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July 20, 2015

The 'Jason Babin Award' watch list: Which Eagles will likely come back to Earth in 2015?

Eagles NFL
072015ConnorBarwin Michael Perez/AP

Connor Barwin was a beast in 2014.

Every year, there seem to be a few players who over-perform statistically, and expectations for those players become somewhat unrealistic. Take Jason Babin, for example. In 2011, Babin had 18 sacks and three forced fumbles in Jim Washburn's garbage wide-nine defensive front. The following year, Babin was essentially kicked off the team with five games left in the season. So we'll call this the "Jason Babin Award" watch list. 

To note, it's not at all a bad thing to make this list. If you're on it, it means you had a hell of a 2014 season, which you're unlikely to repeat.

• DeMarco Murray: We all know Murray's story by now. Dallas ran the crap out of him last year, giving him 497 total touches and 2486 yards from scrimmage on the season (including the playoffs). They did so because they didn't have much else in the way of ball carriers. Murray won't come close to that kind of production in Philly, because the Eagles have far better complementary backs in Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.

• Connor Barwin: Barwin was an absolute beast in 2014, racking up career highs in tackles (64), sacks (14.5), and forced fumbles (2). He also batted down five passes, which was among the NFL's league leaders. More impressively, he did it from his 'Jack' position, which did not allow him to consistently pin his ears back and attack the quarterback. It is unlikely Barwin will get to the QB 15 times again in 2015.

• Vinny Curry: 80.9% of Curry's snaps came when opponents were passing last season, which means that he was used almost solely as a situational pass rusher. When the Eagles let him attack the QB, he more than produced. According to PFF, Curry rushed the passer 321 times in 2014, and he had nine sacks and four forced fumbles. Unless Curry's playing time increases, it is unrealistic to project those kinds of numbers again in 2015.

• Cody Parkey: In a season that earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl, Parkey hit 88.9% of his field goal attempts in 2014, including a perfect 4/4 from beyond 50. That will be difficult to equal.

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