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Eagles News: Maybe Chip Kelly isn't the problem

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/26/15.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get to the links...

It's not Chip Kelly's fault the Eagles stink - SB Nation
It's less of a scheme problem and more of an execution problem plaguing the Eagles right now. Danny Kelly peels back the curtain on the NFL's most popular winless team.

Why the Jets will lose to the Eagles - BGN
The Eagles aren't as bad as they've been made out to be. Two weeks ago, a lot of people were expecting big things from this team. While there are no guarantee things will turn around, sometimes things aren't as bad as they seem. They lost a road game by 2 points. Then they played a game against a division rival that was tight for more than a half that was swung by a special teams play. Both of these opponents are now 2-0. This is still a team that can go out and play well Sunday.

Eagles should be evaluated statistically in terms of 'per drive,' not 'per game' - PhillyVoice
Obviously, on paper, those numbers look excellent. However, the reality is that the offense was not anywhere near as good in 2014 as it appeared on paper. In addition to the Eagles scoring 11 defensive and special teams touchdowns, the offense's numbers were helped by an important factor -- the fast pace with which they run allow them to run more plays and more drives than any team in the league. On the downside, as a result, the defense is forced to face a high number of snaps and drives as well.

Kelly's run-game wrinkles not working so far for Eagles - Daily News
When Kelly said that poor execution was the primary reason Eagles running backs were held to minus-2 yards on 15 carries against Dallas, he was right. But the changes he implemented last week didn't make a difference, either. When the Eagles hike up to North Jersey to face the New York Jets on Sunday, Kelly will come closer to knowing whether culture does indeed beat scheme, because right now his offensive scheme doesn't inspire much confidence. Dallas deserves a large share of the credit, but Kelly couldn't hide some predictability and the increasing probability that his base plays aren't as effective without a "read" option - a quarterback who can run with the ball. With the immobile and fragile Sam Bradford at quarterback, there is no reason for an unblocked defender to account for him as a runner.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Offensive Struggles - Birds 24/7
Of all the problems to have, however, this isn't the most significant. Do you want opponents to be able to call out your plays? No, but everyone—though perhaps not to this extent—can. According to several Eagles defenders, Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin call out opposing offense's plays pre-snap every game. Dozens of you asked what's wrong with the offense, and although there are multiple facets to it, the main one is what Kelly has repeatedly touched upon: execution.

Golden Opportunity For Marcus Smith Awaits -
With Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks out for Sunday's game, the Eagles will need to do some shuffling in the linebacking corps. The team re-signed Najee Goode earlier this week, and head coach Chip Kelly has already explained that Brad Jones will move back inside to provide depth behind DeMeco Ryans at Jordan Hicks. With all of those pieces moving around, there appears to be an opportunity for outside linebacker Marcus Smith to shine. Fans all know Smith’s story. The first round pick in 2014 struggled to get playing time during his rookie season, partly because of Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham in front of him, but also because of Smith’s difficulty in adapting to the NFL level. But if there was ever a time for Smith to prove himself as a first-round talent and become a valuable piece of the Eagles' defense, this weekend’s pivotal game against the New York Jets is precisely that moment.

3 Key matchups for Eagles vs. Jets -
Eagles pass rush vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets offensive line: A year ago the Eagles finished second in the league in sacks and we're supposed to be even better going after the quarterback this year. Thus far they haven't been. In two games the Eagles have four sacks. That's two per game, which is what Brandon Graham said he would get. So far Graham has none. The Jets have protected Fitzpatrick well in their first two games, allowing just one sack in 59 pass attempts. If Fitzpatrick gets good time to throw, Sunday, it could be another long day for the Eagles.

Chip Kelly's offseason moves get low marks -- for now - ESPN
Chip Kelly thought the Philadelphia Eagles had reached their ceiling with their second consecutive 10-6 record. To get better -- to have a chance to win a Super Bowl -- Kelly believed big changes needed to be made. With his newly acquired control of personnel decisions, Kelly made those changes. His hyperactive offseason was head-spinning at times. Kelly made trades, signed free agents and released longtime veterans. As the Eagles won their first three preseason games, anticipation built in Philadelphia. Two lackluster games into the regular season, reality has begun to set in. While it is too early to draw any final conclusions, he's not off to a good start. Let's look at Kelly’s moves, assessing them at the moment, and projecting how they will play out over time.

Sam Bradford: 'I haven't played to my capabilities' with Eagles - CSN Philly
"Obviously, I haven’t played to my capabilities," Bradford said. "I felt like I was playing much better than this a couple years ago and I expect myself to play better." And the Eagles go to the Meadowlands this weekend still searching for their first win. "Sometimes, you know, when it starts out like this, you just have to get back to basics," Bradford said. "Look at the fundamentals. Get back to taking the right drops. Correct footwork and just trying to stay in rhythm. "I know it’s there. I played really well in training camp, I felt like I’ve had two good practices this week and I’m just going to try to build on that."

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