What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Ryan Mathews and Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)

After the Eagles’ dramatic win over Dallas on Sunday Night Football, and before the Birds take on the Dolphins in Week 10, we take a spin around the world wide web to check in on what national writers have to say about Chip Kelly‘s team halfway through the season.

After a rocky start, Sam Bradford‘s recent play is rewarding Kelly’s big gamble, writes Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.

He threw some of his best and most decisive passes as an Eagle down the stretch Sunday night at Dallas. The former No. 1 overall pick is making better decisions, too: The victory over the Cowboys was his first in more than a month without an interception.

Was Sunday night a sign Bradford is finally comfortable in Chip Kelly’s offense, not to mention finally and completely healthy from the knee injury he spent the last year rehabbing?

Kelly, for one, is now all-in on finding out if that’s the case. That’s because Bradford’s playing time (all 549 offensive snaps) has triggered a clause in the deal with St. Louis allowing the Rams to get out of sending a 2016 fourth-round pick to Philly.

The Eagles can only hope this is the Bradford they will see the rest of the year, considering the NFC East is so mediocre and ripe for the taking.

Over at The MMQB, Neil Hornsby ranks Byron Maxwell among his four free agency fails.

It’s one thing to pay $10.5M for a proven superstar. It’s another to shell out that amount of cash for a guy who was coming off, at best, an average season. Last year Maxwell had one only one very good game, against (you guessed it) the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14.

Playing in the difficult slot role as opposed to his usual position at right cornerback, he defensed two passes and made another couple of stops on third down. He was excellent—it would be difficult not to be impressed… unless of course you watched every other game and saw how frequently his play failed to deviate from that of any mid-tier cornerback.

The Eagles come in at No. 15 on the Fine Fifteen of MMQB’s Peter King, but on a sour note.

15. Philadelphia: Losing Jordan Hicks, a potential defensive rookie of the year pick (one sack, two picks, a touchdown, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble) is a big blow to their linebacking unit.

Sunday night’s win over the Cowboys could be the biggest win of Kelly’s two and a half years in Philadelphia, writes Glen Macnow for the Metro.

Not sure if this game becomes a turning point, but I believe we just watched the most critical win of the Chip Kelly Era. A loss would have left the Eagles 1-1/2 games behind the Giants and reeling into the abyss.

Now, they are well poised at .500, about to face three teams with a combined 7-17 record. It’s no great feat to beat the pitiful Cowboys without Tony Romo. But in the NFL, where 9-7 teams can win the Super Bowl, Sunday night’s victory could prove the defining moment.

Dan Schneier of Fox Sports put Jordan Matthews in his “Three Up” in the site’s weekly NFC East Stock Market.

Entering Week 9, Matthews had just 39 catches for 398 yards receiving and one touchdown. He also entered the week among the league leaders in dropped passes with seven. In Week 9, he broke out with 133 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions.

His 41-yard touchdown in overtime capped off his amazing performance, and this type of game could be the jumpstart he needed to turn his season around. Remember, if it wasn’t for Odell Beckham Jr., Matthews might have won Offensive Rookie of the Year after totaling 872 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2014.

Also, it is no coincidence that Sam Bradford had his best game as an Eagle the same week Matthews broke out of his funk. If Matthews can build on this momentum, things could turn around fast for Philadelphia’s passing offense.