Oddly enough, not that scared about the Eagles’ offense.
Considering the expectations right here are about five wins in 2016 for Philly’s NFL franchise, that’s not exactly an Earth-shattering revelation, but still …
When all talk in and around town starts drifting along pie-in-the-sky lines it centers around the defense’s potential dominance being the team’s, and its fans’, ultimate salvation from the sheer drudgery that Sam Bradford and Co. are certain to create – if not countered.
Don’t buy it.
May not like the quarterback’s performance on the field. But he’s hardly a catastrophe behind center. He’s serviceable. Decent. The epitome of mediocre: not good, but not bad, either.
His backfield mate? Honestly, see the running situation as addition by subtraction. Never really understood why the Birds tried to shoehorn two feature ball carriers into the same offense last season with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews … and bestowing “starter” status on Murray mainly because he was the bigger name, and then turning to him at every juncture as the main guy when clearly Mathews was bigger, faster and better.
This season, it’s all on Mathews. Yo, better late than never.
The receivers? Nelson Agholor was a ridiculous pick in the first round of the 2015 draft, his main calling card being his resemblance, a major stretch anyway if you ask me, to former Philly wideout Jeremy Maclin – especially when the team could have just kept the latter instead of letting him go to Kansas City. Regardless, Jordan Matthews is legit, tight end Zach Ertz is solid and newcomer Dorial Green-Beckham is intriguing.
The offensive line? Shaky, sure. But it ain’t the worst one out there, and much of its issues last season could be attributed to “bad fit” – both with Chip Kelly’s system before him getting booted and Murray’s take-forever-to-get-started engine. Not to mention Bradford being in his first season here, coming off a second reconstructive knee surgery, and having to start from scratch for about the sixth time in his career.
Obviously, we’re not discussing some high-powered attack capable of overwhelming the opposition. But we’re also not discussing some woebegone operation that is holding back anything special.
Bradford, Mathews, Matthews and their ilk, if nothing else, are a professional lot. Hardly mistake-free, but hardly the apocalypse, either.
Say, the QB throws for 3,700 yards and 21 touchdowns, the RB rips off 1,200 yards and 6 TDs, the top WR hauls in 1,000 and 8, and the TE 850 and 4, what would you think of the offense then?
Thing is, all those numbers have been achieved by the players at those positions in the past. Even with injuries factoring in.
So, nothing scary about the offense.
Especially when the defense, albeit good, particularly on the line, isn’t good enough to save a season anyway.
In general, the Eagles are, well, just average. A middle-of-the-pack team in terms of talent on offense and, frankly, defense. A work in progress ... and, for now, that is fine.