What They’re Saying About the Eagles

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Here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com did not like Chip Kelly’s decision to kick a field goal on 4th-and-4 from the Broncos’ 7:

“Game over” doesn’t go into my notebook any time a team kicks on fourth-and-short — fourth-and-short kicks can be smart moves. I write “game over” if I think a coaching decision dooms a team, either by surrendering a chance for badly needed points or by making it seem the coach won’t put it all on the line in search of victory. Trailing 14-3 on the road versus high-scoring Denver, Chip Kelly took a field goal on fourth-and-4 from the Broncs’ 7 — I wrote “game over” in my notebook. Kelly was communicating to his players that he expected to lose, and wanted to keep the margin of defeat respectable; the ridiculous field goal attempt when trailing 49-13 is proof of that.

In his weekly QB Index, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com has Michael Vick ranked 12th:

That first-half explosion against Washington seems like a long time ago for Vick. He’s still played well overall but can be so unpredictable on a snap-to-snap basis.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 23rd in his power rankings:

All the enthusiasm sparked by that opening-night win and the prospect of Chip Kelly changing the NFL is starting to wane now. That’s what happens when the defense is, uh, less than viable. This is a point we raised early on, and it will be relevant until the Eagles prove they can hold the fort.

Coming into last Sunday’s matchup in Denver, Philadelphia ranked 31st in the NFL in forcing three-and-out drives, doing it on just 10.5 percent of opponents’ possessions. Safe to say that number didn’t improve much against the Broncos.

Chris Burke of SI.com has the Eagles 28th in his power rankings:

The Eagles are averaging 24 minutes and 58 seconds of possession time per game this season, which is the lowest total in the league. That’s a tough way to win for any team, let alone one that has a rebuilding and undermanned defense.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 22nd:

For years, the NFL average for offensive plays per game is just about 65 … the Eagles are right at 67. There are currently 10 other teams that are running more.

Andy Benoit of TheMMQB.com has Evan Mathis as a first-team All-Pro through four games:

Mathis’s more finesse style is a good fit in Chip Kelly’s system.

ESPN.com has the Eagles 27th in its power rankings:

In each game after Week 1, Michael Vick’s completion percentage on throws 5 yards or fewer has gone down. Short throws are a staple of Chip Kelly’s offense.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner has the Eagles 25th:

The problem isn’t that the Broncos torched that bad defense. It’s that the offense hasn’t done much for two straight weeks.

Football Outsiders had Vick’s Week 4 performance ranked 11th:

When Vick and the Eagles took the field in the third quarter, they were only down by 15 points, and the game was still within reach. On the next three drives, Vick went 1-of-7 for 27 yards with two sacks. That third drive ended with a blocked punt and a Denver touchdown that put the Broncos up by 36.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 23rd:

If Chip Kelly doesn’t have the right personnel to run “his offense,” maybe he shouldn’t be running “his offense.”

Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com offers his thoughts on Vick’s Week 4 performance:

Short passes, followed by yards gained after the catch, are supposed to be the hallmark of coach Chip Kelly’s offense. On Sunday, Vick missed on 6 of his 11 attempts that traveled 5 or fewer yards downfield. He also didn’t complete a third-quarter pass as the Eagles fell behind by 29 points.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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