OVER the last four games against the Washington Redskins, the Eagles have allowed 38, 23, 27, and 34 points respectively. While we won the 34 point game (37-34), the point is that we gave up 34 points to a team that had been mired in offensive turmoil for most of a decade.
In 2015 we allowed 26.9 points per game (28th in the NFL), and in 2014 we allowed 25.0 (22nd). It’s really easy to say “Ah, well there ya go Sparky! That’s why we’re losin’!”, but you have to look deeper than that to see why we allowed those points.
What stats and looking at a box score won’t tell you, is all the times the Eagles Defense was gassed because the Offense wasn’t coached to milk the clock.
It’s real easy to pin not getting key stops on a tired D, but what about the Offense not picking up key first downs? What about the drives where a field goal would change the complexion of the game? Or the notion of how kicking-off after a field goal generally nets you better field position and doesn’t lend a psychological boost to the opponents offense?
There were a ton of unanswered questions, and as a result of no answers, things didn’t get addressed and so kept getting worse. That however is nothing worth dwelling on. The cause of our disease has been excised by Owner Jeff Lurie, and so we can look forward to getting stronger now.
This year will feature two systems that can work off of each other. This, as opposed to one system strangling and stranding the other, week in and week out. This year the Defense will be better. I almost can’t stop writing and talking about the how and why of that. Defense is going to be the strength of this team in 2016.
The Offense won’t put up 27.6 points per game like it did back in 2013, or 29.6 like it did in 2014. In fact, it may struggle to reach last year’s 23.6 mark. To me this is a 19-21 point per game, team. It’s not an explosive team. It’s a grind it out team. It’s a team that will need every man on the roster, every week.
Let me make a VERY pointed note here. I said the Offense won’t average many points. I didn’t say the team wouldn’t. The Defense will add points. AND they’ll cause changes of possession that frequently start the Offense off already in field goal range. I believe that this sort of thing will artificially inflate our Offense’s numbers, making them appear better on paper, than they actually are on the field.
We kept losing to the Redskins not because they were good, but because we insisted on being bad. Again, Lurie has seen to Old Yeller, and now we can turn the page. That being said, let me tell you (though an injury bug could change things greatly), as things stand now, I think we rip this recent monkey off our backs and we sweep the Redskins in 2016.