2013: 10-6; lost in Wild Card Playoffs to New Orleans
Who says college offenses don’t work in the NFL? And we’re not just talking about the read option here. Chip Kelly’s new-age offense translated perfectly to the pro level, but not with the quarterback fans were expecting to see at the helm. In starting the first six games Michael Vick showed more of his chronic inaccuracy and issues turning over the ball too much. The Eagles got off to a 3-5 start. But under Nick Foles (27 TDs, 2 INTs), they completely turned it around in a 7-1 second half during which they averaged over 33 points per game. They forced another Cowboys choke at the end of the regular season to make the playoffs. They suffered a tough loss to New Orleans in the first round of the playoffs but the Eagles are just getting started. LeSean McCoy (1,607 yards, 9 TDs) lived up to high promise in the Kelly offense, DeSean Jackson (82 rec, 1,332 yards, 9 TDs) got himself back to the top tier of WRs in the league, and they had solid depth in Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Zach Ertz, and Brent Celek. But Jackson was cut in the offseason, a tough move that had to be made, meaning a guy who hasn’t played in over a year--Jeremy Maclin--is the new #1. He remains a question mark, so the Eagles took Vanderbilt product Jordan Matthews in the second round of the Draft, then Oregon product Josh Huff in the third (there’s that Chip Kelly connection). In the first round they took Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith hoping to anchor an average defense. They swapped underachieving QBs with the Jets, losing Vick and picking up Mark Sanchez. But also losing Avant, DE Clifton Geathers, and S Patrick Chung means this team has its questions.
Explosive offense is great. Adding Darren Sproles makes it even better. But running out the worst passing defense in the league isn’t going to work if they want to seriously contend for anything. The defense has its share of individual stars but none of them are in the secondary. Chung was probably the most accomplished back there, and he’s gone. DeMeco Ryans, Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and others actually do a great job pressuring quarterbacks; blame has to fall on the unproved group of cornerbacks. Brandon Boykin salvaged some with six interceptions but they still need help out there. The defense is going to most likely decide their season, as we know the offense will put up plenty of points. It is unrealistic to expect Foles to maintain the ridiculous 13.5:1 touchdown to interception ratio though, so the defense will have probably more of a challenge than they did last season. The Eagles have an easy opener vs Jacksonville, but their first two road games are at Indy and San Francisco, two huge games that would make a statement if they could pull them off. Later, Carolina and the world champion Seattle will come to Philly in tough home games. Get your Eagles tickets from Gold Coast Tickets today!