Eagles' Offense Hasn't Been This Bad Since Doug Pederson Was QB

Eagles' Offense Hasn't Been This Bad Since Doug Pederson Was QB

Okay, that headline might be a slight exaggeration, but by at least one measure, it's absolutely true. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that one measure happens to be second only to "wins" in importance: scoring.

By virtue of their not playing this week, the Cowboys slipped ahead of Philadelphia in the points category, leaving the Birds in their dust at 16 points per game. That's 31st in the NFL, ahead of only the Blaine Gabbert-led Jaguars.

Reuben Frank uncovered a statistic, as he tends to do, that should help put that 16 PPG in perspective. It's the worst by any Eagles squad through five games since Andy Reid's first season as head coach way back in 1999.

Way back in 1999 when Doug Pederson was the starting quarterback.

Pederson, a first-time starter at 31, was more or less hand-picked by Reid to help ease second-overall draft pick Donovan McNabb into the job. Prior to '99, Pederson had attempted 32 career passes.

The Eagles predictably got off to a 1-4 start, while the offense averaged 11.4 points per game. To put that in perspective, that's even worse than 2012 Jacksonville at 13 PPG.

Pederson finished '99 with a 2-7 record as the starter, and a passer rating of 62.9. The Birds went 5-11.

Michael Vick currently has Philly at 3-2, but with a passer rating of 77.8 -- and 11 turnovers especially -- it's tough to envision that number staying above .500 without some drastic improvement.

The major difference between now and then: an offense featuring Pro Bowlers Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, and LeSean McCoy is supposed to be good, if not great. Nobody expected the rebuilding Eagles to field an offensive juggernaut 14 years ago.

Yet amazingly, they have regressed back to the Pederson days. Is it merely coincidence he took over as the club's quarterbacks coach last year? Yes, yes it almost certainly is, but what's happening should feel a bit like deja vu.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

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Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

This is starting to become a trend. One Temple hopes to continue to prove wrong.

For the third straight year, Temple was chosen to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. The poll, which was released on Monday, is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

Also selected to finish sixth last season, the Owls posted a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the AAC to reach the NCAA Tournament. In 2014-15, TU tied for third in the AAC with a 13-5 record and was one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.

Cincinnati was tabbed to win the American title in the poll, just ahead of UConn.

Temple, who returns three starters from last season's team, opens the 2016-17 campaign against city rival La Salle at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 11.