The Eagles are 5-5 heading into Sunday. We don’t know if the team will finish 9-7, 8-8 or 7-9. This team has the talent to make a serious run down the stretch, but also has enough holes to have some bad losses.
No matter how this season turns out…I believe.
I believe in Chip Kelly.
Smoothies. Music. The read-option. Pop passes. Professor Azzinaro. I believe in all of it. Even the 3-4 defense (please forgive me Tom Landry and Buddy Ryan).
It feels good to believe.
The last few years of the Reid era were awkward. I hoped. I rationalized. I wanted to believe. But…
But there were just so many strange things. Juan Castillo. Jaiquawn Jarrett. Chad Hall. Steve Smith. Starting Casey Matthews as a rookie. And so on. It was tough to keep faith in the organization and the team. The on-field results weren’t good and the off-field actions often left you scratching your head.
Chip Kelly isn’t perfect. His ideas aren’t perfect. But there seems to be a specific plan rather than a lot of wishing and hoping. I didn’t like the fact that Damion Square played while Vinny Curry sat for the first 2 games, but now Curry is playing well, as a pass rusher and run defender. Kelly and his staff were able to get Curry to do things their way.
Kelly has Nick Foles doing some freakish things. Honestly…did you ever think you’d see an exhibit in Canton that featured Peyton Manning and Nick Foles? That truly is mind blowing.
Did you ever think Riley Cooper would be a deep threat? Or Nate Allen a solid tackler?
Kelly hasn’t built the Eagles into a juggernaut, but this team is doing some unusual things. Check out these 2 items from Reuben Frank in his 25 Points column.
6. How rare is what the Eagles did the last two weeks? Winning consecutive road games by 14 or more points? Andy Reid coached here 14 years and had a lot of success. The Eagles were 65-46-1 on the road under Reid, the third-best road record in the NFL from 1999 through 2012 (behind only the Patriots’ 72-40 and the Colts’ 69-43). Yet Reid won road games in consecutive weeks by 14 or more points only once. That was in 2006, 36-22 at the Meadowlands against the Giants and 23-7 in Dallas. Before that? The Eagles also won consecutive weeks by 14 or more points on the road twice in the 1940s and once in the early 1950s. And that’s it. Five times in 81 years.
3. Keep this in mind while watching the Eagles: 36 of the 53 on the active roster are 26 or younger. That includes Fletcher Cox (22); Brandon Boykin, Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Mychal Kendricks, Bennie Logan and Earl Wolff (23); Nick Foles, Najee Goode and Damion Square (24); Nate Allen, Vinny Curry, LeSean McCoy and Cedric Thornton (25); and Riley Cooper, DeSean Jackson and Jason Kelce (26). That is quite a nucleus.
Kelly was handed some talented pieces and he is making the most of them. That’s what good coaches do.
I don’t know if Kelly is the right guy to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl, but he sure does feel like the right guy to be the coach now. He’s given everyone a reason to believe. Don’t underestimate the importance of that.
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Are you excited for Sunday’s game? I sure am. Can’t wait for Sunday to get here.
I’m aware that the Skins could pull off an upset. I don’t want that to happen, but I’m aware it might. No matter what happens, we’ll have more evidence in on how to judge these players and this team. The more we learn, the better informed we’ll be when it comes to making tough offseason decisions. All of that can help the Eagles to shape this team into a Super Bowl contender.