Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Eagles-Panthers: Five Numbers I Hope to See in the Box Score Around Midnight

Last week we hit on three of these numbers as the Eagles evened their road record to 2-2 down in Houston.

Tonight, Mark Sanchez will try to channel his inner Jeff Garcia, as the Eagles aim to improve their home record to 5-0 against the somewhat struggling Carolina Panthers. In fact, prefacing ‘somewhat’ before the word struggling might be a bit generous here.

The Panthers have not won since October 5 and have averaged 12 points in their past three contests, all losses. Let’s hit the five numbers I believe could push the Panthers losing streak to four and the Eagles to a 7-2 record:

  1. Cam Newton completing less than 60 percent of his passes — The Panthers are 1-1-1 and averaging 26.7 points per game when their quarterback completes more than 60 percent of his passes this season. They are 1-4 in games where he does not. In a Monday Night game at the Linc back in 2012, Newton carved the Eagles mess of a secondary up, completing 64 percent of his passes. Hold him below the 60 benchmark tonight, and the Eagles should be in good shape.
  2. Less than 70 receiving yards for Kelvin Benjamin — The Panthers rookie receiver is an absolute stud. He was my favorite receiver in a stacked draft class, and despite guarantees by some doubters that he would be a bust, Benjamin’s rookie year has been very solid so far. I hate that I have to root against him, but he’s the one player on the Panthers offense who scares me. The Eagles secondary has surprised before against big receivers (think back to them holding Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey in check last season). Hopefully they can do it again.
  3. At least six receptions by Jordan Matthews — Sanchez loved throwing to the rookie receiver in the preseason and looked his way on his third pass last Sunday for a nice touchdown down the seam. Matthews has had an up and down rookie season but put in some good work with the Eagles then backup quarterback over the summer and has a chance to make it count here.
  4. LeSean McCoy averaging more than four yards per carry — After a super slow start to the season that had half of Philadelphia going off the deep end, the Eagles Pro Bowl running back seems to be finding his groove. He quietly entered Week 10 fourth in the league in rushing and has averaged 5.2 yards per carry over his last three games, twice going over the century mark. The Eagles are 3-1 this season when the focal point of their offense averages more than four yards per rush and 10-5 going back to the start of the 2013 season. Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 7.37.54 PM
  5. Less than two turnovers for the Eagles offense — I am budgeting at least one interception for Sanchez, because well, that’s what Sanchez does. Going back to his 2012 Jets days, he has thrown at least one interception in five of his last six starts. At some point, turnovers could easily catch up to this team, so taking care of the football in terms of fumbles and not adding to the total that Sanchez is likely to start will be key. The next turnover free game the Eagles play will be their first of the season. That might be a lot to ask for tonight, but keeping the number to one should give them a decent chance to win the game.

There we go. 60, 70, six, four, two, and the Eagles hopefully standing at 6-2 at midnight Monday night.

Fist pump away, Chip.

Fist Pump GIF

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Cody Parkey Kickoff Tracker and Contest: Monday Night Panthers Edition

Happy Monday morning, folks.

It’s a good Monday because in about 12 hours, the Eagles are on Monday Night football against a somewhat struggling Carolina Panthers team. Mark Sanchez will be tasked with trying to pull a Jeff Garcia almost eight years later.

I am not sure how I feel about that, but I feel good should the game rest on Cody Parkey’s leg — as the Eagles other appearance on Monday Night did this season. Back in Week 2 against the Colts, Parkey endured his only miss of the season but got redemption with a game-winning 36-yard field goal at the final horn as Nicky Foles out dueled Andrew Luck in the fourth quarter.

Enough reminiscing for now though, you know why we’re here.

Tweet at me (@drewBbalis) before kickoff tonight guessing the number of touchbacks Parkey has AND the Panthers average starting field position on his kickoffs (far right column of the chart — sans brackets)

I have sat out the contest over the past couple of weeks giving folks a chance to catch up to me, but my guess tonight will be 4 and 19. 

Do the damn thing, dawgies. Claude Giroux is a friend of Cody Parkey. He would want you to play our contest, and you don’t want to disappoint your captain, do you? I didn’t think so.

