The Philadelphia Eagles' offense turned in an impressive performance this season.
Under the guidance of first-year head coach Chip Kelly and new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, the unit set franchise records for total points (442), total net yards (6,676), offensive touchdowns (51) and total passing yards (4,406) during the regular season, while also boasting the NFL's top rushing attack with 160.4 yards per game.
They scored 20 or more points in 13 of 16 regular-season games, then topped that mark again in a 26-24 loss to New Orleans in last Saturday's playoff game. That was quite a turnaround from a year ago, when they hit that mark seven times.
Part of the offensive success this season was due to the Eagles' ability to avoid mistakes. After coughing up 37 turnovers in 2012, they had a franchise-low 19 giveaways this season. Quarterback Nick Foles had just two interceptions compared to 27 touchdown passes. Running back LeSean McCoy had one fumble in 314 rushing attempts.
A lack of injuries helped. They got hit hard in the preseason, losing wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn with knee injuries, but stayed relatively healthy during the regular season and the playoffs. Quarterback Michael Vick (strained hamstring) was the only offensive starter to miss more than one game.
Vick's injury allowed Foles the opportunity to prove he could be a starter in the NFL.
He took full advantage of it, enjoying one of the best seasons for a quarterback in league history. Foles completed 203 of 317 passes during the regular season for 2,891 yards with 27 TD passes and two interceptions. He registered a 119.2 passer rating, the third-best in league history and his 0.63 touchdown/interception percentage was the third-lowest.
On Nov. 3, he tied the league record by throwing seven TD passes at Oakland. His jersey, cleats and a football from the game were shipped to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Vick was supposed to be the hero this season. He beat out Foles for the starting job during the preseason before suffering his strained hamstring in the fifth game doomed him to backup status for all but one game the rest of the year. Rookie Matt Barkley struggled in his limited playing time, throwing three interceptions in one quarter against Dallas and another against the New York Giants.
Despite Foles' impressive efforts, Kelly stopped short of declaring him the team's franchise quarterback and only said he would open training camp next season as the starter. Vick will be an unrestricted free agent and is looking for a job with another team as a starter. If none materialize, he could return to the Eagles as a backup.
McCoy made the Pro Bowl for the second time in three seasons by posting the best season for a running back in franchise history.
McCoy rushed for 1,607 yards, breaking the team record of 1,512 set by Wilbert Montgomery in 1979, and became the first Eagle to win the NFL rushing title since Steve Van Buren in 1949. His 217-yard game in a snowstorm against Detroit broke the team record for rushing yards in a game set by Van Buren in 1949, which prompted the Hall of Fame to also request some souveniers. McCoy was also the team's second-leading receiver with 52 receptions and scored a team-best 11 touchdowns. His 2,146 total yards from scrimmage were also a team record.
Second-year running backs Bryce Brown and Chris Polk provided solid depth. Brown ran for 314 yards and two touchdowns and had eight receptions for 84 yards. His best game came against Chicago, when he rushed for 115 yards. Polk, who missed most of last season with a sprained foot, added 98 yards and three TDs on 11 carries and four catches for 61 yards.
That contingent should be back next season.
Wide receiver/tight end
DeSean Jackson enjoyed the most productive season of his six-year career. He led the team with career highs in receptions (82), receiving yards (1,339), receiving TDs (nine) and 100-yard receiving games (five). He fell just short of the franchise record for receiving yards in a season (1,409) set by Mike Quick in 1983.
Jackson had plenty of help. When Maclin was hurt, Riley Cooper stepped up in a big way. He formed a strong rapport with Foles, catching 47 passes for 835 yards and eight TDs and registered three 100-yard games. Always-reliable Jason Avant caught 38 passes for 447 yards and two TDs.
At tight end, Brent Celek and rookie Zach Ertz formed a powerful tandem. Celek had 32 receptions for 502 yards and six TDs. Ertz, a second-round pick out of Stanford, snared 36 passes for 469 yards and four TDs.
This group faces an uncertain future. Cooper and Maclin are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. Cooper caught a lot of criticism when a video surfaced showing Cooper shouting a racist slur while attending a Kenny Chesney concert. Maclin's knee problems make him a risk. And Jackson has decided to ask for a contract extension.
They bounced back this season in a big way.
All five starters - tackles Jason Peters and rookie Lane Johnson, guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans, and center Jason Kelce - started all 16 regular-season games and the playoff contest, becoming the first Eagles' offensive line to remain intact since 2006.
They provided Foles with solid protection and paved the way for McCoy to set a bunch of records.
Peters made the Pro Bowl, Mathis was selected first-team All Pro, Kelce was regarded among the best centers in the league and Johnson, the Eagles' first-round draft pick, showed plenty of promise. Allen Barbre performed well in relief duty on occasion.
The team may want to start adding more young offensive linemen to join Johnson (23), Kelce (26) and backups Dennis Kelly (23), Matt Tobin (23) and Julian Vandervelde (26).
MVP: Running back LeSean McCoy
Biggest surprise: Wide receiver Riley Cooper
Unsung hero: Center Jason Kelce
Rookie of the Year: Tight end Zach Ertz
Biggest disappointment: Tight end James Casey
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