crazy those stats were this year.

        • A Roy

          I would expect to see it in points, time of possession (yeah, I know) and total offensive/defensive plays. I.e. Fewer drives ending prematurely.

          • bill

            Considering where they ranked in points/game this year, I’m not sure you’re going to see that much improvement in that stat, either.

        • bentheimmigrant

          Yeah, if he can keep that interception ratio next year he can just retire and be first ballot HOF. The main stat we’ll see change would be sacks, I think.

        • Chippah

          The eagles were much more lucky this year, especially when compared to AR’s last year so there will be regression to the mean in fumbles and probably interceptions too. That being said, I’m excited to see what he can do with a full offseason with Chip.

          • ICDogg

            I think that might be true but most of all the offensive line was healthy all year.

    • eagleyankfan

      All Foles has done was impress us. Which is great. Nothing he did this year guarantees anything for the future. Let’s hope he builds on this year before anointing him better than any of those guys.
      That’s doesn’t mean I’m not excited about year. I can’t wait to see his growth and where I hope he can bring this team. Until he’s consistent for a couple of years, then I’ll go from “hopeful” to “expect”

  • Joseph Dubyk

    He’s alreadey a better passer than McNabb ever was

    • A Roy

      McNabb actually threw an excellent deep ball. His problem was short stuff and ‘touch’ throws. He had a strong arm and ran well. Apple and orange to compare the two. McNabb was one of the best QBs the Eagles had in the 40 years I’ve been rooting for them and in the 50 years I’ve followed football…certainly in the top 2-3. Let’s see Foles progress and have a body of work before saying that. (And yes, I know you said better passer and not better QB…)

  • Anders

    Tommy, regarding those passing numbers, remember the difference in era, now a day a mediocre qb like Dalton can pass for 4k yards and 33 tds

    • xeynon

      Tommy addressed that in another post. Dalton compiles a lot of his numbers throwing up jump balls to his supremely talented receivers. He also throws a ton of interceptions, even outside the playoffs. Other than not being especially athletic or having rocket arms, I don’t see that he and Foles have much in common.

      Besides, it’s a stretch to say 2006 was a completely different era. The passing TD record Manning broke this year was set in 2007.

      • D-von

        They’re both from Texas???

      • Anders

        my point was that 4k yards and 33 tds is not really WOW numbers any more.

        In 2006 and 2004 passing for 4k yards for only something Peyton Manning ever did consistently.

        • xeynon

          A 119.3 QB rating and 27-to-2 TD:INT ratio however are “WOW” numbers. And Foles’ stats, prorated over an entire season, amount to more than 33 TDs and 4,000 yards, despite the fact that he had inferior receivers and played in an offense in which he didn’t throw the ball a lot. 41 TDs and 4,400 yards (Foles’ stats projected over 16 games) would be impressive in any era.

      • Mike Flick

        My thought is that we need to get supremely talented receivers that you can throw jump balls to them and they make TDs.

        I see lots of improvement possible there.

  • dislikedisqus

    Off topic but looks like you’re going to get your wish re Snyder hiring Jay Gruden.

    • Bob Brewer

      I actually think Jay Gruden could be a very good head coach. But I’m not sure there is anyone that could be a head coach with that roster.

    • ICDogg

      Dan Snyder: "get me the coach who developed Andy Dalton."— Dave Mangels (@Southern_Philly) January 6, 2014

      (note the date on the tweet)

      • Mac

        When you use mediocrity as your benchmark, anything is possible.

  • Pingback: The Linc – Where will Michael Vick end up? | Sports Feedr

  • Brett Smith

    Jay Gruden is the next head coach of Redskins. Yeah! Sounds like a really bad fit. Lets hope it is.
    RG3 in a statue of liberty style offense. Brilliant.

    • Dominik

      And the best news, my fellow Eagles Fans: According to NFL.com, Haslett will stay as D-Coord. Hahahahahaha

      • Brett Smith

        No way!

        This is awesome.

        Haslett is handcuffed by horrible personnel decisions out of his hands. ;)

        • Dominik

          Reading the comments at a Redskins blog at the moment. They’re freaked out. Rightly so, but I love this move. :D

      • D3FB

        Lavar Arrington just said on NFL network that he’s hearing conflicting reports that they may go with Raheem Morris. This would be even better because then they would have to transition that defense to a 43 tampa 2.

        • Dominik

          It would definitely not be better than Haslett staying put. That would be the best case that can happen. A new coach can bring new energy to a unit. Haslett is the same bs all over again. Just look at the tweets from London Fletcher at the moment, I think they sum it up pretty well. :D

        • Brett Smith

          Interesting. Not sure I have any confidence in Raheem Morris as a DC either so it may be fine.
          The thing about Morris is he is young and could get better. Haslett is what he is.

