The Philadelphia Eagles closed out a second straight 10-win season under Chip Kelly with a road victory against the division rival New York Giants Sunday afternoon in MetLife Stadium, but the Birds head to the offseason a little earlier than expected. Now the evaluations for the season will begin, but first it is time for one final evaluation on a single-game basis for the Eagles.
With a 24-14 setback Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles were dealt a dose of reality and given plenty to think about and work on before next Sunday night’s home game against the division rival Dallas Cowboys.
Coming off the worst loss of Chip Kelly’s young NFL coaching career, the Philadelphia Eagles wasted little time in getting things started Sunday afternoon at home in Lincoln Financial Field against the Tennessee Titans. Josh Huff’s 107-yard kickoff return to start the game set the tone as the Eagles went on to stomp the visiting Titans, 43-24.
The Eagles were dealt a 53-20 pounding by the Packers Sunday afternoon in Lambeau Field that really was not as close as the final score would indicate. With the loss, the Eagles fell to 2-3 away from Lincoln Financial Field, and Chip Kelly now has plenty he and his staff can work on before returning to the field next week at home.
Making his first start with the Philadelphia Eagles, and for the first time in a while, Mark Sanchez was locked in and fully capable of running the Eagles offense against the Panthers.
A week after letting a win slip through their hands in Arizona, the Philadelphia Eagles were back on the road on Sunday to take on the Houston Texans. This week the Eagles never let a lead escape them for long and the Birds never once trailed in the game against the Texans.
The Eagles were so close to coming home with a record of 6-1, but self-inflicted mistakes and some questionable play calling held the Eagles back. The Eagles were flagged for 11 penalties for 103 yards, they lost the turnover battle (three to one) and went 0-for-3 inside the red zone. Despite all that, the Eagles still came within one play of getting out of Arizona with a win.
The Eagles soar into their bye week with the best record in the NFL. At 5-1, the Eagles are tied for the lead in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles are now 4-0 at home as well as 2-0 in NFC East play. The Eagles could not be entering the bye week feeling too much better than they do, but challenges await after the week off.
If Sunday’s game exposed any one weakness on the Eagles defense, it is the play of the outside cornerbacks. St. Louis quarterback Austin Davis picked apart the Eagles defensive backs on the outside of the field time and time again as the Rams started to chip away.
It is going to be tough to digest this loss for Eagles fans. After the special teams scored twice and the defense added another touchdown, the Eagles only needed their offense to reach the end zone once. Normally this is a given for a Chip Kelly offense, but that was not the case on Sunday.
A last-second field goal by Shayne Graham brought an end to the first season of the Chip Kelly era as the Saints left Philadelphia with a 26-24 victory in the NFC Wild Card playoff. The time for season-long evaluations will come over the coming week, but for now let’s take a quick look at how the Eagles performed in this game.
With a spot in the postseason on the line on the road, the Eagles shined under pressure. It was not a great overall performance, but in a de facto playoff game nothing should have been easy.
For the first time, this Eagles team was faced with the position of being the team that should win and had no logical reason to lose. To the surprise of some, the Eagles played like a team unfamiliar with taking on the role of favorite, and that inexperience may have come in to play.
Credit Chip Kelly and his staff for committing to an offensive style that at times is not what they feel is most comfortable. Sticking to the power running game and letting the offensive line set the tone up front proved to be the best decision Kelly could have made. It helps to have one of the best running backs in the league, LeSean McCoy, blowing through the holes opened up in front of him.
Sunday’s win in Oakland was the most complete team victory of the season for the Eagles. You can never get too carried away with one game, but this was a flat out dominant performance by the Eagles and perhaps a glimpse once again as to what the future could be like with Chip Kelly in charge.