Expectations were low for the Eagles heading into the season, although I’m not sure anybody thought a Chip Kelly offense would go one game without scoring a touchdown, let alone two in a row. Still, Philadelphia wasn’t exactly thinking Super Bowl this year, and most didn’t have them this team in the playoffs, so a 3-5 record at the midway point probably wouldn’t seem so bad—in a vacuum.
The hype surrounding Chip’s first season blew up in a hurry though after an incredible half against Washington in Week 1, and it hadn’t relented much until the Birds came crashing down to earth these past two weeks. Now all of sudden Philly’s offense is one of the worst five units in the NFL, and according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the Eagles are 2013’s biggest disappointment. From Monday’s edition of The MMQB:
This just in: The Eagles aren’t. Remember the good ol’ days? Way back in the first half of the first game of the season, when the Chip Kelly offense was all the rage? The high-octane Eagles offense is averaging 67.7 plays per game. Andy Reid’s offense last year averaged 67.4. The problem in Philadelphia, which is lucky to be 3-5, is Kelly can’t hang his hat on anything in his offense.
I think the Eagles have to be the disappointment of the season. The offense in particular. They do nothing well. In the last two weeks they’ve had 25 drives in two home games, against the Cowboys and Giants … and scored one field goal and no offensive touchdowns. A Chip Kelly team first and foremost has to have consistency and efficiency at quarterback, and Philadelphia hasn’t had that all season. Which is why I think Michael Vick isn’t back next year, and why I think Kelly probably drafts a quarterback high. The Eagles, by the way, have lost 10 straight at home, by an average of 9.9 points per game.
Maybe Phil Simms was on to something? (Still, no.)
“They do nothing well” is probably the most striking line. Earlier this season, you could’ve said the Eagles run the ball well at least, averaging 178.5 yards on the ground per game through the first six weeks. That number dipped to 66.0 in home losses to the Cowboys and Giants, while LeSean McCoy has been kept in check for even longer—just one 100-yard game in the last five.
Still, to call a team that finished 4-12 last season the NFL’s most disappointing when they’ve won almost as many games seems a stretch. I doubt many fans are taking solace in the fact that the Birds are as mediocre as everybody expected, but I’d rather be rebuilding in a rebuilding year than rebuilding during a Super Bowl-or-bust season like the Houston Texans or Atlanta Falcons seem to be.
Many more games like the last two though, and we’ll be way beyond disappointment with the Eagles under Chip Kelly. We might be over him completely.