Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz is the star of the Eagles’ midseason awards

(Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles entered the season as one of the more active teams of the offseason.

They moved up twice in the draft to select rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Once he was selected, they said they were going to be patient with him. Throughout the preseason he was the team’s third quarterback. While some of that was due to injury it was also by choice. Eventually Wentz became the starter when the team traded Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings. Wentz has surpassed all expectations, and the defense has improved to give the Eagles a 4-4 record at the halfway point.

Here are the players that helped them get to this spot.

Offensive MVP — Carson Wentz

There really is no other player that could be up for this honor. While Wentz’s stats do leave a little to be desired, the majority of that has to do with the poor supporting cast around him. Wentz does not have a receiver who can stretch the field, which leads to a lot of his short passes. More importantly with Wentz it appears the stage is not too big for him. He has passed almost every test since the beginning of the season. While he has hit a little bit of a rookie wall as of late, the Eagles could not be more thrilled with the way Wentz started his rookie season.

Defensive MVP — Fletcher Cox

With all the hype surrounding Chip Kelly’s offense the last couple seasons, Fletcher Cox became a bit of a forgotten man. This season that was even more the case with a new head coach and quarterback coming to town. While a lot of things have changed around Cox, his consistent disruptive nature has remained the same. The Eagles have improved dramatically on defense this year behind Cox’s stellar play. He has four sacks this season as a defensive tackle. He has done an excellent job in the run game. He is more than deserving of the extension he received earlier this season. Cox is a core player who should be in Philadelphia for a long time.

Biggest Surprise — Defensive performance

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles ‘defense was a bit of a train wreck last season. One of the first questions that was always asked was how much they were affected by an ineffective fast-paced offense. It appears the answer was quite a bit.

The Eagles currently rank in the top 10 of all major defensive categories, excluding rushing yards allowed. They have kept some of the premier offenses in the NFL at bay during that time as well. No performance was more impressive than the complete dismantling of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers may have the most dangerous offense in the NFL. The Eagles held them to three points. Considering this was a big question mark coming into the season, the Eagles should be pleasantly surprised with their 2016 defense.

Biggest Disappointment — Wide receivers

Jordan Matthews appears to be the player who everyone is waiting for to announce that he has arrived. Last season everyone thought Matthews was in line for a monster year. While he did not have a bad year, he was never consistent enough in terms of catching the football.

This season has been no different.

Matthews has done some good things for the Eagles, but his troubles with dropping the ball remains He does not beat anyone down the field. His drop percentage sits at 6.2 percent. Dorial Green-Beckham has dropped 8.3 percent of the passes he’s been targeted at. The Eagles as a whole have struggled to either get open down the field, or catch the ball when they do.

Overall, that has been a killer for an offense that is starving for big plays.

Rookie of the Year — Carson Wentz

Much like offensive MVP, this is an easy answer as well.

The Wentz story really has been interesting to follow. He was the team’s third string quarterback. He missed most of the preseason with a ribs injury. He had an excellent workout that prompted the Eagles to trade  Bradford to the Vikings. Once the trade was made, Wentz became the starter.

Anytime a rookie quarterback starts it’s a big story line. Wentz has struggled recently, but overall has been everything the Eagles could have hoped for. If he’s able to shake through the rookie wall, he’ll be a finalist for rookie of the year with Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys.

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