Your leaderboard, stats, and chart which will be updated throughout the game is below:

Updated Contest Leaderboard: 

Drew Balis — Four points

Gavin Steinhubl — Three points

Cory Sprankle — Two points

Evan Kalikow — One point

Nick Rapak — One point

Stats

  • 48 kickoffs in eight games
  • 45 of those kickoffs in the end zone
  • 30 of those kickoffs for touchbacks
  • Average opponent starting field position of 20.16
Game # Opponent Kickoff Number End zone Touchback Starting Field Position  Average Starting Field Position 
1 Jaguars 1 Yes Yes 20 20
1 Jaguars 2 Yes No 13 16.5
1 Jaguars 3 Yes Yes 20 17.67
1 Jaguars 4 Yes Yes 20 18.25
1 Jaguars 5 Yes Yes 20 18.6
1 Jaguars 6 Yes Yes 20 18.83
1 Jaguars 7 Yes No 13 18
2 Colts 1 Yes Yes 20 [18.25], 20
2 Colts 2 No No 27 [19.2] 23.5
2 Colts 3 Yes No 27 [20] 24.67
2 Colts 4 Yes Yes 20 [20] 23.5
2 Colts 5 Yes Yes 20 [20] 22.8
2 Colts 6 Yes Yes 20 [20] 22.33
3 Redskins 1 Yes No 18 [19.86] 18
3 Redskins 2 Yes No 13 [19.4] 15.5
3 Redskins 3 Yes Yes 20 [19.43] 17
3 Redskins 4 No No 41 [20.71] 23
3 Redskins 5 Yes Yes 20 [20.67] 22.4
3 Redskins 6 Yes Yes 20 [20.63] 22
3 Redskins 7 Yes Yes 20 [20.6] 21.71
3 Redskins 8 Yes Yes 20 [20.57] 21.5
4 49ers 1 Yes No 20 [20.55] 20
4 49ers 2 No No 22 [20.61] 21
4 49ers 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.58] 20.67
4 49ers 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.56] 20.5
5 Rams 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.54] 20
5 Rams 2 Yes No 26 [20.74] 23
5 Rams 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.71] 22
5 Rams 4 Yes No 24 [20.83] 22.5
5 Rams 5 Yes No 18 [20.73] 21.6
5 Rams 6 Yes No 21 [20.74] 21.5
5 Rams 7 Yes No 21 [20.75} 21.43
6 Giants 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.73] 20
6 Giants 2 Yes Yes 20 [20.71] 20
6 Giants 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.69] 20
6 Giants 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.67] 20
6 Giants 5 Yes No 24 [20.76] 20.8
6 Giants 6 Yes No 24 [20.84] 21.33
7 Cardinals 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.82] 20
7 Cardinals 2 Yes Yes 20 [20.80] 20
7 Cardinals 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.78] 20
7 Cardinals 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.76] 20
7 Cardinals 5 Yes Yes 20 [20.74] 20
8 Texans 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.72] 20
8 Texans 2 Yes No 8 [20.44] 14
8 Texans 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.43] 16
8 Texans 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.42] 17
8 Texans 5 Yes No 6 [20.16] 14.8
9 Panthers 1 No No 19 [20.13] 19
9 Panthers 2 Yes No 31 [20.36] 25
9 Panthers 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.35] 23.33
9 Panthers 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.34] 22.5
9 Panthers 5 Yes Yes 20 [20.33] 22
9 Panthers 6 Yes Yes 20 [20.33] 21.67
9 Panthers 7 Yes Yes 20 [20.32] 21.43
9 Panthers 8 Yes No 37 [20.61] 23.38

Sole Possession of First Place Haiku

I thought it would be difficult to get weirder than Eagles-Cardinals last Sunday, but this came real close between the injuries, interceptions, and penalties.

Thankfully this game had a different end result. The Eagles are back in the win column and once again have sole possession of first place in the NFC East. It may have come with a price though — a price that cannot yet be measured.

A determination will not be made there until we hear about Nicky Foles and the extent of his shoulder injury. A lot of Foles haters wanted to see Mark Sanchez play. The results were uneven with a few beautiful throws and some inexplicable ones. Sound familiar?

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 4.02.20 PM

Sanchez looked pretty incompetent at times, but he won, and made a big throw in the fourth quarter to do it (bless you Jeremy Maclin). I give Foles credit for doing those things, so I have to extend the same sentiment toward Sanchez.

Still, some of the bad was really bad, and I wouldn’t be too comfortable with Sanchez having to quarterback this team for an extended period of time.

Thankfully either quarterback will have the services of Darren Sproles, Jason Kelce, and Evan Mathis, but the defense may have lost its leader in DeMeco Ryans on a fluke play that had me flashing back to NaVorro Bowman in the NFC Championship game last season.

They survived no Kendricks for a few weeks, but depth at inside linebacker is one of the biggest issues on this team and has been for some time.

