We are one quarter of the way through the NFL Season, which means its time to make some reasonable conclusions about this disappointing Eagles team.
Let’s just start with the Grand Poobah himself, Chip Kelly. My approval rating of Chip Kelly the coach is currently sitting at 25 percent, easily an all-time low. This team is sloppy, way too undisciplined (Kirk Cousins’ hard counts were giving the d-line fits) and can’t execute even some of the most simple plays of Chips incredibly basic offense. I don’t know if I should be generally concerned that he could bolt for college in another year, or if I should be hoping he just does that.
The aspects we glossed over when the team was winning 10 games and playing solid football, unequal time of possession, not getting off the field defensively on third down, the inability to finish off a team and close out the game, all are problems that haven’t been fixed and are even more glaring now that this team is 1-3. That’s coaching.
Now it’s time for Chip the GM/talent evaluator/CEO of Football. His grade? F. This isn’t just for his misguided offseason moves, save for the LeSean McCoy trade for Alonso. Just because Alonso is hurt doesn’t mean it was a bad move. However, when trading for an injury prone player, you kind of get what you sign up for and the Eagles have certainly received This goes back to releasing DeSean Jackson and Chip’s overall my-way-or-the-highway mentality. Culture beats scheme or whatever cheesey slogan we were drooling over when the Eagles crushed the Giants last year? Please. Talent wins and if he doesn’t recognize that he’s going to have to put up with knuckleheads they he might as well leave
He’s not Bill Belichick, despite his best intentions. He can’t just throw away talent (which, I’m pretty sure Belichick would never do) for marginal talent, minimal compensation and expect everything to run smoothly. Belichick has someone named Brady that keeps the offense running smoothly and a long history of success as a defensive coordinator in the NFL. Needless to say, Chip doesn’t have any of that. Ten years ago he was coaching New Hampshire for crying out loud. He keeps citing execution as a reason for the failure. Well, newsflash, you picked these players and they aren’t good enough!
There’s no bigger example of his faulty player evaluation then the offensive line. And I, like many others was duped during the preseason that this rebuilt o-line could be something. It can’t. His decision to not draft a lineman two years in a row is horrendous. Couple that with not signing a capable starting guard or backup in free agency is downright negligent. The offensive line is in a deep rut and it will take years to stabilize.
Letting Jeremy Maclin walk is probably the biggest mistake of this past offseason. You weakened yourself at wide receiver for the second straight year, forcing yourself to waste a top pick on what could’ve been an offensive lineman or secondary player on a wideout. Maclin got overpaid in KC, but he was a perfect fit, both on the field and in Chip’s almighty locker room. Instead he funneled that money to a high-priced running back with lots of tread on his tires in Demarco Murray, when they had already signed Ryan Mathews. Did I mention that they ignored the offensive line? Seriously what kind of logic is this guys using to build this team??
The key now when looking at Chip and trying to stay positive is a monumental shift in expectation. His first year of complete control. His first full year of screw-ups. This is part one of a rebuild as far as I’m concerned. How he navigates his second full off season of free and drafting will be the final tell of whether or not his tenure in Philly has been a massive charade.
Thoughts on other parts of the team:
- It’s hard to find fault with these guys when they’re put in a disadvantage every week. But letting Kirk Cousins walk 90 yards down the field for the game winning drive is awful. And watching some of the catches Garcon made, while thinking about some of the wide open drops the Eagles have had this year is infuriating.
- Sam Bradford: The roller coaster that we’ve been on since he’s been year is absurd. At times he’s been rusty, terrible, above average and perplexing. In short, he’s inconsistent and may never have been that good in the first place. HE MISSED TWO FULL SEASONS DUE TO AN ACL!! While clinging desperately to the belief that Chip was the Eagles savior, we just assumed every move he made would pan our perfectly. Bradford might not turn out to be a bust, but thinking he could walk on the field after two years off and be a stud was foolish and we should’ve stayed skeptical.
- Eric Rowe should play every chance he gets. I couldn’t believe it when I was watching the opener and saw career special teamer Chris Maragos logging significant snaps. This was part of the revamped secondary? Granted, they’ve played better in the last three weeks, but I’m still not confident in this secondary, save for Malcom Jenkins. Back to Rowe, I’m much rather see a second round pick struggle than a career backup. He’s already made some nice plays this year.