Sam Bradford Must Deliver For Philadelphia Eagles Against Dallas Cowboys


Before going any further, I already know. Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly has stated numerous times that he does not plan to bench quarterback Sam Bradford any time soon. It’s not much of a secret that Chip is completely invested in Bradford as the Eagles’ starting QB. But if Bradford doesn’t show significant improvement against the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night, he may need to change that standpoint.

Bradford has been nothing short of atrocious this season, throwing only nine touchdown passes to 10 interceptions while sporting a 76.4 passer rating. That is not what Eagles fans were expecting headed into the regular season.

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In the preseason, Philadelphia was considered one of the top contenders to reach Super Bowl 50, partially thanks to the unbelievable play of Bradford. In two preseason games, Bradford went 13 of 15 for 156 yards and three touchdowns (he also led a third scoring drive which was capped off by a DeMarco Murray touchdown run). Bradford finished the preseason with a 149.6 passer rating.

I know. It was only preseason, so those games “didn’t even matter,” but preseason or not, those numbers are impressive. Bradford made some incredibly difficult throws in those games and, for whatever reason, that play hasn’t translated to the regular season.

Admittedly, Bradford has improved since the beginning of the season, where he looked completely and utterly off course. In the season’s early going, Bradford was missing throws that high school quarterbacks could make and it was a difficult site to watch. Since then, he’s been able to make some of those. Inconsistently, but, nonetheless, he’s taken a step forward.

Oct 19, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (81) is tackled by New York Giants defensive back Craig Dahl (43) after a pass reception during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles won 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Now, the issue is Bradford’s receivers, who have been miserable over the last few weeks. Most notably, second-year wideout Jordan Matthews has been especially porous, accounting for six drops in seven games this season. And many of those throws have come from decently thrown balls from Bradford.

But even without reliable receivers, Bradford still needs to be able to make the Eagles’ offense function to some degree, which he has not been able to do since the preseason. If the offense continues to struggle and Bradford fails to make any drastic leaps forward, it’ll be impossible not to make a change at quarterback if you’re Chip Kelly.

Sunday is the Eagles’ final game against the Cowboys this season and could really be a critical step towards the Eagles making the playoffs, which, believe it or not, is still a possibility. If Bradford is able to play well and get the Eagles a win in Dallas, then the ball’s in his court. If not, something will need to change. While it’s unfair to always blame the quarterback for a team’s offensive struggles, it’ll be hard to argue that Bradford has earned the right to keep his spot as the team’s starter. The Eagles have been patient with him all season and it’s only a matter of time until that patience runs out completely.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles Bye Week Improvements