5 Eagles Stats We Never Saw Coming
Just six games into the Chip Kelly era, the Philadelphia Eagles are already noticeably changed from the final few seasons of Andy Reid. While unfortunately the defense looks pretty much the same, the offense has found new life under Kelly.
To see the offense come back to life doesn't surprise many, but few predicted it to be this much better this soon. Sometimes a new coach and a new scheme can make all the difference.
Here are five of the most surprising Eagles stats that we never saw coming in the offseason. These stats are limited to just the offense, with a defensive stats article soon to come.
1. DeSean Jackson Leading All Wide Receivers in Yardage
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Many who saw Jackson in training camp and in the preseason expected him to be improved. But no one expected him to be this much better.
According to Phillymag.com's Sheil Kapadia, Jackson is on pace for 91 catches, 1,570 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those numbers are even more remarkable when we consider that Jackson is doing all this without Jeremy Maclin to draw attention away from him.
Without Jackson, this offense would lose much of its explosiveness. After a couple of down years, it's time Jackson found himself back in conversations about the league's top-10 wide receivers.
2. LeSean McCoy Leading the League in Rushing
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After a down year in 2012, LeSean McCoy has completely reemerged as one of the best running backs in the NFL.
With a better offensive line and better play-calling from Kelly, McCoy is leading the entire NFL in rushing with 630 yards and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
That may not sound surprising, Eagles fans have known for years that McCoy is special, but did anyone really expect him to have more yardage right now than Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch or Arian Foster?
McCoy is revealing himself to be a truly special player and may very well be the NFL's second-best back behind Peterson.
3. Michael Vick's 90.6 Passer Rating
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With many expecting him to be released after Reid's firing, Michael Vick was retained by Chip Kelly. This rather interesting decision by the new coach has so far paid dividends.
After struggling with turnovers in an abysmal 2012 season, Vick has four this season—two interceptions and two fumbles.
He is currently posting a 90.6 passer rating. That may not sound incredibly impressive, but it is currently higher than those of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, just to name a few.
Who would have ever predicted Vick would have a higher passer rating than Brady six games into the season?
4. Michael Vick's 9.3 Yards Per Carry
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Even more impressive than Vick's 90.6 passer rating is the phenomenal success he's had running the ball this season. He is averaging 9.3 yards per carry, the highest he's averaged since his rookie season.
He also has 307 yards on the ground, which is nearly as many yards as he had rushing the entire 2012 season (332). And despite all the carries, Vick has lost only two fumbles (one of them was on that lateral against Washington in Week 1 that the Redskins returned for a touchdown), having finally committed himself to better securing the football when scrambling.
The doubters were wrong about Vick's athletic decline. Vick still has plenty left in the tank. He may not be the speed demon he was in Atlanta, but Vick is still good for a 40 time of around 4.40.
He is clearly still one of the fastest players in the NFL, and that is why Kelly brought him back.
5. Eagles 27th in the NFL in Red-Zone Scoring Percentage
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Sometimes, it seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. And with the Eagles that is certainly the case with their woeful defense.
Their red-zone struggles have also remained the same. Despite having the second-ranked offense, the Eagles score touchdowns only 45 percent of the time in the red zone, which is 27th in the NFL, according to TeamRankings.com.
This is especially surprising when we consider all the weapons Philadelphia has on offense. The Eagles have three talented tight ends in Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey, but the three have combined for only two touchdowns so far.
The Eagles must improve in the red zone this season. Their defense is too poor for the team to leave points on the field.
Follow Yueh Ho on Twitter @YuehHo.