Eagles fans have been praising the efforts of running back Darren Sproles and play-making safety Malcom Jenkins, but not enough people have been giving credit to the other offseason pick ups, Chris Maragos and Bryan Braman. While neither have yet to make an impact on defense, the difference they've made on special teams has been incredible. Since they've joined the squad, the unit already has a blocked field goal and a returned a kick 102 yards for a touchdown. All the credit can't go to them however, as Cody Parkey has undoubtedly been the star on special teams, making three kicks this past weekend including a 51-yarder. At the end of the last year, Chip Kelly ensured his special teams would be better in 2014. Well, he wasn't lying.
2. Lack Of LeSean
Yes, you read that right. The lack of LeSean McCoy has been a primary reason the Eagles have flourished through September. After 2013, McCoy was a marked man, he led the league in rushing and confidently proclaimed himself the best running back in the NFL. Coaches across the league got the RB's message, "put all your preparation into stopping me, cause i'm the best." That's exactly what teams have done, through three games defenses have held Shady to just 175 yards on the ground. That's certainly not good for the star back, who claimed he would rush for 2,000 yards this year. With all the attention on McCoy however, it's left guys like Zach Ertz, Maclin, and Sproles wide open. There's few players more dangerous in space than those three. Should defenses keep focusing too much of their attention on stopping the run game, league-leading passer Foles will surely continue to dominate everything in his path.
3. Two weeks, zero sacks
It's really incredible when you think about it. Week one, the offensive line allows Nick Foles to get sacked multiple times by a surprisingly tough Jaguars defense, while losing Evan Mathis for two months in the process. Week two against the Colts, the Eagles line held up against a usually rabid Indy D-line, allowing zero sacks. That same week, the Washington Redskins registered a franchise record 10 sacks, putting their defense into the top tiers. The Eagles entered week three with only three starters, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, and Jason Peters. The team would go on to lose Kelce in the third quarter, but never missed a beat. Late in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Peters was ejected for retaliating against a cheap shot on his QB. Once again, Foles and the offensive line got it done scoring a touchdown only four plays later. The Eagles would go on to win 37-34 thanks largely in part to a rag-tag group of guys who did what it took to protect their guy against one of the leagues top pass-rushing defenses. Bravo gentlemen, new contracts for everyone!
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