    • Stevo

      I’m overseas (temporarily), so I’m disconnected from the mainstream football news. I keep reading that Jay Gruden has a reputation for being a QB guru and that’s why he was hired (to fix RGIII). Where did that reputation come from? I understand Andy Dalton overachieved as a rookie, but is that it? Wasn’t Jon Gruden (when Jay was his assistant) known for not developing young QBs?

      Tommy, maybe you can help me/us understand where that reputation came from?

  • Brett Smith

    Interesting point I heard Baldy talking about on 97.5 . He mentioned that Foles never has to make stick throws in Kelly’s offense and that is one of the reasons he succeeded this year.

    I am not sure I agree and I think it is a partial truth. I think I remember some of the crossing route throws to the TEs and Cooper being stick throws in tight coverage. Just because a QB makes it look like the throws are easy throws doesn’t mean they are.

    • Bob Brewer

      I don’t see how you can be as effective as the Foles led offense was in the red zone without the QB making stick throws. That throw to Cooper for the first TD in the Bears game was in a small window.

      I don’t like how long he holds onto the ball, but I’m hoping that gets drastically reduced with experience.

      • Brett Smith

        That is what I was thinking once I realized what was being implied.

        The hope is that Foles makes a huge jump in his third year (second in the offense). I hope he takes a Brady like approach to getting better.

        I am so excited to have a QB that can make timing throws I don’t know what to do with myself. Waiting for a WR to be visibly open drives me nuts.

        No more worm burners.

        On a final note I don’t want Johnny Football. Vick 3.0

        • xeynon

          I hope he takes a Brady like approach to getting better.

          He said he woke up at 4 am the day after the game wanting to go to practice. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but given the things he says and the way he improved from year one to year two, I think it’s safe to say he loves football and works his butt off at getting better at it.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Brett are you baiting Shah8 into a discussion of Fole’s limitations based upon his Keen eye for QB talent evaluation……careful now….

      • Brett Smith

        Maybe. I have to squint my eyes to eval QB talent. My friends all tell me I was right about Kap. I saw him at the combine and watched a few games and screamed on draft day when we didn’t find a way to take him.

        Foles’ limitations are on Foles. If he works like I think he will he will be great. If not he is still better than Romo.

        I think Foles proved his peanut works fast. Foles proved he is still in his second year and erred on the side of caution a lot . Taking the sack instead of the risky throw.

        • D3FB

          Eagles had a fourth round grade on Kap.

        • shah8

          It is always better to get and work out dominant talent first, if they seem receptive to coaching and has on-field common sense. I’ve said what I need to say on Foles, hence not commenting.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            wait for it……there it is……

          • shah8

            Well, when you mention people, you do tend to invoke a response, don’t you think?

          • Brett Smith

            shah8 no worries I like reading all the different opinions.

            Gives me something Eagles related to read. I don’t get to talk Eagles cause I live a little down the road from Lawlor. ACC country.

  • ICDogg

    OFFENSE (1,128 total plays):

    Offensive Line:
    Evan Mathis: 1,128 (100%)
    Lane Johnson: 1,127 (99%)
    Jason Peters: 1,040 (92%)
    Jason Kelce: 1,119 (99%)
    Todd Herremans: 1,128 (100%)
    Allen Barbre: 89 (7%)
    Julian Vandervelde: 9 (1%)

    Quarterbacks:
    Michael Vick: 335 (29%)
    Nick Foles: 715 (63%)
    Matt Barkley: 77 (6%)

    Running Backs:
    LeSean McCoy: 890 (78%)
    Bryce Brown: 199 (17%)
    Chris Polk: 47 (4%)

    Wide Receivers:
    DeSean Jackson: 1,010 (89%)
    Riley Cooper: 1,002 (88%
    Jason Avant: 807 (71%)
    Damaris Johnson: 53 (4%)
    Jeff Maehl: 129 (11%)
    Brad Smith: 20 (1%)

    Tight Ends:
    Brent Celek: 864 (76%)
    Zach Ertz: 459 (40%)
    James Casey: 157 (13%)

    DEFENSE (1,231):

    Defensive Line:
    Fletcher Cox: 910 (73%)
    Cedric Thornton: 739 (60%)
    Bennie Logan: 488 (39%)
    Vinny Curry: 322 (26%)
    Clifton Geathers: 254 (20%)
    Isaac Sopoaga: 242 (19%)
    Damion Square: 150 (12%)

    Linebackers:
    DeMeco Ryans: 1,189 (96%)
    Connor Barwin: 1,158 (94%)
    Mychal Kendricks: 1,022 (83%)
    Trent Cole: 908 (73%)
    Brandon Graham: 331 (26%)
    Najee Goode: 192 (15%)
    Casey Matthews: 70 (5%)
    Jake Knott: 26 (2%)
    Emmanuel Acho: 23 (1%)

    Cornerbacks:
    Cary Williams: 1,167 (94%)
    Bradley Fletcher: 949 (77%)
    Brandon Boykin: 635 (51%)
    Roc Carmichael: 220 (17%)
    Brandon Hughes: 22 (1%)
    Jordan Poyer: 17 (1%)

    Safeties:
    Nate Allen: 1,126 (91%)
    Patrick Chung: 741 (60%)
    Earl Wolff: 538 (43%)
    Kurt Coleman: 74 (6%)
    Colt Anderson: 38 (3%)
    Keelan Johnson: 12 (1%)

    • A_T_G

      This is very interesting. I would love to see Tommy draw some observations to discuss in a separate post.

