ICYMI in NFL’s Week 4: At 1-3, Chip Kelly’s Eagles in a hole
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) There’s been a fascination with so much of what Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly has done since arriving in the NFL from Oregon. Now that the last-place Eagles are 1-3 and DeMarco Murray is not hiding his unhappiness, the attention will only grow.
From getting rid of playmakers DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin, to swapping Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, to the short-lived Tim Tebow experiment, to the expensive addition of Murray – and plenty more, on and off the field – Kelly draws scrutiny on a regular basis. Things are not looking good so far this season.
Being at the bottom of a mediocre-at-best division is one thing. Having Murray, who led the NFL in rushing for Dallas last season, raise questions about the play-calling is another.
Take away a 30-yard gain in Philadelphia’s 23-20 loss to Washington on Sunday, and Murray gained 6 yards on seven carries. Even with that long run, he is responsible for a grand total of 47 yards on 29 carries in three games since joining the Eagles.
Asked if he’s getting the ball enough, Murray replied: ”No, I’m not. I don’t think I am. But it’s how the plays are being called. I love this offense, I love playing with these guys. It’s just how it is.”
Kelly did not offer a whole lot of insight into why things went wrong Sunday or have been going wrong in general in 2015, other than to repeat several versions of, ”We are not executing.”
When a reporter brought up that his team has dug itself an early hole by winning only one game so far, Kelly said: ”I’m not concerned by that.”
Perhaps he should be.
In case you missed it, here some other top topics after the NFL’s fourth regular-season Sunday:
FLAILING FINS: All sorts of speculation about Dolphins coach Joe Philbin’s future followed Miami’s lethargic 27-14 loss to the New York Jets in London. Miami has lost three games in a row to drop to 1-3. When asked whether he’s worried about his job security, Philbin said: ”Not at all.” Perhaps he should be.
WHO’S FOR REAL?: Five teams moved to 4-0. But which are for real? Aaron Rodgers – still without an interception – and the Green Bay Packers sure seem to be. The Atlanta Falcons also appear to be under new coach Dan Quinn, thanks in part to giving Matt Ryan and Julio Jones a reliable ground game; second-year back Devonta Freeman ran for three TDs in a 48-21 victory over Houston and already has an NFL-high seven touchdowns, the first player in a decade with that many on the ground by Week 4. The jury’s still out on the Broncos, Bengals and Panthers, who haven’t played anyone good yet. But we’ll know a lot more a month from now, because Cincinnati faces Seattle in Week 5, Carolina plays the two-time reigning NFC champ in Week 6, and Denver takes on Green Bay in Week 7.
KICKING THEMSELVES: Kickers already have missed 13 extra points at this season’s new distance, five more than in all of last season. And while it might have seemed as if field goal after field goal went awry Sunday – the Jaguars and Eagles, for example, missed multiple key kicks in losses – the collective success rate of 83.5 percent means this season ranks sixth-best of any season since 1970 through Week 4, according to STATS.
OLD GUYS: Maybe 40 is the new 30 in the NFL – at least when it comes to the Colts. With 40-year-old quarterback Matt Hasselbeck filling in for the injured Andrew Luck, and 42-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri accounting for the winning points, Indianapolis beat Jacksonville 16-13.
MILESTONE: Drew Brees became the fifth QB in NFL history to throw 400 TD passes, reaching that number on the second play of overtime in the Saints’ 26-20 victory over Dallas, connecting with C.J. Spiller from 80 yards out.
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