|K Alex Henry one of the few bright spots for the Eagles this season. (US Presswire)|
Even bad teams have good players, even most valuable players. And on a team as bad as the Eagles were this season, special consideration goes to anyone who made it through all 16 games with his hide and pride intact. That narrows things down considerably on this team, which usually didn’t play well and didn’t always play hard. But these guys did.
Offense -- LG Evan Mathis: And when was the last time a left guard was a team’s MVP? But Mathis stood tall through the turmoil. He was the only o-lineman to start all 16 games and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg once called him “The last man standing.” Mathis also mentored the Eagles' young linemen and played well enough to be voted as a Pro Bowl alternate.
Defense -- LB DeMeco Ryans: He didn’t have a great season in his first year with the Eagles after a trade with Houston, but he played well consistently and he played almost all of the time – Ryans played about 98 percent of all the defensive snaps this season. The Eagles still weren’t great against the run, but they were better than they were last year, and on a unit that lacked leadership Ryans was one of the few defenders who stood up and was accountable.
Special teams -- K Alex Henery: He missed a few field goal attempts late in the season, but for the most part he was money every time he lined up to attempt one. He made 27 of 31 FG attempts and set a team record by making his first 22 of the season. The new Eagles coach will have a lot of holes to fill, but he won’t have to worry about his kicker.
Newcomer -- QB Nick Foles: Rookie LB Mychal Kendricks and DT Fletcher Cox contributed all season and have bright futures, but the future of the Eagles franchise could depend on Foles. He was thrown into the fire against Dallas in Week 9 even though he had never taken a snap in the NFL, and he played pretty well as he started the next six games behind a terrible offensive line and mostly without his two biggest weapons, RB LeSean McCoy and WR DeSean Jackson.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow @CBSEagles.