The Duel

3 Stats That Prove the Eagles Are Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders in 2021

Jason Schandl
Eagles QB Carson Wentz throws a pass against the Seahawks in the Wild Card Round.
Eagles QB Carson Wentz throws a pass against the Seahawks in the Wild Card Round. / Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
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For as admirable as Josh McCown's efforts were, a first-round exit wasn't the end of the season that Philadelphia Eagles fans had hoped for after they rode a four-game win streak into the playoffs.

This is an Eagles team that is just two seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl, though, and it's important not to lose sight of just how talented they are.

These three stats highlight why the Eagles, who have won the NFC East in two of the last three seasons, are still legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2021.

1. A Strong Point Differential Thanks to Elite Run Defense

Fletcher Cox and Derek Barnett celebrate a play against the Giants.
Fletcher Cox and Derek Barnett celebrate a play against the Giants. / Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Eagles were terrific against the run last year. They were tied for the eighth-fewest yards per attempt allowed (4.1), and they checked in at fourth in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA ranking. Stopping the run may not be as crucial as shutting down the pass, but that strength went a long way to keeping the Eagles competitive in almost every game, as opponents with leads could not simply grind out the clock. Only two of the Eagles' seven losses came by more than eight points, and they were one of 12 teams in the NFL with an average scoring margin over +1.0 points per game.

2. Carson Wentz Protects the Football

Carson Wentz throws a pass in a Wild Card game against the Seahawks.
Carson Wentz throws a pass in a Wild Card game against the Seahawks. / Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Carson Wentz hasn't made it back to the lofty standards he set in his 2017 sophomore season, but there are some very encouraging numbers that came out of his 2019 regular season. After interceptions were a problem in his rookie year (14 thrown, 2.3 percent interception rate), he cut his turnovers down (7 interceptions, 1.6 percent rate) in 2017. Last season, though, he took this to a new level, ranking fifth among qualifying passers with just a 1.2 percent rate. He didn't have a great complement of receiving weapons to work with due to a slew of injuries, so his yardage and TD numbers weren't anything to write home about. Protecting the football is vital for any QB, though, and this passing game has nowhere to go but up.

3. Miles Sanders and the O-Line

Miles Sanders runs the ball against the Giants.
Miles Sanders runs the ball against the Giants. / Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Miles Sanders had a breakout rookie season, and he ranked 16th among 47 qualifying rushers by recording a broken tackle every 11.2 attempts. He also ranked 12th in that group in yards before contact per attempt. So while he clearly got plenty of help from his offensive line, he also looked great when he was forced to make plays, helping him tie for 12th among qualifying RBs with an average of 4.6 yards per rush on the year. A top-end rushing attack with both a line and back that are doing great work complements Wentz nicely.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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