The win feels good, but this will be a few days filled with uncertainty as a Monday Night date with the Panthers looms. Let’s try to enjoy being in first place again and hit the haiku as we hold our breath for injury updates:

Awful injuries

But Maclin ain’t one of them

Get well soon Nicky

Five Numbers I Would Like to See in the Box Score when Eagles-Texans Concludes

This post is back after a hiatus last Sunday because tailgating, State College, Megabus, etc.

Now we’re back though, and it returns at an interesting time, because from a personal standpoint, it is going to be rather weird to have to root against Bill O’Brien for three plus hours today. It is still sometimes surreal to me that a guy who I once sat 10 feet away from asking questions at Penn State is now running an NFL franchise. I have followed his first season with the Texans closely, but I’ll get past it for the Eagles today obviously.

It always feels like the following Sunday takes forever to arrive after a tough Eagles loss, but this week felt incredibly long. Thankfully, we made it and are only two hours away now. Provided they don’t beat themselves, the Eagles are a better team than the 4-4 Texans and should have a great opportunity to improve to 6-2 today down in Houston.

Let’s hit the numbers that I believe could key a birds road victory:

  1. 99 or fewer rushing yards from Arian Foster — The Texans star running back has been tearing it up with four consecutive games of 100+ yards and six total on the young season. Frank Gore is the only opposing running back to hit the century mark against a solid birds run defense this season. Something has to give here between two strengths, and stopping Foster from going crazy will go a long way towards keeping the Eagles defense off the field and putting more pressure on Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  2. Seven points on the first drive of the third quarter — If Bill O’Brien had a gameday weakness at Penn State, it might have been third quarter struggles in big games, especially during the 2012 season. His offenses would occasionally go stagnant or commit a bad turnover, and generally stout defenses would suffer a breakdown. Ideally the Eagles go into halftime with a lead, and increase it right away as the second half begins.
  3. Less than two sacks for J.J. Watt — I am putting Watt down for at least one sack today. The idea is that its an isolated play that doesn’t result in further damage. Todd Herremans is essentially playing with one arm, and the Eagles are still without left guard Evan Mathis for another week. The return of Jason Kelce should help LeSean McCoy and the running game, but Watt making life miserable for Nicky Foles is the one thing that could really swing this thing in the Texans favor.
  4. At least 90 yards for Jeremy Maclin — He has become incredibly fun to root for coming back from a second torn ACL. Do the damn thing, Jeremy.
  5. One interception by an Eagles cornerback — It hasn’t happened since the playoff game against the Saints last year and needs to happen. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown seven picks in eight games so far. Let’s end this streak today.

There you have it. 99, seven, two, 90, one, and hopefully a nice road victory with a good chance to take over sole possession of first place once again.

Cody Parkey Kickoff Tracker and Contest: Week 9 Texans Edition

Happy Sunday morning, folks. Your favorite game is back.

You know what to do:

Tweet at me (@drewBbalis) before kickoff today guessing the number of touchbacks Parkey has AND the Texans average starting field position on his kickoffs (far right column of the chart — sans brackets). 

