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If Eagles finish at 8-8, where do you stand on “carryover” theory for 2012…?

The buzzword in Philly right now is “carryover”… as in carryover effect from the Eagles’ shot at a 4-game win streak to end the 2011 season at 8-8 may indicate they will only start stronger and faster in 2012.

This “carryover” theory has so many variables and algorithms inherent in it that I just don’t know what to make of it. Sure, there have been teams in NFL history that “got it right” at the end of a bad season and went on to have a very nice new year. Then there are teams like the 1971 Eagles who, at 6-7-1, won 4 of their last 5 games that year… then went 2-11-1 in 1972.

Trend anlysis in the NFL to identify mediocrity blossoming into greatness based on a season-ending win streak is a tricky business.

Local writers with great credentials like Eagles.com’s Bo Wulf are believers in the “carryover” effect for the Eagles, especially if the Birds can close out 2011 with a win over the Redskins at home. He has a nice piece with supporting quotes for the theory from players like DeSean Jackson, Nnamdi Asomugha and others of note.

Meanwhile, Phil Sheridan of Philly.com does not believe in the carryover theory:

“As for carryover to 2012, forget about it. There’s no such thing in the NFL….Reid will try to sell this as a rebuilding season. That’s what he did last year after the team unraveled. Will his bosses, Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner, buy that? If they do, they will be kidding themselves.”

“The Eagles have won three in a row, including Saturday’s 20-7 victory in Dallas. The self-kidders will point to that, along with next week’s likely win against Washington, as proof that Reid got this team fixed. They will suggest that this strong finish will carry over to next year. They will be wrong.”

“This streak started with a win over Matt Moore and a fried Miami team. There was a quality win against the Jets mixed in, but we’re not talking about beating New England or Green Bay or New Orleans here.”

Sheridan makes a point to counter Bo Wulf’s argument that all the Eagles need for a great 2012 season is a few tweaks, several new players to replace departing ones and a sense of renewed belief and support in the current coaching staff.

Sheridan put it to a vote on his CBS Philly.com poll page. Here’s how the results turned out:

After missing the playoffs, what kind of changes do the Eagles need to make in the offseason?
A. Big Changes…a roster overhaul is needed.         —  620 votes =  9.6 %
B. Moderate Changes… some key new players       — 2494 votes = 38.7 %
C. Minimal Changes…go with “carryover” effect      — 1469 votes = 22.8 %
D. Change coaching staff, keep players                 — 1882 votes = 29.2 %

Total votes as of 12/25/11:  6465

It’s interesting to look at that poll and actually see an overlap variable or metric that’s missing… in other words, a “some of each” or “all of the above” type of response is not included in the poll choices.

But Sheridan’s poll is still the best illustration I’ve found so far of the diversity of outlook on the Eagles’ current winning streak. 

I’m still weighing the implications. And I’m looking forward to our Smart Phan’s thoughts on “carryover” theory… I probably won’t make my judgement on which way the Eagles should go (or whether “carryover” is something I can buy into) until I review all your Smart Phan comments…and until the King of All Metrics weighs in after his prolonged holiday meditation (which is an annual retreat for Brizer):

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Deep in reflection in his man cave in the Brizer mansion, our former GK enjoys spiritual rejuvenation…and will soon emerge with a metric response to the “carryover” theory… when the mood strikes him. Carry on…

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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