I highlighted turnover differential earlier but figured it would be interesting to look at how the offense and defense progressed over the Andy Reid era. Below is a chart showing Points Scored and Points Against (total, not league rank). Here are some interesting notes:
– Over his first seven seasons, Andy Reid’s team had an average league rank of 12.4 for Points Scored. Over his last seven: 10.3. Pretty consistent.
– Points Against average rank over the same time periods? First seven seasons: 9.4 Last seven: 14.9 The defensive performance declined substantially over time.
– From 2000-2004 (Andy Reid’s peak), the Eagles average Points Against rank was 3.4. Safe to say the Eagles success was built on defense. (Points For average rank over the same period was 8.8)
– Over the past 4 seasons, the Eagles average Points Against rank is 19.
– For those of you thinking of Jim Johnson (hard not to when confronted with these numbers): Average points against with JJ: 290. Without JJ: 346.6.
This ties in rather well with the message gleaned from the draft history post. Reid’s inability to find quality defenders in the draft was perhaps his biggest persistent weakness (I know it wasn’t only Reid in the draft room, but you’re kidding yourself if you think he didn’t have the final say.)