What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

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

MMQB’s Andy Benoit explored the struggles of Sam Bradford despite the Eagles’ win against the Jets in Week 3.

Week 4 presents a great opportunity for this passing game to get on track. Philly faces a Washington defense that, through three weeks, has been schematically predictable. Unless it’s third-and-medium-or-less, new defensive coordinator Joe Barry has generally employed a straight three-over, four-under zone. (Or that’s how the coverages have ended up, anyway.)

Early in the down, they’ve been disguised as other things, and a big part of the coverages are the built-in rotations defenders take in unraveling their disguises. Bradford must get a handle on those rotations and project where moving bodies are going. Whether he does or not will be the most revealing indication yet of what Chip Kelly really has in his new quarterback.

NFL.com’s Conor Orr dove deep into the dynamic between outsider Chip Kelly and the city of Philadelphia’s rabid sports fans.

Embarrassing is not a word often associated with Kelly. His early years as an offensive coordinator at New Hampshire — seasons where the Wildcats went 5-6, 6-5, 4-7, 3-8 and 5-7 — are often treated like the early stages of a radical pharmaceutical study. By 2004, the miracle drug had been discovered, the Wildcats were 10-3 and Kelly was on his way to bigger and better things.

But insight into how Kelly will handle failure and mounting pressure is sparing. Those who know him offer the same banal platitudes that are associated with every coach — a daily commitment, long hours, the grind — mostly because Kelly prefers to operate with the secrecy, focus and intensity of a Navy SEAL.

SB Nation’s Danny Kelly placed the Eagles at No. 17 in his latest iteration of power rankings.

The Eagles made a statement by going into MetLife Stadium and igniting their offense against a good New York Jets defense, easing some fears in Philly (I would think) that Chip Kelly has completely ruined the roster. Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles acted as spark plugs for a team desperate to get going. It wasn’t easy, but the Colts outlasted the Tennessee Titans to improve to 1-2. There are still questions to answer for all three teams, but for now crisis has been averted.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke also thinks the Eagles belong at No. 17, in large part because of the team’s running game.

Ryan Mathews stepped into the starting RB role Sunday and rushed for 108 yards in a win over the Jets. At his current pace, DeMarco Murray would need a little less than 20 games to hit 108 yards. Murray’s too talented of a back to stay grounded all year, but Philadelphia might be wise to ride its other horses for a bit.

The Eagles’ defense has kept the team afloat longer than its offense might have deserved, writes NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison, who puts the Eagles at No. 20 in his power rankings.

Respond. That’s what you do when fans are questioning your character, motives, desire and so on. Darren Sproles’ return TD was absolutely huge — and the oomph he gave the offense in the second half comeback in Week 1 wasn’t discussed nearly enough, either. But the biggest props here go to the Philly defense, which forced four costly turnovers, three of which came courtesy of two rookies (Jordan Hicks and Eric Rowe).

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports puts the Eagles at No. 16 in his latest rankings.

They did a nice job bouncing back on the road against the Jets. The offense still doesn’t look right, though.

The Eagles’ offense showed glimpses of what can eventually be a great offense, according to Dan Schneier of Fox Sports, who puts the Eagles at No. 15 in his rankings.

The Eagles finally put it all together and we caught a glimpse of how special this defense can be if they limit the big plays. With DeMarco Murray sidelined with an injury, Ryan Mathews finally got the ground game going — he could see more carries going forward. To become true believers, we still need to see more from Sam Bradford.

The Eagles just made the Top 15 list from Peter King at MMQB, who is wary of Bradford’s play through three games.

15. It’s good for the Eagles to be supportive, on and off the record, of Sam Bradford. But he’s not playing well. You’ve got to trust that he’s still getting adjusted to this offense, and to playing full speed after missing nearly two years.