When Chip Kelly left his throne at Oregon to come to the NFL and become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, he could not have pictured this as the start. His first half of football seemed like Philadelphia would become a heaven where the offense would run wild, scoring points and creating exciting plays, with the defense being at the very least adequate and supportive. But since then, for the most part, the Eagles have looked dreadful.
It was fairly well understood that entering the season, the defense in Philadelphia was not going to be anything to write home about. It lacked leadership, experience and overall grit. Many wondered if they had taken a step forward since last season or if they had actually gotten worse. The start they had against the Washington Redskins seemed like an aberration that had everyone excited about where this team may go, but it was short lived. We haven’t seen the defense impose itself on a game or a quarter since. It seems more evident than ever that the opposition is the key to their success. With that being said, things don’t look very positive going forward with both of the Manning brothers on the horizon.
Immediately, upon Kelly’s hiring, the offense became the talk of the town in a city where football, overall, had taken a back seat. People were excited about the possibility of high scores, fast tempo and winning. Again, like the defense, everything seemed wonderful after that first half in Washington, but since, the Eagles have not looked the same. Everything was firing on all cylinders and now Philadelphia seems to have to choose between which star will perform in the spotlight, instead of all of them combining in the show. Kelly probably envisioned fireworks on offense, play after play, like it was for him in college. But the Eagles will need to take the long break before their next game to get it straightened out if they’re going to have any chance in Denver.
Already, Kelly has lost as many games on the sidelines in Philadelphia as he lost during any season as the head coach at Oregon, except his first. It could become a very long year for the Eagles if they don’t do something drastic and make changes on both sides of the ball. But being in the weakest division in football, they will be given plenty of opportunity to take matters into their own hands and change their fate before Kelly’s first year at the helm becomes a bust and the questions mount once again about just where this team is going.