Philadelphia Eagles Award Winners

Posted: January 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

eagleThe 2013 Philadelphia Eagles’ season is officially behind us. While it may have ended in misery, there’s no doubting that expectations were exceeded in Chip Kelly’s first season at the helm. After the team toiled through a miserable 12-20 record in the final two years under Andy Reid, a resurgence was witnessed in 2013. At 10-6, the Eagles were one of the year’s great success stories. Their ability to improve almost every week carried them from a 3-5 start to a double-digit victory campaign and their first NFC East championship since 2010 (and only their second since 2006).

With the end of the season comes reminiscing about the year that was. In 2013, we saw plenty of high-flying, exciting offensive plays. By the time the wins started rolling it, the defense was also pulling their own weight, allowing more than 22 points only once after week four. With that improvement came plenty of exciting plays and players. Below are the 2013 awards for the Eagles according to SkoodSports:

Offensive MVP

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RB LeSean McCoy

With all due respect to Nick Foles, Jason Peters, and DeSean Jackson, the clear choice for this award was LeSean McCoy. The fifth-year RB put together his finest campaign of date, becoming the first Eagles’ player to win the NFL’s rushing title since Steve Van Buren in 1949. He also snapped numerous Philadelphia records, including the most rushing and total yards in a single season.

For running backs, the NFL shelf life can be short. Who knows if we’ll see McCoy replicate his performance from this point on? One thing is for sure, he was the most important piece to the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive puzzle in 2013.

Defensive MVP

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MLB DeMeco Ryans

Mychal Kendricks, Bradley Fletcher, and Connor Barwin deserve consideration for this honor. However, it’s the man-in-the-middle who gets the nod. DeMeco Ryans came over from Houston in an offseason trade in 2012 because the Texans didn’t believe that he fit in their 3-4 scheme. After disappointing first season in midnight gream (who didn’t have a bad 2012?), questions loomed as to whether or not Ryans would be able to make the shift to 3-4 middle linebacker with Billy Davis joining the fray.

Those inquisitions were quickly answered. Ryans led the team with 110 tackles, the most he has had in a season since his rookie year in 2006. The 29-year old also contributed 4 sacks and 2 interceptions on a defense that pleasantly surprised throughout the season.

Special Teams MVP

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P Donnie Jones

This was by far the easiest award to give out. After all, Jones was a key reason why Philadelphia won tight home games against Detroit and Arizona. His ability to pin opposing teams deep in their own territory was magnificent. Not to mention the 70+ yard punt that sank the Redskins in week 12. The Eagles owe a lot of their defensive success later in the season to Jones’ ability to boot the ball. Hopefully, the Eagles’ brain trust recognizes this and brings the free agent back in 2014.

Comeback Player of the Year

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LT Jason Peters

Peters’ career almost came to an end in 2012. After tearing his Achilles in the offseason, the All-Pro offensive lineman suffered a relapse when the crutches he was provided after surgery malfunctioned. Peters would go on to sue the manufacturer of the company. But, regardless of the settlement, his career remained in doubt for months.

Nevertheless, the veteran tackle didn’t let it phase him. Peters anchored an offensive line that started all 17 games together, a rarity in the NFL today. He remains one of the best and most mobile tackles in football despite the injuries, and should be considered a terrific success story.

Breakout Player of the Year

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QB Nick Foles

Other players deserving of this honor include Riley Cooper, Zach Ertz, and Mychal Kendricks. But, Nick Foles was by far the key difference maker in the team’s sudden surge from 3-5 also ran to 10-6 division champion. The second-year pro, who only started 6 games in 2012, broke out by throwing 19 touchdowns before suffering his first interception. By finishing with 27 TD and only 2 INT, the former Arizona Wildcat set a team record for touchdown to interception ratio and enamored himself in the eyes of most Eagles fans.

There remains some doubters out there about whether or not Foles can manage Kelly’s offense in the long term. But, one thing is for certain, this kid is for real. If the Eagles decide to trade Foles and bring in a rookie scrambler, it will be the single biggest mistake they have made since hiring Rich Kotite.

Rookie of the Year

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TE Zach Ertz

There’s an argument to be made somewhere as to whether or not Bennie Logan or Lane Johnson deserve this award. But, it’s pretty clear at this point that Zach Ertz is going to be a dynamic offensive weapon in Chip Kelly’s system. The former Stanford tight end was fantastic in the red zone all season, especially after Foles became the starter in week 9. His ability to make spectacular catches look simple was only paralleled by his knack for getting open in the middle of the field on third and long. As long as Ertz stays healthy, he will be a top ten tight end next season.

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