What Would Buddy Do?
How has Eagles D remained in upper half of rankings? It hasn’t.
Posted on November 18th, 2007 at 10:27 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

go get em fellasAs with most things in life, it really depends on how you keep score.

A piece in yesterday’s Inquirer marvelled at how the Eagles’ defense has managed to remain in the “top half” of the league defensive standings despite its, um, rather uninspired play of late. It’s a nice piece, one that’s meant to find a silver lining in the lame efforts of recent weeks and to remind Eagles fans that maybe the defense isn’t so bad after all.

Unfortunately, that remark about the “top half” doesn’t really tell the whole story:

1. We assume that the stats in question are the overall yardage stats that they keep on NFL.com. Cool. If so, then the Eagles are 14th (out of 32). That counts as top half, but not by much.

2. As the good folks at FootballOutsiders are fond of explaining, total yardage stats don’t tell the whole story. Hence their whole DVOA thing. We also believe in DVOA. And if you check the DVOA rankings, the Eagles are 22nd in total defense — 23rd against the pass, 18th against the run. Not quite as rosy, but certainly more in line with what we’ve all absorbed from watching the team.

3. As an aside, it’s also worth noting that the Eagles are fifth in offensive DVOA this year. Let’s just reflect on that a moment before we demand wholesale changes at certain important offensive positions.

3a. The special teams have looked crappy all year, but they’re actually no worse than the defense (both 22nd).  I don’t know if that’s good or bad.  (I would say bad.) 

So, in summary, I just complained that the local blathermonkeys were actually being slightly too positive about certain aspects of the team (though slightly too negative about others). WHO’S THE NEGADELPHIAN NOW??????

Eagles’ defense is weathering the storm [Inquirer]

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