It’s award season. Well, sort of.
The Golden Globes and Oscars are upcoming, as are the announcements of the various awards for the 2017 NFL season.
With the Eagles taking a few days off this week as they utilize their bye to get healthy and prepare for either the Panthers, Saints or Falcons in a week and a half, lets take a look at some of the Birds’ superlatives and disappointments from an all-time memorable season:
Team MVP: Carson Wentz, QB
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Wentz 33 touchdowns in 13 games were the most in team history and in the NFL this season. With slight downturns from Tom Brady and Russell Wilson in the final weeks of the season, it seems almost guaranteed that Wentz would have actually won the real award. When on the field he was capable of nearly anything and his replacement Nick Foles’ play makes Wentz seem even more valuable. His QB rating on the year was 101.9.
Runners up: Zach Ertz, Malcolm Jenkins, run defense
Team LVP: Major injuries
In a typical Eagles season, there are plenty of goats worthy of singling out for subpar play and falling short of expectation. But this wasn’t a typical year. Every facet of the team, from the potent running game (2,115 yards on the year) to Wentz’ air attack to the surprisingly solid secondary to the impressive pass rush, the Eagles were remarkably well rounded. But the injury bug struck hard. Darren Sproles, Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks, Ronald Darby and Wentz all missed significant time due to major injuries.
Runners up: none
Biggest surprise: Jay Ajayi, RB
The play of Ajayi, 71 rushes for 408 yards (5.8 yards per carry) wasn’t so much a shock as it was unexpected. He was shipped to the team in a deadline deal to help bolster an already strong ground game and seems always to have been able to make game-changing plays. He was rested in Week 17 and will be an important part of the postseason offense.
Runners up: Patrick Robinson, Doug Pederson
Best rookie: Derek Barnett, DE
Barnett lived up to first round hype as he collected five sacks, tied for third on the team while also recovering two fumbles, forcing a third and scoring a defensive touchdown. He didn’t play as many snaps as Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox but made his presence felt when he was on the field.
Runners up: Corey Clement, Rasul Douglas
Silver lining award
The Eagles are being called the least likely NFC team to win the Super Bowl, despite having the conference’s best record, point differential and a bevy of other impressive stats. If Foles is unable to somehow be savior and lead Philly to its first ever Lombardi Trophy win, the future is extremely bright. Wentz will be back. The offense will be almost the same next year with Alshon Jeffery and Ajayi set to return. The defense will also be very much back with its potent pass rush intact, and its to cornerbacks all under the age of 24 (Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones). The Eagles were built to last, and if nothing else, 2017 was proof that longevity of competitiveness is finally here.