The Philadelphia Eagles are one of four teams on a bye this week. Yet this might be the most important week of the Eagles’ season.
It all depends on Chip Kelly. He’s been an innovator since coming to Philadelphia three seasons ago from Oregon with his high tempo, fast-break offense. Kelly’s style and system have helped the Eagles go 10-6 during each of the last two regular seasons.
This season, though, the Eagles are 3-4. Their season is in jeopardy. Bodog now has the Eagles at 50-1 to win the Super Bowl. Kelly faces a tough choice: Continue his successful, up-tempo scheme, or realize that he doesn’t have the personnel to make that style work.
EAGLES MUST CHANGE TO MAKE PLAYOFFS
If Kelly stubbornly refuses to change, I don’t see the Eagles making the playoffs even though there is not a dominant team in the NFC East. The Giants are the only team with a winning record in the division at 4-3.
Sam Bradford has the second-lowest quarterback rating in the league at 76.4. He doesn’t have any game-breaking wide receivers. The Eagles lack the necessary tools in their passing attack to play fast. That’s why they have four losses.
But the Eagles also have three victories because their defense has picked off 11 passes and forced eight fumbles. No team has created more turnovers. Philadelphia’s ground game has picked up, too, averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per run against Carolina last week.
The Eagles ran 23 more plays than the Panthers and also had a plus two turnover differential. Yet Philadelphia lost, 27-16. How can you have those statistical edges and still lose by double-digits?
KELLY IS MANAGING GAMES INCORRECTLY
Kelly’s system. The game was managed incorrectly by Philadelphia. Bradford dropped back to pass 51 times while the Eagles ran just 30 times despite a highly effective ground game. That imbalance didn’t make sense.
If Kelly sticks to it he’s going to kill his team’s playoff hopes. If Kelly really is a good coach he will adjust to his team’s talent level, which is good enough to win the division based on defense and running.
It’s not good enough, though, if Kelly clings to a fast pace, which is wrongly suited to his skill position cast.