Fooled. Tricked. Duped.
It doesn’t matter what word you used, Chip Kelly tricked us. He tricked us int thinking that Andrew Gardner and Allen Barbre could replace pro bowlers in Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans. He tricked us into thinking that the wide receivers would be able to get separation. He tricked us into thinking that this secondary would be any better. Now in fairness, the defense is the last thing to blame for that loss. But Kelly, the GM, is not looking good right now. Maybe it was my fault, and the fault of the Philly fans, for believing the hype. It was just three weeks ago, that the Eagles were becoming a trendy pick to be in Super Bowl 50. I am not going to lie, you can look at my articles, I bought into it.
In Philadelphia, the sports landscape has been barren. The Phillies, are on a huge down swing. I have never seen a team go from 100 wins to a laughing stock in three seasons. The 76ers are in a rebuild, one of the most unorthodox we have ever seen. I give them a bit of a pass, considering the previous ownership group put them in this situation. I am on board with them as they are making the best out of their situation. As of right now, they are also a perennial loser. The Flyers are another team, stuck in mediocrity of the NHL. Their owner is still watching the 1974-1975 Stanley Cup clinchers saying, “we need tough guys,” rather than adapting to the current days of the NHL. Of these four teams, the last to advance a round in the playoffs was the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012, when they defeated the Chicago Bulls. To say we are starved for a winner is an understatement. That leaves our only hope with the Philadelphia Eagles. And why wouldn’t we be excited? This team won 20 games the past two years, and their could not have been more excitement going into the third year of the Chip Kelly era. With the combination of the poor sports landscape and the fact this is a football town, the hype train ran off of the tracks. I heard people all over the place putting them in the echelon with the Packers and Seahawks in the NFC. The NFC East was an afterthought. Everyone seemed to forget that the Dallas Cowboys are the best team in the division. Now who would be to blame for this pathetic 0-2 start? Is it time to panic in the city of Philadelphia?
Had you told me before the season the Eagles would be 0-2, I would not have been surprised. What I am surprised about is the way that they have played. DeMarco Murray has literally only rushed for 11 yards this year. That is simply unconscionable. I have a very hard time believing that he has completely fallen off a cliff as a runner. Not this badly. This is 100 percent the offensive line. The Eagles are the only team in the entire NFL to not draft an offensive linemen in the past two drafts. Meanwhile, last year’s top pick Marcus Smith is listed as inactive every week even though he is healthy. The only way to build a winner in any sports is in the draft. If you can’t get your first round pick to even suit up, that is unacceptable as an organization. The worst move of the off season was letting pro bowl left guard Evan Mathis walk for nothing. Why was he let go you ask? He wanted to restructure his deal. I can handle Chip Kelly wanting a “good culture” but I just do not get this one. If the Eagles had Kam Chancellor would he be released? I would like to think not, but I also did not think that LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson would not be suiting up in Eagles green come year three of the Kelly era. I generally agreed with Kelly’s moves, but not addressing the offensive line was detrimental.
The other “scapegoat” of this early disaster is Billy Davis. He likes to run press-man coverage across the board with a safety over top. When you do not have a top ten corner back, it just will not work. Byron Maxwell is not Richard Sherman. I think we can all agree with that. I have not seen Billy Davis make any adjustments to help out his corner backs in three years. This goes back to watching Bradley Fletcher get absolutely torched in Green Bay and against Dallas last year. The fact that he can not change with his personnel is inexcusable. Another telling stat is that Billy Davis’ defenses have never ranked better than 25th in the NFL. It is not always a lack of talent.
Through two weeks it would be a little premature to panic. On the other hand, teams that start 0-2 have made the playoffs 11 percent of the time. If they could not move the ball on the Cowboys, good luck against the Jets. I have not seen anything that tells me that the Eagles win this game. 0-3 would certainly be cause for panic. All I know is that if they don’t turn it around, it will be a long winter in the City of Brotherly Love.