So yeah, that just happened.
In just three short weeks the Philadelphia Eagles went from leading the NFC East to being unceremoniously knocked out of playoff contention at the hands of three straight losses.
Any smart Eagles fan knew at the beginning of the season that the Eagles weren’t going to be a Super Bowl contending team but if you would have told me that our playoff hopes would be destroyed by loosing to the Redskins in week 15, I would have laughed at you.
Seriously bros? The Redskins?
Here are 7 Eagles observations that might make you kick your dog.
1.) The Chip Kelly Eagles aren’t that much different than the Andy Reid Eagles.
The Eagles were last in the NFL in time of possession this season. Dead last. Time of possession doesn’t matter all that much if you’re scoring points at will like say the Packers or Broncos, but that obviously wasn’t the case this year. For an offense that ranked at the top of the league in total yards, the Eagles were hideous on 3rd down, and the couldn’t get the ball downfield whatsoever once Mark Sanchez took over.
Statistically, they were one of the most wasteful, and inefficient offenses in the league this season, having converted just 21% of their 1st down opportunities into touchdowns. (via Sal Palantonio)
When you can’t convert on 3rd down, your defense is going to be on the field a lot, and that’s precisely what happened this season. Look, I love the up-tempo offense. I think it definitely gives you an advantage, especially later in the game when the opposing defense is gassed.
But it’s a gift and a curse, because it also destroys your own defense. When you’re putting a tired Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, Casey Matthews, and Nate Allen back out on the field every 4 minutes, you aren’t going to win very many games in the NFL.
This is the exact same shit the Eagles did under Andy Reid. Reid was absolutely oblivious to time of possession.
I realize you have to score points to win games, but there’s something to be said about keeping the other offense off the field, and at the same time, your 30th ranked pass defense and 24th ranked red zone defense.
Chip Kelly is somehow even more oblivious then Andy Reid was when it comes to time of possession. I’m not even sure if that’s possible, but Chip put a ton of unnecessary stress on a defense that wasn’t that great to begin with.
The Eagles defense has been on the field an astounding 198 drives this year — most in the league. That’s the equivalent of 17 NFL football games, and is a direct result of the up-tempo style of offense that Chip Kelly likes to run.
When you look at the great teams in the NFL, they are all great at, among other things, ball control. You need to be able to control the ball in the NFL. Period. Chip Kelly needs to learn that like yesterday. Andy Reid still doesn’t understand it. This isn’t Oregon vs. Delaware State anymore.
In a modern day NFL that is taking more and more power away from defenses, sometimes the best strategy is keeping the other offense off the field.
The Eagles, like they were under Andy Reid, seem way too predictable on offense. I thought Chip Kelly was this offensive mastermind, whose brain has been picked and prodded by the likes of Bill Belichick?
Where’s the magic Chip? I get it though, when you have Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez playing quarterback, your playbook is going to be a bit hamstrung.
Still, if you’re this guru that everyone talks about, why am I watching the same 10 plays being run over and over again? That stretch play isn’t going to work Chip if you can’t stretch the defense.
And Chip, what does S 8 stand for?
2.) The Eagles were sloppier than a college freshman at his first kegger.
I’ve never seen an Eagles team get as many penalties and have as many turnovers in my life. This team has had it’s head up it’s ass since week one. I’m not sure how that happens when you have a group of professional athletes whose main job is to focus and execute.
The Eagles gave up an astounding 108 points off of turnovers. Worst in the league. There are some things I like about Mark Sanchez, but this guy is a turnover machine and Nick Foles wasn’t much better when he was playing.
3.) Chip Kelly is high on something.
I’m not sure what it is, but when you have Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, and now world beater Odell Beckham Jr. in your division, you cannot have Bradley Fletcher in man coverage against them with no safety help. But, this is exactly what Chip Kelly and Billy Davis did, week after week after week.
The truth is there are worse corners in the NFL. He was actually serviceable a majority of the time. It just so happens that he was posterized by a few guys when it really mattered. Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson are going to get their numbers on anyone though.
My question is, how can Chip Kelly sign off on a defensive game plan each week knowing that you have corners who can’t play man? He literally said, he thought Bradley Fletcher could stay with DeSean.
He said that and it’s because he is high.
I can’t really blame Bradley Fletcher honestly. I have to blame the coach for putting him in that position. The only time I remember them giving him help this year was at the end of this past Redskins game and guess what, Nate Allen got an interception. Great timing Chip.
That being said, Bradley Fletcher just can’t be on this team next year if Billy Davis is the defensive coordinator and Chip Kelly is the head coach. Let him go somewhere where he can play 10 yards off, in some soft zone scheme.
Excuse me Mr. Kelly, but why the hell are you not putting Darren Sproles on the field more?
It reminds me of Andy Reid when he used to give Brian Westbrook like 10 touches a game. The guy was the most explosive offensive player we had all year, and played in less then 15% of the offensive snaps.
Why Chip? Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy? [Nancy Kerrigan voice]
4.) We probably can’t get Marcus Mariota now.
It was a long shot anyway, but with so many holes to fill on defense, there’s no way in hell the Eagles can mortgage their future for Marcus Mariota now. That is unfortunate because I was looking forward to them mortgaging their future. That kid is an absolute mammal. Forget his physical abilities, which are great, he would come in day one with a deep understanding of Chip Kelly’s offense and with the secondary in shambles, sometimes the best defense is a great offense, and with Mariota, they would indeed be great.
