Oct 8, 2012, 11:49 AM EDT
Okay, that headline might be a slight exaggeration, but by at least one measure, it’s absolutely true. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that one measure happens to be second only to “wins” in importance: scoring.
By virtue of their not playing this week, the Cowboys slipped ahead of Philadelphia in the points category, leaving the Birds in their dust at 16 points per game. That’s 31st in the NFL, ahead of only the Blaine Gabbert-led Jaguars.
Reuben Frank uncovered a statistic, as he tends to do, that should help put that 16 PPG in perspective. It’s the worst by any Eagles squad through five games since Andy Reid’s first season as head coach way back in 1999.
Way back in 1999 when Doug Pederson was the starting quarterback.
Pederson, a first-time starter at 31, was more or less hand-picked by Reid to help ease second-overall draft pick Donovan McNabb into the job. Prior to ’99, Pederson had attempted 32 career passes.
The Eagles predictably got off to a 1-4 start, while the offense averaged 11.4 points per game. To put that in perspective, that’s even worse than 2012 Jacksonville at 13 PPG.
Pederson finished ’99 with a 2-7 record as the starter, and a passer rating of 62.9. The Birds went 5-11.
Michael Vick currently has Philly at 3-2, but with a passer rating of 77.8 — and 11 turnovers especially — it’s tough to envision that number staying above .500 without some drastic improvement.
The major difference between now and then: an offense featuring Pro Bowlers Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, and LeSean McCoy is supposed to be good, if not great. Nobody expected the rebuilding Eagles to field an offensive juggernaut 14 years ago.
Yet amazingly, they have regressed back to the Pederson days. Is it merely coincidence he took over as the club’s quarterbacks coach last year? Yes, yes it almost certainly is, but what’s happening should feel a bit like deja vu.
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