Philadelphia Eagles: The Luckiest Team in the NFL

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to a game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are sitting atop the NFC East with a 3-1 record, but they shouldn't be; they just happen to be the luckiest team in NFL

Everything that could have gone wrong for the Eagles in 2012 has, but it has not impacted their ability to win games or battle for the top of the division. 

In fact, Philadelphia has downed impressive opponents such as the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants despite nearly everything backfiring or working against them. 

The Eagles are winning ugly, but they are winning. It has simply taken a ridiculous amount of luck. Let's analyze some negatives that highlight why the Eagles are the luckiest team in the league. 


Winning Despite Countless Turnovers

The Eagles currently hold a -5 turnover ration, meaning they are giving the ball up more than their opponents each week. 

Despite this horrible ratio, the Eagles are 3-1. This defies all odds considering teams with a negative ration don't typically win games. 

The turnovers are coming from a variety of areas, but mostly from quarterback Michael Vick. Not only has he managed to throw six interceptions in four games, he has also fumbled three times.

Vick has been horrible to the point of some pondering whether he should be benched, but how can head coach Andy Reid justify benching a quarterback who is winning games?

For now the Eagles are winning, but if the turnover ratio continues to float in the negatives it will eventually turn the season sour. 


Horrible Special Teams Play Not a Factor

Philadelphia has a laughably bad special teams unit from top to bottom, but it has not stopped the Eagles from winning games. 

Somehow the Eagles are posting victories despite having a horrendous special teams unit. Just how bad has the unit been? beautifully illustrated the unit in a column, and it isn't pretty:

Kicker Alex Henery has done a pretty good job, but that's about it. The Eagles' punt return team, with rookie Damaris Johnson, is ranked 31st out of 32 teams. The Eagles are 24th in punt coverage and 29th in kickoff coverage and they've managed to go 3-1, though they're losing the battle for field position in every game.

Special teams is an integral part to any team that allows either team to win the field position battle, which is usually one of the biggest factors in the outcome of any NFL game. 

Not in Philadelphia. For now, at least.


3-1 Record With a -17 Point Differential 

So far in 2012, the Eagles have won two games by a single point and one game by only two points. For those of you keeping track, that's three victories by a combined four points. Philadelphia was also blown out by the Arizona Cardinals 27- 6 in Week 3.

In other words, the Eagles are extremely lucky. 

Philadelphia has barely escaped with victories in three games. What is more telling is the blow out handed to the Eagles in Arizona. 

The Cardinals are the perfect example of a team that exploited and took advantage of the Eagles countless mistakes. More teams will take notice and do the same. 


Will Luck Continue to be on the Eagles side?

For now things look good in Philadelphia, but how long can it last? 

History says teams struggling dramatically in the areas the Eagles are typically have issues reaching .500, let alone making the postseason. 

There is plenty of time to turn things around in Philadelphia, which is an odd thing to say considering the Eagles are 3-1. Vick has to take better care of the ball and the special teams has to improve. That can happen in the matter of a week. 

Philadelphia is getting by, but things will take a turn south if improvements are not made quickly. The Eagles luck will run out, and Vick and Co. need to be prepared.