Eagles 2016 Final Grades: The Morning After
For the last time during the 2016-17 season...
Good morning campers,
I hope everyone reading this has their best year yet in 2017, and above all else, it is a happy and healthy one for you and those you love and are close to. Nothing else matters. Nothing.
Ok, let's get to getting for one more time...
Yesterday's game meant absolutely nothing, of course—although it was nice to stroll down bad-decision-horrible-throw-lane with Mark Sanchez wasn't it? I know Jordan Hicks enjoyed the trip.
In this my final TMA of the year, I will most assuredly not even attempt to a recap of the "game," for who the hell would care and what in the world what I write about? I already touched on the Eagles highlight courtesy of Mr. Butt Fumble.
No, for my final TMA of the 2016-17 season, it's time to hand out some grades.
But, before I get to that, right before game time yesterday I texted a few folks - family and friends and asked them to sum up this Eagles season in 1-3 words.
"A hot mess." - Patrick Bowers
"Disappointing and maddening."
"Clueless owner." - Steve Ercolino
"Land of confusion."
"Definition of insanity." - Joe Vallee
"Not good enough." - Michael Olenski
"Better than Bradford." - Andrew Olenski
"Bronze standard franchise."
"Receivers: Apply within." - Tom Sylvester
"Why? Eagles! Why?" - Bob Austin
"Ten game ban." - Matt Grace
"Always next year."
"Excited. Befuddled. Disappointed." - Sue Heston
"Not very smart."
"Stupid play calling."
"Too much inexperience." - Brian Keal
And my 1-3 words to describe this season?
"Cornerbacks: Need two."
Making The Grade
Ok, it's time to hand out my final grades for the year. I'm breaking this down thusly:
-Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
-Overall Team Grade
Overall Defense: B
As a unit, they finished in the Top 15 in total points and yards allowed. Plus, they finished in the bottom five for least number of penalties assessed, unlike their offensive brethren, which I'll get to in a second.
Defensive Line: C
Brandon Graham grades out as an A all by himself but after him...it's not very pretty. Fletcher Cox, he of the mammoth contract simply did not do enough to warrant such a large pay day, nor did one Vincent Curry. As for the others, Bennie Logan, who is a FA and Connor Barwin, etc...don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Jordan Hicks continued to show improvement—and above else, he stayed healthy. The emergence of Nigel Bradham was a pleasant surprise and Mychal Kendricks? Well, see the aforementioned “door hitting you” comment above.
The ONLY reason I added the + to this F? Malcolm Jenkins.
Overall Offense: D
The ONLY two reasons I did not hand out an F to this unit? Carson Wentz and Darren Sproles. Spare me the "how great Zach Ertz is" crap. Let me see him play well and break tackles when the games matter. And the Eagles offense was the 8th most penalized offense in the entire NFL.
Some good. Some bad. That's how I saw Carson Wentz's season. But lest there be any doubt, I absolutely believe the Eagles have their franchise QB. But they better increase the talent level around him... and soon.
Offensive Line: D
The seemingly rapid improvement of Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a big reason this grade was not an F. He and Isaac Seumalo are cause for hope along the line going forward. And you damn well know a very large chunk of the offensive penalties were charged to the OL.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: D
Only Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Trey Burton kept this from being an F.
Special Teams: A
With guys like Bryan Braman, Chris Maragos and a strong coach in Dave Fipp, this was absolutely among the few bright spots this year, as was the strong, consistent kicking game from Caleb Sturgis and Donnie Jones.
Head Coach: Incomplete
Ok, maybe that's a very chicken-s%#t grade, but I cannot grade Dougie Fresh after only one year. Not with the crap roster he was handed by ol' Chipper and Howie. Next year is another story, however. Next year, DP, the gloves are off, and those wishy-washy answers in press conferences ain't gonna cut it. So gear up big boy, cause remember what NFL means for head coaches who don't win: Not For Long.
Assistant Coaches: C
Similar to Dougie Fresh, I can't grade OC Frank Reich with the drivel he was handed. Get him some talent to work with AND then let's see what he can do. As for DC Jim Schwartz, the heat is more on him than Reich or even Pederson. The defense started out very hot (as did the entire team) but for a while, the Eagles were either leading or in the top five in fewest points allowed per game. And then the hinges came off—literally.
Overall Team Grade: C
Perhaps you were expecting a lower grade? Well, to quote the late Dennis Green: “They are who we thought they were.”
The 3-0 start notwithstanding, who had this team winning, 10, 11 or more games before the year started? No one. That's who.
'Til next time.
As always, time's yours. Food's mine.
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