The Eagles' explosiveness

June, 7, 2011
6/07/11
11:36
AM ET
Not sure if you had a chance to check out this week's "Hot Button" debate yet, but the question was which offense in the league was the "most explosive." As you can see in that link, John Clayton took the side of the Patriots and I wrote that it was the Eagles.

[+] EnlargeDeSean Jackson
Jim O'Connor/US PresswireThe thought of DeSean Jackson dancing into the end zone has to frighten Philadelphia's opponents.
When my editor called to discuss this assignment, he didn't even get through his pitch before I suggested the Eagles. And the reason is that, for me, the word "explosive" is the exact right word for the Eagles' offense.

Philadelphia's offense is not without its flaws, surely. Michael Vick takes too many risks, DeSean Jackson doesn't catch enough passes, the running game is more finesse than power, etc. But when it comes to explosiveness, nobody's got anything on the Eagles. They are a threat to hit a big play at any point in the game, because Vick can do it with his arm or his feet, Jackson is a firecracker with the ball in his hands, Jeremy Maclin is one of the fastest receivers in the league and LeSean McCoy is a shifty, smart, speedy running back whose raw ability is eye-popping.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I'd still take the Giants' overall package of receivers, when healthy, over what the Eagles have. And the Cowboys' stable of running backs, if used properly, should be able to deliver an overall more productive ground game than the one the Eagles have built around McCoy. But the Eagles beat everybody when it comes to the potential to take your breath away and break an opponent's spirit on any given play. The Giants had not one, but two games against the Eagles last season that proved that.

When they called with the assignment, I didn't know all the stats about "explosive plays" and how the Eagles had the most in the league last season. I said Eagles off the top of my head because I'd watched them, and that word seemed to sum them up. So when I did the research, I was pleased to find that the numbers backed me up. All of those 20-plus and 40-plus-yard offensive plays that show up in those stats weren't a figment of my imagination. So with all due respect to John, and while Brady's Pats might be a better and/or more efficient all-around offense, the Eagles are the definition of "explosive."

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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