What is up with the Eagles
If you are an Eagles fan, you have to be hurting right now. Not only are they off to a 1-3 start, after winning their first game 33-27 against the Redskins, but they just seem to keep on making mistakes. At the rate that they are going, they will end up at 4-12, exactly the same dismal performance as they had last season.
First, although the Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Andy Reid after 14 seasons at the end of 2012 - along with the rest of the coaching staff except for Duce Staley and Ted Williams - the wholesale change out doesn't seem to be making much of a difference. You have to wonder how long new head coach Chip Kelly is going to stay around, and whether he will even make it to the end of the year. Kelly is an unproven quantity in the NFL, although he did a great job at Oregon transforming a mediocre college program into what it is today. Whether he is hard enough to make it in the NFL is difficult to say - but he has a reputation for cheerleading, which just may not cut it.
The next thing is the state of the Eagles' defense this year. As was recently pointed out by Paul Domowitch, NFL columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News, the Eagles are now on track to give up more yards than any other team in NFL history. We thought that that record would stand for a long time when the Saints set it last year - giving up 7042 yards - but if the Eagles keep the same pace, they'll give up 106 yards more. Not only that, the Eagles are even worse when opponents go to the air. The Saints set a record by giving up 4875 passing yards in 2012, while the Eagles are going to give up 5432 if they keep on going the way they are right now. This shows up in the Eagles' first down statistics - they are on pace to give up 448 this season, shattering the Baltimore Colts' record of 406 which has stood for 32 years.
The offense seems to be having trouble getting over the line as well, and the trend seems to be getting worse. The first two games of the season actually went well, with the Eagles recording an impressive ratio of 6.67 points per 100 yards. Now, that has dropped to 3.88 in the last two games, even though they are still piling on the yardage. They just can't seem to get anything together in the red zone - in their latest 52-20 loss against the Broncos, they only scored 2 touchdowns on 5 trips inside the 20. Brent Celek's play probably summed it up - his drop on third down in the red zone meant the Eagles had to settle for a field goal. When you consider that Peyton Manning was in the other camp, that sort of performance just isn't going to rack up the points that are needed.