      Actually, I would really love a Derek-esque post full of graphs and cumulative percentages for WR vs RB vs TEs as the year progressed, but that is a lot to ask for.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Can you do this for ST’s…..It would give a full picture as to how much guys are being used….like Colt Anderson with 38 snaps on Defense….he plays a lot more than that….great post though….

    • Ben Hert

      Jason Avant, 71% of snaps. One of my favorite Eagles ever, but replacing a guy who is in on 71% of your offensive snaps with a dynamic playmaker would be a huge upgrade.

    • Insomniac

      Ugh it pains me to think of our OL regressing when they’ve finally played that much together this season.

  • SteveH

    Dan Snyder: “BRING ME GRUDEN!”

    • Brett Smith

      Dan Snyder:”ANY GRUDEN!”

    • xeynon

      I absolutely love this hire for the Redskins. Not because I think Gruden is a bad coach, but because I think as long as Snyder owns the team and continues to meddle, mediocrity is their absolute ceiling (as with Jones and the Cowboys). It’s nice to have two of the NFL’s most meddlesome, incompetent owners in our division. Now if only we could convince the Maras to sell to Mikhail Prokhorov…

  • eagleyankfan

    That’s great stuff T-Law. My only comment would be, in support of my other posts, DJ’s spot needs to be upgraded. I understand DJ has a role etc etc, but wouldn’t a taller, well blocking WR serve this team better? I’m not sure it makes sense to have a player who is only good between the 20′s. There’s isn’t an aspect of DJ game where I sit and say “man, that guy has tools that can’t be replaced”.

    • cliff henny

      bring back coop and mac and add a guy like Evans in 1st or either lsu wr, and let jax do his thing out wide. i love d-jax (not many every touch could be td guys in nfl), and he may mostly be a one trick pony, but damn, it’s a heck of a trick. once eagles get enough weapons opposite Jax, the threat of him taking top off defense becomes triply dangerous.

      • eagleyankfan

        Agreed. When he’s “on”, there’s no stopping him, like the TB game. Problem is, where has he been since that game? McCoy, the threat of the run, should have also helped DJ be open more. Than again, that’s just my view — I don’t rewatch tapes so for all I know, he could be open more and Foles doesn’t see him. :).

      • teltschikfakeout88

        Don’t really understand the love of Evans so much…other than he is big but I have not heard anyone compare the guy to
        Plex…Why no Jordan Matthews love….

        • Insomniac

          Yea i don’t get the Evans love either. When I watch him play it reminds me of Zach Ertz but unpolished.

  • JJ_Cake

    Im probably on the upper end of Foles fans and changed my avatar mid season to reflect that support.

    That being said, there was a bit of luck regarding his low INT count. The Honey Badger pick in the AZ game was legit, but fortunately the cards had a penalty negating it. He’s also had some passes that were close to being picked off in other games, but our WRs did a good job and defended what would have been INTs.

    I’m still hoping that he shines as the best QB from this generation of young QBs when we look back in a decade from now (future Montana / Brady hybrid). But I hope we aren’t expecting similar low INT numbers for the future.

    Expectations should be if he can lead the team to victories. I think he is on the same page where he doesn’t care about his stats. He loves playing with this team and wants to help bring us a championship.

    • Iskar36

      Every QB in the league has a few throws that “could” have been INTs that they get a little lucky on. Foles is no exception in that regard. In fact, beyond the pick against AZ which Foles clearly got lucky on, I don’t seem to remember any throws that were clear drops by DBs that the defense “should” have intercepted. The remaining balls that could have been picked were mostly 50/50 balls were the WR had a chance to make a play and either came down with it or batted it away. I agree that in the future, chances are he isn’t likely to maintain that same low INT rate and some of those 50/50 balls will end up with the defense, but those kinds of INTs I can live with (assuming they are not happening at an alarmingly high rate). What was great to see was that he had very few throws that were “easy INTs” for the defense. I’m hoping that is an indication that he is making good/safe decision on the field and hopefully that’s something that can continue.

  • CrackSammich

    Hearing about all of the offensive and defensive coordinator shuffling today, it occurs to me that I’ve read everything that I possibly could about the Eagles this season, and I don’t recall a single thing of note happening to or said about Pat Shurmur, except that we assumed he’s responsibly for shitty calls on coaches challenges. I don’t know enough about coaching politics to know if that means anything or not.