Comparing the Eagles Offense: 2004 vs. 2010

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DeSean Jackson has just four catches for 38 yards from Kevin Kolb this season. The duo hopes to change that against a stingy Falcons defense.

DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin certainly beat out the top two of Terrell Owens and Todd Pinkston, but neither is as good as T.O. was in 2004. Do you take the best player or better depth? (Photo: Ryan Messick)

Wide Receiver

2004: Terrell Owens led the way with as good of a season as anyone has had under Andy Reid, catching 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 14 games.  Behind Owens, though, there was a dramatic drop off. Todd Pinkston caught 36 asses for 676 yards and 1 touchdown, while Freddie Mitchell had 22 receptions for 377 yards and 2 scores.  Greg Lewis was the number four, with 17 catches for 183 yards and no scores.  This was a top-heavy group with a player capable of taking over a game, but little depth.

2010: This is as deep of a wide receiving corps as the Eagles have had under Andy Reid and maybe the deepest in franchise history. DeSean Jackson is on pace for 51 catches, 1,016 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Jeremy Maclin is projected to catch 75 balls for 1,093 yards and 11 scores.  Maclin flies under the radar, but those numbers would be 2 catches, 107 yards and 3 touchdowns shy of Terrell Owens.  The key difference is that Maclin isn’t getting the defensive attention that T.O. received as the only outside target.  Jason Avant is on pace for 56 catches for 644 yards and a touchdown. Riley Cooper is projected to catch 7 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Edge: Too close to call.  It really comes down to whether you’d prefer one dominant target who is going to be the go-to player in the clutch or the depth that means anyone could step up at any time.  If you compare the top two targets in 2004 to 2010, you get 113 receptions for 1,876 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2004.  In 2010, the pace is 126 catches, 2,109 yards and 18 touchdowns.  When you add in the number three, it becomes an even bigger advantage for 2010: 135-2253-17 then and 182-2753-19.  Still, this has to be a push given that the current version doesn’t have a sure-fire go-to player if the game is on the line in the last few minutes.

Tight End

2004: L.J. Smith and Chad Lewis shared the duties.  Smith had 34 catches for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns, while Lewis caught 29 passes for 267 yards and 3 scores.

2010: Brent Celek, even in a down year statistically, is on pace for 40 catches, 456 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Clay Harbor has emerged as the number two, but is only on pace for 4 catches for 44 yards.

Edge: 2010.  Celek has played better of late and Harbor is likely to improve down the stretch.  Both Celek now and Smith in 2004 were prone to drops, but Celek is a more complete player as his blocking has improved. Celek also has more big play potential.

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Tags: Andy Reid Brad Childress Brian Westbrook DeSean Jackson Donovan McNabb Eagles Eagles Offense Jeremy Maclin LeSean McCoy Marty Mornhinweg Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles Terrell Owens

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  • JMP4222

    This article is misleading. Don’t start booking superbowl vacations yet. The 2010 offense is better than 2004, granted. However the 2010 defense is awful in comparison to a great JJ 2004 defense. Our 2010 Offense had better be able to put up 30+ points a game, because they (defense) are going to give up 29 points per game. I’ve been an eagles fan too long and know better than to get excited now. The 2010 offense must continue to move the ball and score with long drives that wear out defenses (and keep our terrible defense off the field), not rely on the big play game that was feast/famine under donovan, maintain a good run/pass ratio, and allow Vick to stay in the pocket to throw with protection yet exploit defenses with his natural scrambling ability.

    The 2010 defense, well….they have to do something, anything. Make a tackle, get to the QB, stop RB’s with consistency. They tend to play decent first half ball and then fall apart in the 2nd half. It is not a good defense though, too small upfront and at LB – Brandon Graham was not a great selection (should have gone for a higher end Safety) as Parker has outplayed him this season. To get to the Big Show, you need a complete team, not a flash in the pan offense and a mediocre at best defense. Look at the Patriots dismantling of the NYJets. Is there a better coached team in the league. And I hate the Patriots (but respect the spit out of them).

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  • Ryan Messick

    I’ll actually be writing soon about the defense. Things are very different in the NFL now than they were in the past, and what you need on defense is different as well, I believe. Stay tuned for that article…