As a first-year head coach in the NFL, coming from the college game, when many before him have found difficulty establishing success, Chip Kelly has already won more games in his inaugural campaign than his predecessor. He is currently entrenched in a race for the NFC East title, a place that few thought the Philadelphia Eagles would be at this point in the season.
However, looking back at how they managed to get to this point, the Eagles have not exactly beaten the best of the best. Kelly has simply led Philadelphia to win games that they should. They haven’t yet produced that signature victory showing the competition that they’re a serious contender.
Taking a look at their successes, the Eagles have won their six games against teams that are all currently under .500. Those teams boast a combined record of 19-37. Included in their victories, the Eagles beat two teams, the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while they were still winless. Both were in last place but have since climbed a bit in the standings. Add to that, three wins against the currently last place Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders and the resume of Philadelphia continues to look more questionable. Their only win of quality is over the Green Bay Packers, which has a huge asterisk next to it because Aaron Rodgers didn’t play taking much of the value away. Overall, the Eagles have just taken what they’ve been given, nothing more, nothing less.
Kelly is in need of a statement victory.
A win that will make his transition to the professional ranks seem savvier, more achievement driven and less put on a plate. Kelly is regarded as one of the more creative and innovative minds in football today. Making his mark when the Eagles need it most, to begin a stretch run toward a playoff position, could not come at a better time or place than Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals, a true opponent, at home where the Eagles have seen their struggles.
The players will need to produce on the field, but it is Kelly pulling the strings and masterminding the performance which will put Philadelphia in a real position as a contender.