Mariota, who was responsible for 52 touchdowns this year for Oregon, is the next stud quarterback, and knowing our luck, he’ll probably be drafted by a division opponent, unless we can make some magic happen on draft day.
5.) The Eagles are assholes for cutting DeSean Jackson.
Okay so this isn’t exactly breaking news, but when you don’t have someone who can stretch a defense on a consistent basis, it changes so many things for your offense. LeSean McCoy has been impacted the most.
I’ll admit I was glad they released DeSean at first.
But when a defense can just stack the box all game long and dare Mark Sanchez to beat them deep, they’re probably going to shut you down, and that’s essentially what happened to our running game this year. It’s a miracle that LeSean still put up the numbers he put up, given that, and the fact that our offensive line was in shambles for a better part of the season.
Remember when Riley Cooper was pretty good? Yeah, you can thank DeSean Jackson for that too.
6.) Howie Roseman must acquire steroids.
Or cocaine. Whatever gets him going in the morning. He has a lot of work cut out for him this summer. The entire secondary with the exception of Malcolm Jenkins needs to go. Even the backups. Everyone must go. It’s unrealistic to think the secondary can be completely rebuilt in one off season, but at minimum, Bradley Fletcher and Nate Allen need to be replaced and that’s going to cost money.
What’s going to happen with the Trent Cole/Brandon Graham situation? In 2015, Trent Cole will have an $11.6 Million cap number. Yeah. The Eagles don’t play that shit. This is an organization that all but accused DeSean Jackson of being a gang banger in order to justify releasing the most explosive player on the team in his prime.
I wonder how they will conjure up Trent Cole’s sudden release? They’ll probably paint him as a viscous killer of animals, and say that PITA wants to sue them if they don’t cut him asap.
Brandon Graham is going to command probably around $7-8Mill per year in free agency. If I’m the Eagles, I’m cutting Trent Cole (unless he’s willing to take a pay cut) and signing Brandon Graham to an extension.
Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if they cut Trent Cole and let Brandon Graham walk, and plugged Vinny Curry in at that spot.
What’s happening with Jeremy Maclin? I’d be very surprised if he’s not signed, but if he is, someone else has to go, because the Eagles have never paid two position players more than $10Million each in the same season. Could that person be LeSean McCoy?
With an $12Mill cap number next year, it would not surprise me one bit if the Eagles tried to trade him.
Personally, I wouldn’t be mad if that happened. We need help in the secondary more than we need a running back who can’t seem to run north and south to save his life. Chris Polk is more than serviceable, and with Darren Sproles back there, I think the Eagles could replicate Shady’s production by committee, while saving a ton of money and/or improving our secondary in the process.
There’s also the quarterback situation.
If this team is really going to take a step closer to winning a championship, we need to move on from Nick Foles. I like Nick Foles and I’ve been a supporter of him for a while. He does a lot of things well, but him in Chip Kelly’s offense is like an old man buying a Porsche. We’re never going to see the full playbook or alleged magic of Chip Kelly’s system with Nick Foles.
Moving up to draft Marcus Mariota sounds great, but the Eagles aren’t the only team who wants him, and it could cost more than the Eagle are willing to give up to make that happen.
I think a much more likely scenario is the Eagles taking UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley in the 2nd or 3rd round. If you’re not familiar with Brett Hundley, his skill set is very similar to that of Mariota’s, and he plays in a similar, up tempo system that lends itself to Chip Kelly’s system.
Hundley isn’t quite as polished as Mariota, but he’s every bit as dangerous as a dual threat. He has an absolute cannon of an arm, and reminds me a lot of a taller Russell Wilson in that he is amazing in the pocket and scrambles more to pass then to run. But if he breaks one, he’s electric.
Having played in the PAC10, Chip Kelly is no doubt very familiar with Hundley, and if I had to put money on it, I think there’s a great chance the Eagles take him on draft day.
Do yourself a favor and watch this all the way through (1:26 is unreal)
7.) Our linebacker situation could get ugly.
I understand you can’t have Pro-Bowlers at every position on the field and I know we have a lot of holes to fill in the secondary, but if Casey Matthews is re-signed, you know Chip Kelly is definitely smoking something nice.
He isn’t the worst against the run, but he’s hopeless in pass coverage and he’s slow as shit. Why isn’t he a beast like everyone else in his family? I just don’t understand.
Connor Barwin and Mychal Kendricks are both studs, but in a 3-4 defense, linebackers are the engine that makes the defense go. I doubt very seriously that a 32 year old Trent Cole will be back at his salary and I can’t imagine the Eagles beating someone else’s offer for Brandon Graham, who until late last season was nothing more than a situational, rotation player.
This leaves Emmanuel Acho, Bryan Braman, Casey Matthews (if he’s re-signed) and Marcus Smith as the remaining linebackers.
For a team whose future looked so bright just a year ago, the Eagles all of a sudden have a lot of holes to fill in a hurry if they want to compete for a Super Bowl.
It might be time to stop being salary camp champions and start re-tooling before Chip Kelly leaves and we’re back to square one again.