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Eagle Eye - After surprising start to ‘13, Eagles grounded

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After surprising start to ‘13, Eagles grounded

There’s no question that most of the NFL and its fans were shocked when the Eagles pulled off a victory against the Washington Redskins on the opening Monday Night Football game of the season. After seeing the following three weeks of football played by both Philadelphia and Washington the picture is a whole lot clearer.

The Redskins are not the NFC East champs they were last year, nor is Robert Griffin III back to his normal playing abilities. We thought the Eagles were going against a potential powerhouse when they pulled off their win but now it appears the two were evenly matched.

The losses to San Diego, Kansas City and the stomping by Denver speak much louder than that single win in DC. While 1-3 sounded about right for Philadelphia’s record at the end of September, the losses were worse than expected.

There are a couple of things that we now know about the Philadelphia Eagles under the direction of first-year coach Chip Kelly. First, it appears the secondary is incapable of stopping any passes even if the ball matched the size and speed of a float in a Thanksgiving parade. Yes, Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all time but no professional players should allow anyone to complete 28 of 34 pass attempts for 327 yards and four touchdowns.

The defense isn’t marking receivers too well, either. It doesn’t matter what a receiver’s name is, when Manning is throwing the balls everyone will get a taste. But there is no question that Wes Welker is the go-to guy for the Broncos and Manning was able to find him too easily seven times yesterday. This is similar to the San Diego game when all three of the Chargers’ touchdowns came on passes to Eddie Royal. Philly’s D has some awesome athletes, but they just aren’t coming together to play collective defense.

Even in the darkness of 1-3, there is some light that can be cast upon Philly’s season so far. Thanks to the Redskins, Cowboys and especially the Giants also coming up short early and often this year the Eagles are still just one game out behind 2-2 Dallas. Should Philadelphia find a way to turn things around, they could easily be in the playoff race at the end of the season.

The offense isn’t always perfect, but when it’s clicking it is really good. They’re the eighth team in league history to record 400 or more yards of offense in the first four games and set a franchise record with 1,835 yards so far this year. LeSean McCoy’s 468 rushing yards are also the most by an Eagles back through this point in the season.

One thing Kelly has to be careful of in blowouts is what he does at the end of games. He put in backup quarterback Nick Foles to run the offense in the fourth quarter and Foles found Jeff Maehl in the end zone for a touchdown. Kelly made it clear that this is Vick’s team, but that could get a little tricky if Foles continues to come in and succeed in garbage time. 


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