Chipadelphia: Why Kelly's Eagles Can Flourish Under Nick Foles
By: Michael P. Quinn Cold Hard Football Facts Eagles Specialist (@pjbleedsgreen)
FINALLY, the team that has been averaging over 450 yards per game in the last month, has their second mark in the win column.
They may be a measly 2-3, but Chip Kelly's Eagles are currently in first place in the NFC East (2-0 record against divisional teams gives them tie-breaker over Dallas).
It may have taken them five weeks, but it seems the Eagles have finally taken the next big step forward. Both sides of the ball have seen improvement, while Kelly seems to be making all the right calls.
The only problem? His starting quarterback is out for the foreseeable future.
Though we don't know for a 100% fact that Michael Vick will be out on Sunday against Tampa Bay, we do know that Nick Foles will be given the nod to start if Vick isn't in perfect health.
It makes sense for Foles to start, but can the immobile quarterback still lead the Eagles to a victory on Sunday?
Yes, he definitely can.
Consider this: in Week 5 the Eagles only scored two touchdowns in five red-zone possessions. Foles (197 YDS, 2 TD'S on the day) threw both of those touchdowns. He's looked skiddish at first, but was eventually able to make some great throws under pressure and got all the pass-catchers involved.
Despite his near-flawless performance, we have to remember the Eagles were facing the 26th ranked passing defense, and a team that frankly has run out of any hope of turning around their season-- so Foles' performance against a somewhat-weak defense may want to be taken with a grain of salt.
Thankfully, it looks like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also seemingly lost all hope for this year. Well, on offense at least.
The defensive combo of Darrelle Revis/Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson has proven a deadly threat as the Buc's are currently ranked fifth in total defense. Foles will surely be tested, and the Buc's will certainly be waiting for the young quarterback to make any mistake.
If Kelly can find a healthy balance between the ground game and airing it out, Foles may be able to get past one of the leagues best defenses for the second year in a row.
Speaking of defense, the Eagles defensive unit made a surprising recovery against New York forcing four turnovers and only allowing 21 points (versus 52 the week before). They held the Giants running game to only 53 yards and kept superstar Victor Cruz relatively quiet, and more importantly out of the end-zone.
Chip Kelly has ignited a spark with the Eagles, and it seems everyone is catching fire. When the rookie coach said he was serious about both Foles and Vick being "neck and neck" for the starting job headed into the season, it looks like he wasn't joking.
For now, Michael Vick is the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. But if Foles get's the nod to start Sunday and once again play's lights out, you have to wonder if Kelly would question who his starter should be.
The Eagles under Kelly have risen from the depths of the league as the dumbest team, to an explosive and respectable unit.
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