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Roob's Observations: Exploring Howie Roseman's magical run


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Roob's Observations: Exploring Howie Roseman's magical run


If you need a quick break from celebrating the Phillies winning the National League pennant, if you’re already bored waiting for the World Series to start on Friday, if you’re exhausted from trying to climb up greased poles in South Philly, then we’ve got just the thing for you.

10 Obs! 

It’s our bye week edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Observations, and we’ve got some Howie, some Hank Baskett and one thing I’d like to see the offense start doing more of.

1. In the last 19 months, Howie Roseman has done this: Hired Nick Sirianni, got a 1st-round pick and a 3 for Carson Wentz, acquired an extra 1st-round pick from the Dolphins, drafted DeVonta Smith, Landon Dickerson, Milton Williams, Zech McPhearson and Kenny Gainwell, extended Jordan Mailata, Avonte Maddox, Dallas Goedert and Josh Sweat, traded Zach Ertz, acquired a potential top-5 pick from the Saints, signed Haason Reddick, James Bradberry and Kyzir White, drafted Jordan Davis and Cam Jurgens, traded for A.J. Brown, actually got picks for Jalen Reagor and (indirectly) J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, acquired Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and signed a freaking 22-year-old kicker who makes a game winner in his first NFL game. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few moves, but Roseman is working at genius level here. What’s truly brilliant is how all the moves tie together. He picks up an extra 6th-round pick here, turns it into a 5th-round pick there, trades it for a future 4th-round pick, then uses it as part of a bigger deal somewhere else. All these moves are intertwined and many of them trace their lineage to the Wentz trade and the Dolphins trade. The only thing that might keep Howie from picking up another Executive of the Year Award is Jets GM Joe Douglas, his former assistant.

2. The Eagles are not the first team in NFL history to go 6-0 despite scoring 35 or fewer second-half points. It just happened 92 years ago. In 1930, the Packers were 6-0 six games into the season despite only scoring 34 points after halftime. The 1922 Chicago Cardinals also did it. Thanks, Stathead.

3. The Eagles, Giants and Cowboys are 15-1 against teams other than each other. Their 17-3 overall mark is best ever by the top three teams in the NFC East. The previous high mark after seven weeks since the merger in 1970 came in 1979, when the Cowboys [6-1], Eagles [6-1] and Washington Football Team [5-2] were a combined 17-4. 

4. It’s been 57 years since the Steelers beat the Eagles in Philly. It was Oct. 24, 1965, and the Steelers won 20-14 at Franklin Field despite getting outgained by more than 250 yards (388-132).  That’s one of only two games in franchise history the Eagles have lost despite a 250-yard advantage. In 2006 they lost to Tampa 23-21 despite outgaining the Bucs 506-196. The Eagles have won nine straight home games against the Steelers. The winning QBs? Jack Concannon in 1966, Norm Snead in 1967, 1969 and 1970, Ron Jaworski in 1979, Jim McMahon in 1991, Bobby Hoying in 1997, Donovan McNabb in 2008 and Carson Wentz in 2016.

5. The last two receivers with 150 yards in a game for the Raiders are Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins.

6. It still blows my mind that nobody in NFL history has more 85-yard touchdown catches than Hank Baskett. Hank is one of five players with three (along with Hall of Famers Cliff Branch and Bob Hayes, Pennsauken’s John Taylor and Wesley Walker. The incredible thing is Baskett only had three other touchdowns. None over 10 yards.

7. On the one hand, if you have A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, you’re going to feed them. And the production of those three studs is one of the big reasons the Eagles are 6-0. But I still think they need to get some other guys involved. Miles Sanders has 11 catches but for just 42 yards. Quez Watkins has 88 yards but just 19 outside the Vikings game. Pascal hasn’t caught a pass in a month. Kenny Gainwell, solid in the passing game last year, has four catches for 21 yards. As dangerous as this offense has been, involving some of the other receivers would add a dimension of unpredictability, make the Eagles even tougher to defend and maybe even lead to some points after halftime. 

8. Every time Jalen Hurts scores a rushing touchdown, there’s a segment of Eagles fans that dismisses it. Like it’s not good enough because it wasn’t a passing touchdown. I will never understand this mentality. We have to put to rest the notion that a passing touchdown is somehow better than a rushing touchdown. Who cares how they score as long as they score? Hurts is virtually unstoppable at the goal-line. But when there have been opportunities in the passing game, he’s been fine there as well. Over the last two years, he’s got 17 passing TDs, 14 rushing TDs, one INT and one fumble in the red zone. That’s 31 TDs and two turnovers in the most important part of the field. Hurts has produced the 5th-most total touchdowns of any NFL quarterback this year – six passing, six rushing. Only Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow – all out of the AFC – have more. I think we’re just so used to seeing elite quarterbacks piling up huge passing numbers and we’re conditioned to evaluating QBs solely on passing numbers. But it's time to change that mentality. That’s an antiquated way of looking at QB play. When you think about it, who’s more dangerous? A quarterback who can hurt you one way at the goal-line or a quarterback who can hurt you two ways?

9. Maybe the most amazing stat from the first six games of the season is that 56.8 percent completion percentage by opposing quarterbacks. That’s not only second-best in the league (the Bengals are at 56.6 percent), it’s an 18.4 percent drop from last year’s league-worst 69.4 percent. 

10. I think one of the reasons guys like playing for Nick Sirianni so much is that he encourages them to be themselves and let their personalities show. As long as they’re putting in the work, he doesn’t care how they dress, how they express themselves, how they celebrate wins or what they do away from the NovaCare Complex. Jonathan Gannon was talking specifically about Chauncey Gardner-Johnson but he could have been talking about anybody when he said this: "He probably talks a little bit more than some other guys and he dances a little bit more than some other guys on the practice field, but this guy loves ball, he loves to prepare and he loves to play. He wants to wear his hair a certain way and dress a certain way and act a certain way? That’s cool. Does he love ball? Yeah. Love him. Bring him in.” 


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