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Eagles' Unexpected Collapse Likely To Bring Change In Philadelphia

By Curt Macysyn

In essence, the Philadelphia Eagles handed over the keys to the castle to innovative Chip Kelly, with hopes that Kelly could break the logjam that has the Birds as the only NFC East team without a Super Bowl victory. Kelly went big in the off season, trading quarterback Nick Foles for oft-injured signal caller Sam Bradford and getting rid of running back LeSean McCoy to bring in DeMarco Murray, late of the Dallas Cowboys, to take McCoy's place. The moves have seemingly backfired, as Kelly's next move may be to go home at the request of owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Season Record

The Eagles started out the season with an 0-2 record, before they righted the ship with a 24-17 victory over the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. But a trio of losses to the Dolphins, Buccaneers and Lions seemingly put the Eagles behind the eight ball, before a Week 13 win over the New England Patriots opened the door for a revival. Unfortunately, the Eagles lacked consistency, and a 38-24 loss to the Washington Redskins this past Saturday turned out the light on the Birds' post season dream.

Philadelphia Eagles on Offense

Quarterback Sam Bradford has had a decent season for the Eagles, as he is on pace for the highest completion percentage of his career (64 percent). Bradford has 3,405 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, but he has not been helped by a very raw receiving corps. The team's big name acquisition, DeMarco Murray, has been a huge disappointment with only 633 rushing yards and a lousy 3.5 yards per carry. Oft-injured Ryan Mathews has 528 rushing yards and six touchdowns, and Mathews has certainly provided more consistency that Murray.

Second-year man Jordan Matthews has 78 receptions for 943 receiving yards with six touchdowns, and he represents the biggest receiving threat. Tight end Zach Ertz has 66 catches for 701 receiving yards and only two touchdowns. Young receivers Nelson Agholor (21 catches) and Josh Huff (27 catches), are definitely hit or miss.

Philadelphia Eagles on Defense

The Eagles defense is not much better than their Giants counterparts, as the Birds rank 30th in the league in total yards with 5,924 total yards. Consistency has been evasive on this side of the ball for the Eagles as well, while the play of safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Ex-Giant Walter Thurmond has been a bright spot. Jenkins has 100 total and two interceptions, including a pick six against the New England Patriots. Thurmond has 71 total tackles and leads the team with three interceptions.

The front seven has been a disappointment, with Fletcher Cox leading the team with 9.5 sacks. Brandon Graham (6.5 sacks) and Connor Barwin (6.0 sacks) were expected to produce more. The talented Mychal Kendricks has 77 total tackles with three quarterback sacks, but he cannot seem to play a full season.

Philadelphia Eagles Players to Watch

The Eagles' performance offensively will be dictated by the play of quarterback Sam Bradford, if his offensive line can keep him upright. On defense, old friend Walter Thurmond would like nothing more than to pick Eli Manning's pocket.


Whichever coaching staff can motivate its squad to play in this otherwise meaningless game will have a leg up to garner a victory.

Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past four seasons for, and he is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). Born and raised in New Jersey, Curt attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, N.J. and is a graduate of Rutgers University - New Brunswick. Follow him on Twitter @CurtMac23 for the latest NFL and New York Giants news.

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