Trick’r’Treating With The Eagles


Oct 25, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford (7) gets pressured by Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short (99) during the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Philadelphia 27-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Halloween is upon us and, for most, that means Trick ‘r’ Treating (at some point that phrase became a verb). Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I didn’t do much “tricking.” I was all about the treats. My pear-shaped physic serves as proof. To me, the “tricks” were when some out of touch adult dropped a new toothbrush in your bag, rather a sweet surprise. All of this got me thinking about football. In fairness, it doesn’t take much to do so. This holiday is the perfect opportunity to evaluate the Eagles in a different way.

Trick: Nelson Agholor

This guy is sort of like a Milky-Way bar. Good, but not as good it could be. Nelson Agholor was Philly’s first round selection in the 2015 draft. This was of little surprise of course. The Eagles let Jeremy Maclin walk during the offseason and the team needed a complementary receiver across from Jordan Matthews. It seemed like a perfect fit.

Eh, not so much.

Granted, Agholor is currently nursing a high-ankle sprain, but before that he wasn’t exactly carving up defenses. His eight catches through six games is proof enough to say we may have been tricked. With that said, being a rookie receiver, in a starting role, is one of the hardest positions in the NFL to be immediately good at, let alone great. I do expect Agholor to make some waves, just not until 2016.

Treat: Jordan Hicks

Sep 20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) lands on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Romo was injured on the play and left the game. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles, 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

What’s better than having someone drop a whole candy bar in your Halloween bag? Having a whole Butterfinger dropped into your bag. Jordan Hicks is a whole bar. Not only did he turn out to be a treat, but possibly the best treat you received all night.

OK, I’m blurring metaphors a bit, but my point is clear; Hicks is a defensive stud. The Eagles’ linebacker group has turned out to be surprisingly deep and Hicks is front and center.

Oh, and he crushed Tony Romo.

Trick: Offensive play-calling

I always hated when I’d go to house and end up getting an apple. It’s not that I hate apples. Not at all. But I didn’t want “Nature’s” candy, I wanted actual candy. That’s how I feel about the offensive play-calling. It’s not the worst thing, but it’s not what I really want. Where is the bang? Where is the speed? Where are all of the touchdowns? Sure, we chalk some of these woes to Sam Bradford, but I don’t think he is the one calling “screen left” four times in-a-row. Nobody wants an apple on Halloween, and if you do, you don’t deserve to be out there asking for candy. Stop being an apple, Eagles.

Treat: Defensive front seven

Like a sweet mini-bag of Skittles, the Eagles’ defensive front brings a little bit of everything you want. Each player is just like his own flavor contributing to the overall taste explosion. Any fan worth his weight in sugar went into this season expecting the defense to be better, but not many would have expected them to be a Top-10 contender. The Eagles had not allowed a 100-yard rusher through 18 games (including 2014 season). They might not have high numbers in the “Sacks” stat column, but they are consistently getting to the passer and are no longer getting torched up the middle. Please, give me more of this all season.

Trick: Chip Kelly…?

Sep 3, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly before a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly is sort of like a Snickers bar; a lot going on and you’re not entirely sure that it all works. And what the hell is nougat? Coach Kelly has been touted as many things, but most of all, an offensive genius. Many thought Kelly had the perfect system that could, and would, allow any quarterback to thrive. Nope. There has been no magic surrounding Bradford this year and his receivers are not as wide-open as they have been in past. This is the problem with trading away “special” players. DeSean Jackson may have been a headache in locker room, but he stretched the field better than no other. LeSean McCoy might be a knucklehead, but he was able to make those quick cuts on outside runs. The same outside runs Chip Kelly keeps using in I-Formation, DeMarco Murray runs. They aren’t the same runner! We were tricked into thinking Chip Kelly got rid of the players because they didn’t fit in with [insert reason]. Truth is, he got rid of them because they were someone else’s players he was winning with and his coaching hubris wouldn’t allow that.

Treat: Also Chip Kelly

For all my ranting, Chip Kelly has coaching hubris for a reason. Remember the Snickers I likened him to earlier? Yeah, well, Snickers are complicated. Like I said, they have a lot going and you don’t know it all works…but it does. Chip Kelly has had back-to-back double-digit wins seasons. Say that three times fast. Those aren’t easy things to do after inheriting a team that was, for all intents and purposes, circling the drain. Chip Kelly makes my head spin, just about every week. But the Eagles organization believes he has a plan, and that is good enough for me.

Trick: Wide Receiver corps.

Candy corn has always been a letdown. They are colored in festive tones that instantly attract the eye when placed in a glass bowl. And they’re always in a glass bowl. The candy corn looks enticing, feels nice in your hand, and even have a pleasant aroma… then you bite one. As far as candy goes, Candy Corn has dropped the ball, and so have the Eagles’ receivers. Literally.

Treat: Safety tandem

Oct 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) makes a 25 yard reception past Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Walter Thurmond (26) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Jenkins and Walter Thurmond have been a smooth one-two punch that have delivered every time they’re on the field. Just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pack. This, like the Jordan Hicks bit, is a “full bar” comparison. I get excited every time I receive a Reese’s and the same goes for every time I see Thurmond and Jenkins swarm to the ball. The two have been dynamite so far, and I don’t see them letting up. Thurmond was the best free-agent signing of the offseason. Here’s to hoping Chip Kelly keeps this delicious pair together for a few more years.

Bonus Treat: Darren Sproles!

Oct 4, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43) stiff arms Washington Redskins free safety Dashon Goldson (38) during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The dude is easily a Take 5 bar. If you haven’t had one, try one. It’s seriously a candy bar that has everything you could want packed into one bite. It is easily the best candy when compared to all the others. Darren Sproles does everything you want him to, and more. He delivers more than any player on this offense, all in one-bite sized package.

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