Chip Kelly's Eagles Flying High; Postseason In Sight
By: Michael Quinn
Cold Hard Football Facts Eagles Expert (@PJbleedsgreen)
It may not have been perfect, but Chip Kelly's Eagles got their fourth straight win on Sunday when they narrowly defeated the Arizona Cardinals 24-21.
With the victory, the Eagles improve to 7-5 and keep their playoff hopes well in the realm of possibility. Surprise of the year Nick Foles has been exceptional thus far, and no one could be happier than first year coach Kelly, who labeled him the starting quarterback last week for the remainder of the season.
With Foles being once again near-flawless (21/34 237 yards, 3 TD), we once again got to witness the QB/Coach duo pick apart an NFL defense.
We knew heading into this game that the Cardinals possessed some of the best DB's in the game, so Kelly and Foles were sure to get the tight ends involved early and often.
"Those guys contributed," Kelly said, "and we feel like we have three that are talented and when the matchups present themselves, we can exploit it."
And that's exactly what they did. In the first half, Foles took advantage of the mismtaches and threw three touchdown passes to tight ends. Veteran Brent Celek caught one, and rookie Zach Ertz caught the other two.
The offensive production has been a mainstay lately for this team, something that they've been lacking since early 2010. They've been hovering around the same position in Scoreability (or yards per point scored) with a respectable 16.14 YPPS.
Kelly's great offensive mind combined with Foles' sharp decision making has been equaling nothing but success. Foles broke the Eagles record for most pass attempts without an interception (224) this past Sunday, but more importantly he's stayed consistent for the last four games, something not all quarterbacks can do.
"That’s what’s important" the second year passer explained, "A quarterback has to be consistent, especially in this league. Doing that means getting the ball out quick, if you have a shot, take it, recognize when there is pressure, and be smart with the ball".
Where the team has grown on offense, they've grown just as much on defense. Despite facing the deadly trio of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, the Eagles defense kept the Cardinals to just 21 points. They also got five sacks and forced a whopping three turnovers, proving they're no unit that should be taken lightly.
After almost allowing another fourth quarter comeback, the Eagles Bendability (or yards per point allowed) marker managed to stay the same at 17.6 YPPA. It may not seem stellar, but they rank in the top five in this category, so it definitely matters for them.
Sitting at the top of the NFC East along with the Cowboys, the Eagles must keep pace the rest of the season in order to make the playoffs. It won't be easy, epecially with the NFC North leading Lions coming to town. But if Kelly can bring his team to play, and keep the production going all four quarters, getting his fifth straight win shouldn't be out of the question.
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