Eagles listed as second-most complete team in NFL postseason by Pro Football Focus
From top to bottom, the Philadelphia Eagles are one the most talented and deepest rosters vying for a Super Bowl ring in this year’s postseason bracket.
You’d be hard pressed to find one glaring flaw with this team. Of course, key injuries to RT Lane Johnson and nickel corner Avonte Maddox have weakened the overall roster a bit. But if all goes according to plan, the Eagles should be close to fully healthy when they take the field again in the divisional round.
Ahead of wildcard weekend, Pro Football Focus ranked the most complete rosters heading into the postseason. At No. 1, they had San Francisco, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. They’ve become the NFC favorite in the wake of Philadelphia’s recent slump. Right behind them, though, come the Eagles as the second-most complete team in postseason play.
PFF on why the Eagles have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL
Biggest strengths: Offensive line, coverage and pass rush
The Eagles managed to post league-best marks in each of these categories. PFF’s top-ranked offensive line is expected to get stud RT Lane Johnson (abdominal) back for the playoffs, while there isn’t a more complete pass defense out there, thanks to the team’s dominance both in coverage and at the line of scrimmage. Only the 49ers (+173) and Bills (+169) had a higher point differential than the Eagles (+133) this season — this team is rather loaded from top to bottom.
Biggest weakness: Run defense
Part of the problem here has been first-round DT Jordan Davis missing time and not exactly taking over games when healthy enough to suit up. Midseason reinforcements in Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh have helped, but at the end of the day, Philly still ranks just 28th in EPA allowed per run play.
The defense has allowed at least 99 rushing yards in all but one of their last 13 games; good thing the offense is usually dominant enough to build the sort of positive game script that typically dissuades opponents from attempting to overly establish the run.
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For essentially the entire season, the only real question mark surrounding the Eagles has been their ability to stop the run. It’s gotten a little better over the latter half of the year, but not by much.
They finished the year 16th in run defense, allowing 121.6 yards per game and 4.6 yards per attempt. It doesn’t get much better when you look at the Eagles DVOA, where they rank 21st in terms of run defense.
Nevertheless, the Eagles are well equipped to combat this weakness with their high-flying offensive attack, as PFF points out.
We’ve seen multiple teams take the pound the rock and control the clock approach against Philly this season. It hasn’t worked every time – only two teams managed to beat the Eagles with this game plan (Washington and New Orleans). But it’s pretty obvious that this is the “blueprint” to beat this team.
Regardless, if that’s their lone weakness the Eagles are still in great shape. They can apply pressure at a rapid pace, stop the pass effectively, and put up points at will when they’re clicking offensively.
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Mandatory Credit: The Athletic