Comparing the Eagles Offense: 2004 vs. 2010

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Michael Vick

Michael Vick gets the slight nod at quarterback over the 2004 version of Donovan McNabb, but can he keep up the hot pace? (Photo: Ryan Messick)

The Eagles 2010 offense is putting up some big numbers and drawing comparisons to the 2004 version that made it all the way to the Super Bowl before losing to the Patriots.  Here’s a position-by-position comparison between 2004 and 2010’s offenses. Take a look and place your own vote on the poll on the last page.

Quarterback

2004: Donovan McNabb – During the Super Bowl season, McNabb ahd one of his best years as an Eagle, racking up 3,875 yards while throwing 31 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. McNabb completed 64 percent of his passes for a 104.7 rating and ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns.  McNabb played 15 games, as the Birds didn’t have anything at stake in Week 17. Number five’s per game averages were: 20-31 for 258 yards, 2.06 touchdowns and .53 interceptions.

2010: Michael Vick – His projections are impressive, as Vick is on pace for 2,991 yards, 20 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions.  Vick is connecting on 64 percent of his passes and has a rating of 105.7.  He’s also on pace to run for 622 yards and 8 scores.  He’s on pace to start and finish just 11 games, making the per-game averages important in the comparison.  If you combine the season opener, in which Vick played the second half and the first Redskins game, in which he left during the first half with an injury, you get the following averages: 21-34 for 280 yards, 1.88 touchdowns and .25 interceptions.

Edge: The way Vick is playing, you have to give him the slight advantage.  His lack of interceptions has been one of the most impressive parts of his game, and he’s using his legs more effectively than McNabb did in 2004.  Vick also has guided the Eagles to a 42 percent conversion rate on third downs – 5 points better than the 37 percent Philadelphia converted in 2004.  The big question, though, is whether Vick can keep it up.  He’s taking a pounding and hasn’t played football day-in and day-out as a starter since 2006.

Brian Westbrook hadn't yet hit his prime in 2004, while LeSean McCoy is currently putting together a breakout season. (Image Credit: Yardbarker.com)

Running Back

2004: Brian Westbrook – Westbrook was just 25 in 2004, about two seasons short of hitting his highest numbers.  Westbrook ran for 812 yards and 3 touchdowns on 177 carries while catching 73 passes for 703 yards and 6 scores. He played in 13 games, missing some time with injuries.  His backup was Dorsey Levens, who ran for 410 yards and 4 touchdowns.

2010: LeSean McCoy – The 22-year-old is on pace for 224 carries, 1,097 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground.  He’s projected to catch 89 passes for 712 yards and 3 scores.  He also hasn’t missed any games due to injury, having played through numerous ailments including fractured ribs.  This is one of the more surprising decisions in the analysis, but McCoy is putting up better numbers than Westbrook did in 2004.  McCoy is on pace for a season that rivals Westbrook’s 2006 and 2007 campaigns.  His backup, Jerome Harrison, hasn’t played much as an Eagle with 15 carries for 137 yards through five games.

Edge: It’s controversial, but McCoy in 2010 is better than Westbrook in 2004 – the numbers show it.  McCoy isn’t quite to the level of Westbrook would hit a couple of years after the Super Bowl, but he’s better than Westbrook was during the Super Bowl year.

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