November 17, 2015
Back in September, we pointed out that because of the fast-paced offense the Eagles run, their statistics are often skewed, both offensively and defensively. For example, in 2014, the Eagles were third in points per game and fifth in points per game. However, they were only 13th in points per drive, and 14th in yards per drive.
In other words, they scored a lot of points because they had more drives than the typical NFL team.
Conversely, in 2014, the defense was 22nd in points per game, and 28th in yards per game. However, they had the misfortune of facing more drives by the opposing offense than the typical NFL team. In terms of per drive stats, the D was 15th in points per drive, and 7th in yards per drive. By that measure, the defense outperformed the offense in 2014.
It turns out that the Eagles measure themselves against the rest of the league in terms of points per drive as well. Bill Davis was asked if he has a number of points per game the defense sets as a goal.
"We'd like to be No. 1 in points per drive at the end of the season," said Davis. And then that really comes down to somewhere around 15 points (per game)."
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur agreed. "It's not about plays, it's not about yards, it's about points," said Shurmur. "And if you want to break it down by drive, there are about 11.6 drives per game when you look at the average around the league. You want to make the most of all your opportunities. You certainly want to score a touchdown every time, and so that's a good way to look at it.
"(We want to be) the best in the league."
Football Outsiders posts NFL "per drive" stats every week, although they have not yet updated them after Week 10 (We'll update this post when they do). But here is where the Eagles ranked in per drive stats heading into the Dolphins game. I'll be kind and say the defense is much closer to be the best in the league than the offense.
|Stat||Offense rank||Defense rank|
|Points per dive||20||8|
|Yards per drive||25||10|
|Turnovers per drive||25||1|
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