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What is Wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles Offense?

What is wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles offense: execution or personnel? The issue is explored further here.

The Philadelphia Eagles head into the bye with some head scratching. The offensive genius Chip Kelly has himself the third best defense in the NFL according to Football Outsiders, and somehow it is his offense holding this team back from being a legitimate contender. To be fair, there are a plethora of issues combining to make this season a disappointment.

To start, people always forget that this team originally intended to sign Frank Gore at running back. Not to say Gore would be the difference-maker, but he threw a major screw in the plan. Whether the Eagles intended to sign Ryan Mathews or not, it’s hard to believe that they planned to sign Demarco Murray before Gore. To look at Gore at 4.6 yards per carry, and to look at Demarco Murray and his 3.5 clip there may have been a difference.

What is Wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles Offense?

You can point at two new guards on the offensive line, but at the same time, the Colts offensive line may be just as bad. You then look to Mathews, who may have been signed for his current role behind Gore, but is out running Murray basically on a touch-by-touch basis. Mathews has 6.1 yards per carry compared to Murray’s 3.5 and also has an 8.1 to 5.7 edge in yards per reception. Murray is getting the major work, with 30 more carries and 11 more catches, and yet the two have scored the same amount of touchdowns. The only time Mathews has seen more than ten carries, he did it in New York, rushing 24 times at a 4.5 yards per carry rate and he led his team to a victory. This is the same New York Jets team that made the Patriots decide to run the ball nine times in their week seven game. Are the play calls better when Mathews is in there?

The Eagles offense also have dealt with a few wide receiver issues. The Eagles rank third in the league in dropped passes with 18. In losing Jeremy Maclin the Eagles lost 85 catches, 143 targets and ten touchdowns. A lot of people counted on Jordan Mathews to pick up a lot of the slack, but in his rookie season he got 103 targets and turned it into eight touchdowns. How much more of the offense can he get? He doesn’t have the amazing upside as a lead receiver, and the loss of Maclin called on the first round pick Nelson Agholor to contribute immediately.

After a year of Odell Beckham, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Evans we were ready, but Agholor wasn’t. Whoever is to blame for the lack of success early on, he appeared to be the master plan instead of Mariota, or he was a last resort and a team need due to a miss on Mariota. Either way someone more than likely was convinced he was ready for at least 100 targets, and he has 17 in five weeks. Josh Huff and Miles Austin are band-aids, but neither really clean the wound. Add Riley Cooper, mainly a blocking wide out, and it becomes apparent who this team is looking to go to.

Obviously Sam Bradford deserves some blame, and let’s face it, he has made mistakes. However, the Eagles should look to continue to give him a chance. You are already in this position, and he can only get better or hurt. Agholor is currently injured, but without any progress from him the pass game will not be useful. To continue to pound Murray over Mathews should for the very least be tinkered with. It is clear the run has to open the pass, and Mathews has run well for the time being. As for the real problem in Philadelphia, Chip Kelly the coach may be fine, but Chip Kelly the head of football operations may have put himself in a spot to concede some power in the off season.

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