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PFF: Eagles Have NFL’s 15th-Best Passing Attack

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
After a hot start, Carson Wentz struggled with both his decision-making and mechanics down the stretch. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles passing game has gone through some tough times ever since Donovan McNabb was traded away after the 2009 season. Since then, the quarterback position has been a revolving door of mediocrity.

Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford have all taken turns under center but none of been able to hold on to the position.

The Eagles are hoping that all changes with Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

While 2016 was by no means a banner year, however, with Wentz the team is hoping to have landed their franchise changing signal caller.  After struggling to find consistency and only Jordan Matthews being a reliable option, the Eagles are hoping adding guys like Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, plus rookies Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson can help Wentz turn the team’s passing game around.

The Eagles managed to throw the ball the sixth most times in the league last season, but that was good for just the 24th-most passing yards.

While the Eagles top three pass catchers return, the team hopes by adding Jeffery and Smith, Wentz will take a step forward, giving the Eagles a good passing attack.

Heading into the season, ProFootballFocus ranked Philadelphia’s passing game 15th overall.

Second overall pick from last year’s NFL draft, Carson Wentz had a terrific start to his rookie season, fielding the third highest adjusted completion percentage in Weeks 1-4. However, after a Week 5 loss in Detroit, things went downhill and Wentz finished the season with the same rank in adjusted completion percentage as the Eagles find themselves here, 15th. WR Jordan Matthews (97.8) was the only Eagles receiver to see a passer rating above 65.6 when targeted, but the team made a big move with the acquisition of Alshon Jeffery. With the recent release of WR Dorial Green-Beckham, the team’s depth remains spotty, with much riding on Nelson Agholor and the unknowns of the rookie trio of RB Donnel Pumphrey and WRs Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson as pass-catchers for their sophomore QB.

Wentz should be more effective by adding more talent, but will need to get more from the holdover like Matthews, Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz.

That said, Eagles coach Doug Pederson would like to throw the ball down the field, which is where Jeffery and Smith — who average 15.0 and 17.0 yards per catch respectively during their NFL careers, come into play.

Along with those players, the Eagles will also count on Matthews, who should be more productive as the third option, and tight ends Ertz, Brent Celek and Trey Burton. Mack Hollins, a fourth-round pick out of North Carolina, and Shelton Gibson, a fifth-round pick from West Virginia, could also make an impact this season.

Tops on the list are the New England Patriots.

In the NFC East, Washington ranked seventh, Dallas was ranked eighth and the Giants came in at 19th overall.

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