Philadelphia Eagles: Season Recap

Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) celebrates a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a few days to pick myself up after the Philadelphia Eagles’ heartbreaking loss to the New Orleans Saints, I’m finally ready to reflect on the season. For the first time in watching the Eagles, I am able to reflect on the season and say that even with a first round post season loss, it was an amazing year. Of course I think that the Eagles were more than capable of beating the Saints and if a few plays had been different, that would have been so. But this is just the brink of an Eagles era that is going to change the NFL.
In Chip Kelly’s first season as a head coach, he led the Birds to a 10-6 record and an NFC East division title. He was the first rookie coach to do this in NFL history. Quarterback Nick Foles led the league in passer rating with an 119.2, third highest in NFL history. He also had the best touchdown to interception ratio ever with twenty seven regular season touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back LeSean McCoy ran for 1607 yards and had 2,146 yards from scrimmage to break Eagles legend Steve Van Buren’s longstanding records in both categories. This marked the first time in history that a single team had the league’s leading passer and rusher on the same squad. In eleven of their last twelve games, the Eagles’ defense only gave up twenty two points or fewer to opposing teams. They were able to do this despite being on the field more than any other defense. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis transformed the unit, creating a true team defense with complimentary coverage, group tackling, and huge quarterback pressure.
Coach Kelly silenced doubters by not only efficiently bringing his system to the NFL but doing so with a quarterback many people felt was not fit to run it. By the end of the season, fans, coaches, analysts switched from skeptical to praise. He made everyone buy into his ways and made his team and the league believe. Truly one of the best offensive minds in recent memory, Chip has a long way to go and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us next. Learning under Kelly, Foles will only continue to grow as well. Whether or not the system helped his numbers is irrelevant, but he quickly adapted to this system ran it to perfection. Although taking some unnecessary sacks, he did not turn the ball over and made smart, high percentage throws which helped the Eagles’ offensive efficiency. As Foles progresses, so too will the number of unneeded sacks decrease as he grasps the nature of how to properly throw the ball away.
Honestly, reflecting on the entirety of the season, it’s easy to say it was beyond successful. Looking at the final game of the season, credit has to be given to both the Saints and unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes, excuse the language, $%!# happens. A missed field goal by Eagles’ kicker Alex Henery, a dropped pass by wide receiver Riley Cooper, a broken down defense in the final minutes of the game, sometimes it’s just not meant to be. People can say that Foles didn’t play his best game, Saints’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan out coached Chip Kelly, LeSean McCoy couldn’t get going or the Saints’ rushing attack outdid the defense, but none of that is the case.
Foles could have played better, but still did his job and played a turnover free, two touchdown throwing playoff game. Rob Ryan’s defense stepped up, but so did Chip Kelly’s offense in crunch time. No doubt that game would have gone the other way if the Eagles had the ball that final possession. LeSean McCoy did his job against a very solid defense and still put up some pretty solid numbers. Other than the final drive, the Eagles’ defense held the Saints’ running game in check with their season long “bend but not break” play.The Birds fought hard and didn’t have a monumental collapse I’ve seen far too many times. They played a great game, each and every player.
I’m excited for what the future holds because as disappointed as I am that this season is over, it’s only the beginning. Everyone needs to realize that this was only Foles’ first year as a starting quarterback and Chip Kelly and Billy Davis’ first season as NFL coaches. There’s still so much to improve on and no doubt the Eagles will be soaring next season. I’m thrilled for what is to come. 2014, I’m ready. #FlyEaglesFly

Topics: Chip Kelly, LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

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