Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly needs to watch where he sits next week, because after this disastrous 20-10 losing performance against the Dallas Cowboys, his seat will be hot. This was the type of game that, when a head coach is fired three months later, you point to as the beginning of the end.
Going into the game, Philadelphia had to feel good about its chances against the Dallas Cowboys. Even after a loss the week before against the Atlanta Falcons, the Eagles offense started to rev up in the second half of that game and was riding some nice momentum into the team's home opener.
Additionally, the Cowboys were coming to town without their best skill player. Wide receiver Dez Bryant broke his foot in the first week of the season and was unavailable. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Philadelphia, and the finger of blame has to be pointed firmly at Kelly.
After going out and bringing in a plethora of free-agent stars to continue to fine tune the Philadelphia offense, the entire unit has taken a massive step backward. Again on Sunday, quarterback Sam Bradford struggled with his reads and missed throws that would be considered rudimentary by NFL standards. On Sunday, Bradford finished with a 65.6 quarterback rating and a dismal 6.05 yards per attempt.
It didn’t help that the Eagles offensive line has been well, offensive. But again, the decision to not retain tackle Todd Herremans and guard Evan Mathis falls squarely on the shoulders of Kelly. Besides, when you play in a Chip Kelly offense, it’s not about the line, it’s about those dynamic skill players, right?
And the rush game was going to be improved because Kelly brought in not one, but two starting running backs. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews both have been stars in this league, and in that Kelly zone-read offense would dominate, right? Wrong.
Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill had some fun at Philadelphia’s expense, but his words ring true. The revolution has been televised, and it hasn’t been very entertaining, or revolutionary.
Is Chip Kelly's offense revolutionizing the NFL yet? Asking for a friend— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) September 20, 2015
Two games into the season, Murray has 21 carries for 11 yards, and Mathews has four carries for four yards. Are you kidding? All these weapons, a running back-friendly offense and this is all they can muster? This sort of production is unacceptable by any team, but on Philadelphia, it is magnified. Kelly came to the league touting his system as something unique, and something that can translate to the NFL game.
Eagles beat writer Jeff McLane summed it up rather astutely on Twitter:
This is Chip Kelly's remade offense. Brought in 5 new starters and it stunk today. No run game. Bradford/OL terrible. Dropped passes.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) September 20, 2015
How many games like this will Eagles ownership tolerate? Now that the Philadelphia offense has been exposed, the clock is ticking. The Eagles took a serious risk bringing this system to the NFL, and then they trusted in Kelly to put his team together. Two games into the season (and even at the end of last season), the experiment isn’t working.
Maybe all this is just a ploy by Kelly to get himself back into college football. Or perhaps it really is those two new offensive linemen who are making it all go wrong. Regardless, things are very wrong, and if Kelly can’t right the ship, he’s more likely to be coaching in the ACC in 2016 than the NFC. Sunday's performance was an abject disaster on multiple levels. It's hard to imagine this team recovering from that quickly, if at all.