Found October 21, 2013 on
Sunday was Chip Kelly's lowest offensive output as a head coach. He and his offensive skill players did Nick Foles no favors amid the quarterback's worst performance as a professional.
Perhaps the most suprising and disappointing moments from Chip Kelly's first NFL sojourn as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles took place at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday.
The Eagles 17-3 loss to the division leading Dallas Cowboys now resides amid the carcasses of nine consecutive home losses, but this one may be the most troubling as the bunch.
Not only did the Eagles fall flat against Dallas in a game that could have sent the fortunes of the franchise on an upswing of momentum, but Kelly's high powered offense was grounded.
Even Kelly failed to find an explanation for how quarterback Nick Foles so rapidly descended from being the defending NFC Offensive player of the week against the ninth ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneers, compiling a 133.3 quarterback rating against the league's ninth rated defense to mustering just 80 yards passing against a Cowboys defense that surrenders an average of 308 per week.
Everything that had previously been a strength of Foles quickly evaporated into his biggest weaknesses. The typically pocket poised second-year signal caller was jittery from the first snap of the game. Typically precision accurate-to the tune of entering Sunday with a 67 percent completion percentage-Foles missed open receiver after open receiver.
Put it short, a deer in the headlights would have mocked Foles' performance.
“He was off,” Kelly pointed out afterwards. “I guess that’s what I would say. At times, we had guys open and we didn’t put the ball on him. But there were other times we didn’t help him either.”
No, in the lowest offensive output of a Kelly coached team since the Ducks he offensive coordinated were shut out by UCLA 16-0 on November 24, 2007, Foles' offensive teammates did him no favors.
Two situations come to mind which spelled doom from the get go jump to mind.
On the Eagles second possession LeSean McCoy sprung free on a wheel route down the sidelines but Foles never saw him and instead forced an incompletion to Zach Ertz over the middle of the field. McCoy waived his hands in the air staring back at his quarterback almost protesting that he wasn't thrown to.
McCoy appeared to show up his quarterback, and was on the bench for the final two plays of the series.
Then on second down Foles handed off to Bryce Brown for two yards before throwing a pass incomplete to Brown on third down. It's reasonable to wonder why Brown was a target on third down and why McCoy wasn't on the field for the back half of the series after his public display of distaste for his quarterback? And if not, one has to question the play calling of Kelly who only handed the ball to McCoy 18 times all day.
“I don’t think, as offensive weapons, we gave him much of a chance. There are plays that we should have made, there are plays that I should have made, to help him out,” even McCoy admitted. “We didn’t give him a shot.”
Then, at the end of the first-half Foles misfired on a deep pass to DeSean Jackson which was off the mark and the mercurial wide receiver pounded his helmet in frustration several times before heading to the bench.
Center Jason Kelce has been around for just two seasons but has his finger on the pulse of this team perhaps better than any other player, and he summed up Sunday's debacle best.
“DeSean was a little frustrated with a play that happened that previous drive,” said Kelce. “The biggest thing, you can’t get frustrated or down during a game. I think that’s when things really start compounding on you. So I was just trying to get after him, came to pick his head up. He’s probably our most dynamic weapon when it comes to man coverage so I was just trying to get him back into it.”
Simply put, the Eagles skill position players on offense quit in this game much like they quit down the stretch last season and in several fourth quarters of this dreadful 385 day stretch of games at home.
The quarterback certainly deserves the lion's share of the blame, but the head coach and the typically high octane offense that ran on empty Sunday also carry the burden for a cataclysmic missed opportunity for this team.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.
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