By Michael P. Quinn Cold Hard Football Facts Eagles Specialist (@PJbleedsgreen)
After a hot start to 2013, it looks like the Philadelphia Eagles are still the dumbest team in the NFL.
They obviously didn't head into Denver favored to leave the victors, but Chip Kelly's team was certainly expected to put up a fight.
The Broncos and Eagles were the top two offenses heading into Sunday's match up, so it was generally thought it would be a high scoring affair. While that turned out to be the case, the Eagles weren't much a part of it.
The Good: There wasn't much of it, but Kelly's team did some good. They may have been drastically outscored, but they put up 450 total yards, only 22 yards less than Denver's 472. With that high output by the Philly offense, it marks the first time in NFL history a team has averaged 430+ yards in the first four games.
The Bad: Like I stated, we expected a Broncos win, but we thought the
supposedly high powered Eagles offense would put up the good fight. It's kind of pathetic in a way, that the offense could manage so many yards, and only put up 20 points. Even worse, seven of those points came in garbage time when the second team offense and defense was in. When he did play, quarterback Michael Vick was overwhelmed from start to beginning and seemed to have gorilla glue on his hands when it came to getting rid of the ball.
The Ugly: The offense played stupid football, but the defense put on a dreadful showing. Peyton Manning is probably the best quarterback in football, but that's no excuse to allow his offense to set a franchise record. The Philadelphia special teams played just as bad, as they allowed 14 points including a 105-yard kickoff return.
The Eagles look bad, and it's hard to pin it all on one player, or even unit for that matter. Chip Kelly certainly has his work cut out for him as his team took yet ANOTHER step back on offense and defense.
The Eagles seem to become less efficient by the week, and it shows in their stats. In terms of Scoreability, Kelly's team has once again stumbled. Where they averaged 15 yards per point after week two, they now average over 18.
The defense, which would appear to be the real problem, dropped in the Bendability rankings as well. Where they averaged a somewhat respectable 15.3 Yards Per Point Allowed after week two, they've since dropped to an embarrasing 12.9.
While the defense was easily dissected by Manning & co, they can't shoulder all the blame. Vick, who surprisingly didn't turnover the ball once, looked terrified in the pocket. He was afraid to throw the deep ball and couldn't get a good look on the read-option all game.
The receivers weren't anything to brag about either. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did a surprsingly good job at shutting down DeSean Jackson (2 REC, 34 YDS). Another no show on Sunday, Riley Cooper (2 REC, 25 YDS) continued to solidify his spot as the least talented No.2 wideout in the league.
Tight End Brent Celek (3 REC, 57 YDS) wound up being the leading receiver from the day's action, but he also dropped a couple of key passes including a wide open touchdown catch-and-run.
LeSean McCoy, who is still the NFL's lead rusher, only totaled 94 yards on the day. With such a monumental lead by Denver, McCoy didn't get his usual workload (only 16 carries).
Does Chip Kelly Stand A Chance In Fixing His "Dumb" Team In 2013?
Believe it or not, yes he does.
After such a heart breaking loss, it would be hard for any team to come back the next week and put up the good fight. Thankfully for the Eagles, they're in the NFL's weakest division. Another plus, is their schedule. Here is their next five games:
10/6 @ NYG
10/13 @ TB
10/20 vs DAL
10/27 vs NYG
11/2 @ OAK
Combined, the opposing teams only have three wins.
That's sad, and it's certainly a slate of games Kelly's Eagles have to take advantage of.
If he wants to even sniff the postseason his first year as coach, he must win at least four of those games. Winning all three divisional games would be a huge plus, and could pay dividends torwards the end of the year.
For that to happen, a lot of things need to change, including endless improvement on both sides of the ball.
Despite taking a ground-shattering setback this past weekend, it seems the dumbest team in football still (somehow) stands a chance at winning the NFC East.