Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Eagles Got Snubbed, A Lot

Is it the number?
If my laundry wins on Sunday, they'll be a 10-win team and a division winner. They will likely have the second best offense in football, and for the last two-thirds of the year, the defense has been in the top third in points allowed.

And they have as many Pro Bowl selections -- two -- as the Bears team they rolled, the Cowboys team they should beat for the division, a Texans team that has been tanking for months and might be the worst team in football in the second half, a Steelers team that needs a major miracle for the 6th seed, the Chargers that are basically one step up from the Steelers, the fourth place in the division Rams that don't even interest their own fans, and the Bucs who have put their Firing Coach move on a countdown clock..

In other words, seven teams that aren't likely to go to the playoffs.

Now, I get that my laundry played a cupcake schedule -- that's what happens when you are in the NFC East and are coming of a 4-12 year -- and that this "story" isn't going to have a shelf life of more than 36 hours. I also get that the club is likely to have 3 to 4 more guys go later, as injuries and denials crop up, since being named to the game is a hell of a lot more fun than actually having to play in it.

But, um, people?

Evan Mathis might be, if you believe the metrics, the best interior lineman in football. (He's staying home while Jason Peters, still a good way off from his pre-injury best, is going. Yeesh.) Meanwhile, some guy from the Ravens, a team that can't run or protect the QB, is going. Two guys from the Saints, a team that can't pass block in road games, are going. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense.

DeSean Jackson has had his best year as a pro. He's got the full route tree now, he's been good in the red zone, and in the last month, he's opened up the running game even more, because teams are terrified of him in the backfield. His numbers are really good, and he's on pace to set a club record for receiving yards, all of it in games that mattered, very little of it in garbage time. He's staying home for the sideshow antics of Dez Bryant, the empty calories of Andre Johnson, and the slightly better than Jericho Cotchery-ness of Antonio Brown. That will teach you not to showboat this year, DJ. Or maybe having a single bad moment in the Vikings game just disqualifies guys now.

Nick Foles is a borderline MVP candidate at QB, with historic production in single game (Oakland, naturally) and season work (the ludicrous TD to INT ratio). He's staying home so that folks can stay on auto-pilot for Drew Brees, no better than average on the road, the worst year of Tom Brady's professional life, and the whatever comeback of Philip Rivers, which has been absolutely vital in driving a third-place finish and a Hail Mary shot at a #6 seed. At least in this one, we have the excuse of staying prejudiced against guys who didn't earn a starting job out of camp.

Punter Donnie Jones has been the team's best free agent acquisition, a veritable weapon in field position, and a 2-time special teams player of the week. He's staying home behind the guy from the Rams (as if kicking half of your games in a dome isn't a huge edge) and a guy I've never heard of from the Dolphins. Frankly, the fact that Miami has four guys going -- four! from a team with a really good shot at staying home for the playoffs -- in the post-Incognito Affair times is just blinkworthy.

Basically, the Eagles had five guys who really should go. In order, they were McCoy, Mathis, Jackson, Jones and Foles. Instead, they got two, one of them an attaboy for injury rehab.

As a side note: the Eagles should use this, in a big way, as motivation. That Dallas team is just as good as you, kids -- same number of Pro Bowl picks. You don't belong in the big dance, because you have no top tier talent. Well, nearly none. Feel free to use the Cleansing Power Of Hate on the rest of the league in the SNF game.

And when -- not if -- Chip Kelly is slighted for Coach of the Year honors, because he's not Belichick or Reid or a Harbaugh or Pete Carroll in Seattle or whoever backs in for the NFC North?

Well, think back to today's list, and ask how he won so many games without any more Pro Bowl talent than the Texans and Bucs. And the second-tier guys were mostly on the 4-12 team last year.

Or just throw up your hands at the idea that intellect and the NFL can ever co-exist...

1 comment:

Snd_dsgnr said...

To play devil's advocate for a moment, DeSean's numbers are pretty comparable to either Bryant or Brown. I don't know if any one of those three stood out enough to be called a snub. Foles was probably left off because he only really played 11 games prior to the voting. That level of production spread over a whole season and he probably would have been in.

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