Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Three Eagles earn Pro Bowl honors


Three Eagles have earned a spot on the NFC roster for the 2011 Pro Bowl: DE Jason Babin, RB LeSean McCoy, T Jason Peters.

Babin ranks second in the NFL in 2011 with a career-high 18.0 sacks, trailing only Jared Allen (18.5), and contributing to a relentless Eagles pass-rush that sits atop the NFL with 49 sacks. His sack total this year is currently tied for the third-most ever by an Eagle, trailing only Reggie White (21.0 in 1987) and Clyde Simmons (19.0 in 1992). Only 16 players in NFL history have ever amassed more in a single season. This is Babin’s second-straight selection after racking up 12.5 sacks as a member of the Tennessee Titans in 2010. He is one of just three players (DeMarcus Ware, Tamba Hali) to have at least 12 sacks in each of the last two years. His 30.5 quarterback takedowns during that span are second behind Ware’s 33.5. Prior to those last 31 games, Babin had registered just 17.5 sacks in 66 games. Originally a first-round draft choice of Houston in 2004, Babin spent time with the Texans (2004-06), Seahawks (2007-08), and Chiefs (2008) before joining the Eagles in 2009. He re-signed with the Eagles as a free agent prior to the start of the 2011 season.

McCoy is enjoying one of the finest seasons in the history of the franchise, setting team records and leading the league in touchdowns (20) and rushing touchdowns (17), while becoming the first Eagle ever to score in nine straight games. His 1,309 rushing yards rank second in the NFL behind Maurice Jones-Drew (1,437), and he has amassed a league-leading 102 first downs and 48 rushes of 10-plus yards. He has surrendered just one fumble all season, despite ranking fourth in the NFL in rushes (273), offensive touches (321) and scrimmage yards (1,624). Originally a second-round draft choice out of Pittsburgh in 2009, McCoy became the fifth player in Eagles history to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons, while setting the team mark for most rushing (3,026) and scrimmage yards (4,241) in his first three campaigns. His career 4.8-yards per carry also ranks as the highest average ever by an Eagles running back.

Other Eagles running backs to earn Pro Bowl selections: Brian Westbrook (2008, 2005), Ricky Watters (1997, 1996), Wilbert Montgomery (1980, 1979), Tom Woodeshick (1969), Timmy Brown (1966, 1964, 1963), Ted Dean (1962), Bill Barnes (1960, 1959, 1958).

Originally a rookie free agent signing in 2004 out of Arkansas, Peters has emerged into one of the elite tackles in the league, earning his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl nomination (tied with Browns T Joe Thomas for longest streak among NFL tackles) and becoming the second tackle in team history to make it to three straight (Frank Kilroy – 1953-55). He ties Tra Thomas (2002-03, 2005), Bob Brown (1966-67, 1969) and Kilroy for the most appearances ever by an Eagles tackle. In 2011, Peters has anchored an offensive line that paved the way for the NFC’s leading rusher, while ranking third in the NFL in total offense (399.7) and fifth in rushing yards per game (146.7). The Eagles 30 sacks allowed this season are the team’s third-fewest since sacks became an official stat in 1982. Peters, who was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills during the 2009 offseason, has started in 40 games for the Eagles.
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