By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles are heading into a much-needed bye week after dropping a Sunday night game against Carolina. With the Dallas Cowboys coming up next on the schedule, there is still an opportunity to regain control of the NFC East and reach the playoffs. As ugly as things have seemed for the Eagles this season, the Eagles are fortunate to still be in striking distance if they can address a number of concerns in the bye week.READ MORE: Waterford Township Schools Closed After More Than 60% Of Staff Sickened Following Luncheon
Chip Kelly wants no part of a running back controversy
That’s too bad, because it appears he has one to sort through heading into the bye week. The Eagles brought in DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews in the offseason to piece together a running game capable of replacing LeSean McCoy, and so far it has yielded mixed results that are driving a line down the fanbase. The calls for more carries by Mathews have been loud, especially after Mathews ripped off a 63-yard touchdown Sunday night against the Panthers. Mathews carried the ball just once after that. Kelly has said running backs coach Duce Staley decides which back is on the field, but it is still up to Kelly to determine the final calls when it comes to the offense.
The debate goes beyond just rhetoric from fans though. Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans has weighed in with his opinion, saying he would like to see Mathews get more touches.
Maybe Chip Kelly needs a wake-up call
After seven games there is little to support any argument the Eagles can be classified as a good team. The Eagles are 3-4 and have yet to play a full game. Few teams, if any, start as slowly in the first half of games as the Eagles. Wide receivers continue to drop key passes and the running game has not yet reached its full potential. Even the wins have been ugly. But good news, because Chip Kelly says they have a really good team. It is unconfirmed just what team Kelly thinks he has, but this team as it is currently constructed and executing is anything but a “really good team” by any metric or definition.READ MORE: Giant Supermarket Chain Opening 4 New Stores In Philadelphia, Hiring 700 Employees
“I told those guys after the game, I said the two things I know right now; we’re 3-4 and I also know that we’ve got a really good football team in that locker room,” Kelly told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show. “We just need to get out of our own way sometimes and eliminate the mistakes that are hurting us.”
There certainly is no shortage of obstacles to attempt clearing in the bye week.
Jordan Matthews was embarrassed by his performance
There is at least one Eagles player not shy about his disappointment in his performance Sunday night. Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews dropped two passes in the loss, including one that led to an interception. Matthews said it was embarrassing and took responsibility for coming up short on his No. 1 receiver hype. Matthews has struggled at times this season, but his comments suggest some good leadership qualities as much as much as it does some maturity in just his second year. Now, what Matthews does with his performance will show whether or not he can shake it off in the bye week and come back in a big way.
Chip Kelly for College GameDay guest picker?
Chip Kelly may not be heading back to college football any time soon, but he would make for a great guest picker for ESPN’s College GameDay. ESPN’s hit pregame show is heading to Philadelphia this week to build up to Saturday night’s Temple game against Notre Dame. It’s a pretty big deal. The show always has a special guest picker join in the fun for the picks of the big games around the country, and it is usually a mystery who the guest picker will be until that Saturday. With the Eagles being off, Kelly would make for a terrific guest picker that would resonate well with the show’s primary audience.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.