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.
Where the Eagles go from here is a question that will be asked plenty on sports radio this week. While the defense does seem to be coming together and playing well on a more regular basis, the offense continues to flounder.