June 28, 2020
In three out of the last four years, despite compiling a cumulative record of 38-26, the Philadelphia Eagles have spent more than 50 percent of their season behind on the scoreboard, and less than 35 percent of the season leading their opponents.
Hayden Winks of Rotoworld posted the following graph, showing how often teams were leading or trailing when they had the ball. The Eagles ranked 18th in offensive snaps with a lead, and 20th in offensive snaps with a deficit.
How often each offense was leading and trailing: pic.twitter.com/7VsWkGiiwF— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) June 27, 2020
I reached out to Winks, and asked if he had data for seasons other than just 2019, and he was kind enough to pass it along. From the Doug Pederson / Carson Wentz era:
|Year||Offensive snaps||Snaps leading (%)||Snaps trailing (%)||Snaps tied (%)|
|2016||1017||352 (34.6%)||532 (52.3%)||136 (13.4%)|
|2017||984||497 (50.5%)||285 (29.0%)||205 (20.8%)|
|2018||967||307 (31.7%)||504 (52.1%)||159 (16.4%)|
|2019||1022||336 (32.9%)||519 (50.8%)||170 (16.6%)|
The numbers in 2016 and 2017 aren't surprising, as the Eagles went 7-9 in 2016, and obviously they wrecked opponents all season long in 2017. However, you won't often make the playoffs when you trail as much as the Eagles did in 2018 and 2019.
One of the continuing narratives of the 2018 season was the Eagles' anemic first quarter offense. Much of the heat from the Eagles' inability to start fast fell on the shoulders of Mike Groh, who was in his first year as the team's offensive coordinator, after Frank Reich left to become the Colts' head coach. A comparison of first quarter scoring from 2017 to 2018, to 2019: