2013 Eagles Bent, But Didn't Break

While the pass rush and third down percentage for Bill Davis' defense were lackluster, the Eagles' defense proved efficient in stoppage where it counted most.

The Philadelphia Eagles gave up the fourth most yards in the NFL in 2013, a whopping 6307, or a staggering 394.2 per game.

Conversely, the Eagles only allowed 382 points for the season (23.9 PPG), merely the 16th most. Thirteen of the 15 teams ahead of them missed the playoffs, with only Green Bay (428) and Denver (399) joining the Birds in the postseason.

Behold another wondrous statistic from the fine folks at Cold Hard Football Facts: Bendability.

A few days ago, we discussed Scoreability, and how Nick Foles drastically maximized the team's ability to cash in with points, compared to the pronounced struggles of Michael Vick. Scoreability is measured by yards gained, divided by points scored; the lower the number, the more efficient you are at lighting up the scoreboard.

Bendability is the inverse, and applies to the defense. In this case, you take the yards a team allows, and divide it by the points they've given up. The higher the number, the stronger the defense is at buckling down and preventing the opponent from scoring, namely touchdowns. In this case, the higher the number, the stronger the defense.

In what should come as no surprise, the top 14 teams in Bendability were at .500 or better last season (Seattle ranked third, behind Carolina and Kansas City). The NFL may be more open for offenses to thrive, but defensive power is still a necessity.

The Eagles' Bendability rating for 2013 was 16.51, ranking them among that top fourteen by placing them ninth, between a surprise in the Chargers (16.85) and Rob Ryan's revamped Saints defense (16.09).

The 16.51 rating equates to how many yards a team averages to score a single point against the Eagles. Multiplied by seven, the average opponent needed 115.6 yards to score a touchdown on Bill Davis' defense.

Comparatively speaking, the Redskins were rock bottom in the NFL with an 11.85 Bendability rating. An average opponent needs but 83 yards at a mean to hit the end zone on Jim Haslett's troubled crew.

Over their last twelve games, the Eagles only gave up more than 22 points once, in a bizarre abberation of a loss to the Vikings (48). In that dozen-game run, the Eagles gave up 4517 yards and 244 points. That checks out to a Bendability rating of 18.51 (a touchdown allowed every 129.6 yards)

Had that average held for the entire season (the three AFC West losses hurt it), the Eagles would have ranked fifth in Bendability, below only Carolina, (20.00) Kansas City (19.30), Seattle (18.95), and San Francisco (18.64).

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