Jun 17, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) walks off the field at the conclusion of practice at mini camp at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

How Much Better Will the Philadelphia Eagles Secondary Be In 2014?


Last week we found out that Philadelphia Eagles fans who frequent Inside The Iggles believe that rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews will become the next great offensive playmaker in 2014 (outside of Lesean McCoy and Nick Foles). This is interesting because Jeremy Maclin will be returning to a starting role this season and he has a ton of experience. On the other hand, Matthews appears to be a player who is proficient in all aspects of the receiver position–to go along with his big body, soft hands, and respectable speed.

With over 450 votes, Jordan Matthews received 40% to Maclin’s 22%. We will all just have to wait and see if Matthews makes the leap in his first year, while most receivers take three years to break out.

This week the focus will be on defense. In 2013 the Eagles gave up a whole lot of yards to opposing offenses. However they were middle-of-the-road in points per game and total points (aka at least their red zone defense was commendable). The Eagles were also 10th-best against the rush during the 2013 regular season (not so much in the playoff-loss to the New Orleans Saints).

Some stats about the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013:

Point differential (points scored:points allowed) was 60 (5th-best in NFC and 9th-best in NFL).(1)

13th-hardest schedule in NFC, 27th-hardest in NFL.(1)

8th-best in points scored by opposition in NFC, 17th-best in NFL.(1)

29th in yards allowed in 2013 with 6,304 yards.(2)

32nd in pass yards allowed per game in 2013 with 289.8 yards.(2)

17th in points per game in 2013 with 23.9 points.(2)

15th in total points allowed in a season for 2013 with 382 points.(3)

Tied with Minnesota at 31st in first downs allowed per game with 23 first downs.(3)

 

The secondary was the weak-link in 2013 and the Eagles were sure to address those positions in free agency as well as the 2014 draft. With veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins signed in free agency, healthy safeties in Nate Allen and Earl Wolff, and cornerback Nolan Carroll (also signed in free agency) the Eagles believe they have a way to reduce the amount of pass yards allowed per game.

With a difficult schedule in 2014, how much better will the Eagles secondary be compared to their league-worst 289.8 yards per game last year?

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Sources:

1. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2013/

2. http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/total/sort/netTotalYards/position/defense

3. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/stats/teamsort/nfl/year-2013-season-regular-category-total-type-defense

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Tags: Earl Wolff Malcolm Jenkins Nate Allen Nolan Carroll Philadelphia Eagles