The first two games of the 2015 season couldn't have gone worse for Chip Kelly.
Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Batista
There isn’t much love for Chip Kelly in the City of Brotherly Love.
Year 3 of the Kelly regime in Philadelphia could be the last if the 0-2 Eagles don’t get their season turned around quickly.
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The Eagles went from 10-6 and a playoff berth in 2013 to 10-6 and no playoff berth last season. This year, they have to go 10-4 the rest of the way just to match last season’s record, with no guarantee of a playoff berth.
If the Eagles go backwards for a second straight year after signing the running back from their biggest division rival, Kelly will be back in the college ranks in 2016.
Kelly wrested roster control from general manager Howie Roseman during the offseason. He’s tinkered with the roster as if he were a fantasy football owner, and that doesn’t work in real-life football.
DeMarco Murray has managed 11 rushing yards on 20 carries. His trip from bed to bathroom at home is probably longer than his yardage in Sunday’s 20-10 loss to the Cowboys. Murray finished with two yards on 13 carries against his former team.
The Cowboys are looking smart for letting Murray walk and the Eagles are looking foolish for trading LeSean McCoy and signing him. And Kelly still hasn’t beaten the Cowboys at home in his three seasons.
McCoy, meanwhile, is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and on pace for a 1,000-yard season in Buffalo. Perhaps Murray was a product of the Cowboys’ offensive line in gaining 1,845 yards last season.
Kelly also decided to let Jeremy Maclin go to the Chiefs in free agency, making Jordan Matthews the Eagles’ go-to receiver. Matthews is tied for fifth in the NFL with 16 receptions, but he’s a possession receiver who can’t really take the top off a defense. Maclin averaged 15.5 yards per reception last season. Matthews is averaging 11.4 this season.
Not only has Kelly’s personnel acumen been questionable, but he’s not turning out to be a very good coach when it comes to preparation. Once again, the Eagles got off to a slow start Sunday. They trailed 13-0 after three quarters. In their Week 1 loss at Atlanta, they trailed 20-3 at halftime. It’s on Kelly to do something to get the Eagles to come out of the gate stronger.
Last season, they trailed by double digits in the first half in each of their first three games. They were able to climb out of the hole each time and start the season 3-0.
This year, the Eagles haven’t been able to recover from these sluggish starts. It could be because they don’t have as much talent as they did last year. Kelly can’t seem to coach up his hand-picked players. He’s buying the groceries and cooking a bad meal. If the 2015 Eagles season goes up in flames, Kelly is the only one to blame.