Game # Opponent Kickoff Number End zone Touchback Starting Field Position  Average Starting Field Position 
1 Jaguars 1 Yes Yes 20 20
1 Jaguars 2 Yes No 13 16.5
1 Jaguars 3 Yes Yes 20 17.67
1 Jaguars 4 Yes Yes 20 18.25
1 Jaguars 5 Yes Yes 20 18.6
1 Jaguars 6 Yes Yes 20 18.83
1 Jaguars 7 Yes No 13 18
2 Colts 1 Yes Yes 20 [18.25], 20
2 Colts 2 No No 27 [19.2] 23.5
2 Colts 3 Yes No 27 [20] 24.67
2 Colts 4 Yes Yes 20 [20] 23.5
2 Colts 5 Yes Yes 20 [20] 22.8
2 Colts 6 Yes Yes 20 [20] 22.33
3 Redskins 1 Yes No 18 [19.86] 18
3 Redskins 2 Yes No 13 [19.4] 15.5
3 Redskins 3 Yes Yes 20 [19.43] 17
3 Redskins 4 No No 41 [20.71] 23
3 Redskins 5 Yes Yes 20 [20.67] 22.4
3 Redskins 6 Yes Yes 20 [20.63] 22
3 Redskins 7 Yes Yes 20 [20.6] 21.71
3 Redskins 8 Yes Yes 20 [20.57] 21.5
4 49ers 1 Yes No 20 [20.55] 20
4 49ers 2 No No 22 [20.61] 21
4 49ers 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.58] 20.67
4 49ers 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.56] 20.5
5 Rams 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.54] 20
5 Rams 2 Yes No 26 [20.74] 23
5 Rams 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.71] 22
5 Rams 4 Yes No 24 [20.83] 22.5
5 Rams 5 Yes No 18 [20.73] 21.6
5 Rams 6 Yes No 21 [20.74] 21.5
5 Rams 7 Yes No 21 [20.75} 21.43
6 Giants 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.73] 20
6 Giants 2 Yes Yes 20 [20.71] 20
6 Giants 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.69] 20
6 Giants 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.67] 20
6 Giants 5 Yes No 24 [20.76] 20.8
6 Giants 6 Yes No 24 [20.84] 21.33
7 Cardinals 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.82] 20
7 Cardinals 2 Yes Yes 20 [20.80] 20
7 Cardinals 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.78] 20
7 Cardinals 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.76] 20
7 Cardinals 5 Yes Yes 20 [20.74] 20
8 Texans 1 Yes Yes 20 [20.72] 20
8 Texans 2 Yes No 8 [20.44] 14
8 Texans 3 Yes Yes 20 [20.43] 16
8 Texans 4 Yes Yes 20 [20.42] 17
8 Texans 5 Yes No 6 [20.16] 14.8


Parkey has been absolutely crushing it as of late with 23 consecutive kickoffs that have landed in the end zone going back to the 49ers game.

Stats

  • 43 kickoffs in seven games
  • 40 of those kickoffs in the end zone
  • 27 of those kickoffs for touchbacks
  • Average opponent starting field position of 20.74

Updated Contest Leaderboard: 

Drew Balis — Four points

Gavin Steinhubl — Three points

Cory Sprankle — Two points

Evan Kalikow — One point

Nick Rapak — One point

Your chart will of course be updated throughout the afternoon. Seriously, someone take the leads over me. I don’t want to win my own game.

Eagles Bye Week Haiku

For the first time since Labor Day Weekend, we have a Sunday (or Monday) sans Eagles football.

As I wrote last week after the birds shutout the Gants on Sunday night, this is a great time for the bye week from an injury standpoint, but emotionally it’s a bit of a drag because this team has been really fun to watch and were really clicking last week.

In 2013, the Eagles bye fell after Week 10 and put them in a position to be fresh for December. It obviously arrives earlier this year, but with Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, Darren Sproles, and Mychal Kendricks all trying to make their way back, a Week 7 vacation isn’t so bad.

The Eagles come out of the bye with road contests at 4-1 Arizona and 3-3 Houston. If they can split those two contests and be 6-2 through eight games, I’d be more than content. That is exactly where I thought they would be before the season.

Unfortunately University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale has not been kind to the Eagles. They were blown out 27-6 in a Week 3 contest back in 2012, and I still have nightmares of Larry Fitzgerald running wild through the Eagles secondary during the first half of the 2009 NFC Championship Game.

The Eagles enacted a little revenge last season with a 24-21 victory at Lincoln Financial Field, helping to eventually keep the surprising Cardinals out of the playoffs, but next week will be one of their toughest games.

We can worry about that tomorrow though. The Eagles are 5-1, so let’s enjoy the somewhat early bye week, root against the Cowboys, and of course, hit the haiku.

Time to get healthy 

Demons await in Zona 

Go Giants today

The Eagles are a Giants Loss Away from Sole Possession of First Place in the NFC East

Just the way we drew it up, eh?

The Eagles were not great yesterday afternoon, but they might as well have been the 1972 Dolphins when you stack them up against the rest of the division.

The Redskins could only muster six points against a Texans team that had not won since September 15, 2013. Tony Romo was back in style, tossing three interceptions in a 28-17 home loss to the 49ers that saw much of Jerry World booing.

I believe the Giants are slightly better than people think and don’t exactly trust the Lions, but Detroit has won its last three season openers while the Giants have dropped their last three.

The two teams go at it in Game 1 of the Monday Night doubleheader, which means the Eagles could be alone in first place before midnight.

There is some precedent with this as it relates to the Eagles. Back in 2006, they were 1-0 following Week 1 while the other three teams in the division were all 0-1. The birds went on to go 10-6 that year and take the division.

Noticing some potential parallels?

The Eagles were far from perfect in their victory over the Jaguars, but akin to what we anticipated, they might be the best team in a weak division by default.