Inside the numbers: Week 11
The hapless Eagles have now grabbed the dishonor of America's Dumbest Team
The 3-6 Eagles rank low in both defensive and offensive efficiency categories
Philadelphia's poor situational play is reason enough to fire coach Andy Reid
The Philadelphia Eagles managed the near-impossible Sunday: They out-dumbed America's Dumbest Team, the Dallas Cowboys.
In the immortal words of former NFC East rival quarterback Joe Theismann, "Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein."
Or to paraphrase fictional former Alabama football star Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as Philadelphia does."
If Eagles fans are looking for a statistical reason to fire embattled coach Andy Reid, beyond the 3-6 record and declining relevance, look no further than the efficiency indicators we use at Cold, Hard Football Facts.
Bendability measures defensive efficiency, or how hard teams make opponents work to score points. The Eagles are No. 25 in Bendability.
Scoreability measures offensive efficiency, or how effectively teams turn yards into points. The Eagles are No. 31 in Scoreability.
These indicators, in short, tell us how well teams play in situational football. Think of Scoreabilty and Bendability as the Wonderlic tests for coaching staffs.
Smart, well-coached teams rank high in both indicators. Dumb, poorly coached teams low in both indicators.
The Eagle rank low in both indicators.
In fact, as measured by these indicators, Philadelphia is now the dumbest team in football.
The Kansas City Chiefs are actually worse in the two combined indicators, dead last in each. But at least the Chiefs lose largely because they have so little talent.
The Eagles, by all accounts, are perfectly talented. It's execution where they fail so miserably.
Poor red zone offense and defense, bad penalties, turnovers and under-achieving special teams all conspire to hijack a team's efficiency -- and even its season.
Philadelphia is now the 2012 poster child for inefficiency: a lot of empty wasted yards on offense that don't translate into points paired with a lot of cheap scores surrendered on defense.
Here's the best way to see the efficiency issue. Philadelphia is:
No. 12 in total defense but No. 22 in scoring defense
No. 8 in total offense but No. 29 in scoring offense
The inefficiency problem is especially acute on offense: The Eagles need 21.54 yards of offense just to score a single point, according to the Scoreability Index.
Put in football terms: The Eagles must march 150.8 yards to score the equivalent of a touchdown and extra point -- one and a half times up and down the field. That's a lot of wasted effort.
Opponents have no so much problem scoring against the Eagles defense. Opponents need just 13.76 yards of offense to score the equivalent of a single point, or just 96.32 yards to score a touchdown and extra point.
The problems in Philadelphia are also apparent if we compare them to one of the league's most efficient clubs, the Baltimore Ravens.
Andy Reid's inefficient, poorly coached Eagles have ripped off 3,360 yards of offense this year but have turned all that production into just 154 points.
John Harbaugh's efficient, well-coached Ravens have scored 100 more points (254) with 173 fewer yards of offense (3,187).
It all comes down to the situational football that separates smart teams like the Ravens from dumb teams like the Eagles.
The statistical evidence of inefficiency existed even early in the season, even when Philadelphia raced out to a 3-1 record. The Eagles badly outgained the Browns, Ravens and Giants in the first four weeks of the season, but beat those teams but a total of four points. They even outgained the Cardinals in Week 3, but lost 27-6.
The inefficiency finally bubbled over in gruesome defeat the last two weeks. The Eagles outgained both the Saints and Cowboys by a combined total of 816 yards to 665 yards. But on the scoreboard, where it really matters, the Eagles were beaten badly, 66-36.
It's been the ugliest, most inefficient football any team has played this year.
The Eagles had a prime opportunity to get things back on track this past Sunday, against America's Dumbest Team.
The Cowboys earned that moniker because they were the most inefficient team in football entering Week 10, the talented team that consistently failed to turn yards into points. Dallas was No. 25 in Bendability and No. 30 in Scoreability entering the game.
But the Dallas Cowboys are no longer America's Dumbest Team. That dishonor now belongs to the Eagles.
Philadelphia outgained Dallas 369-294 on Sunday, but lost 38-23 because they managed to do all the little things wrong.
The Eagles lost the turnover battle, 2-0, both of which resulted in defensive scores for Dallas; they were useless on third down (1 for 10); and they were torched on special teams, surrendering a 78-yard punt return touchdown by Dwayne Harris.
That kind of poor situational football is a losing formula for any NFL team and reason enough to dismiss Andy Reid at the end of the season, if not sooner.
Just ask a genius like Norman Einstein.
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