In honor of the 2017 preseason schedule being released, lets take it back to the 2015 preseason, when the Eagles had everyone talking Super Bowl in the summertime.
The 2015 offseason was surely one to remember in Philly. Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie announced that he would be demoting general manager Howie Roseman (and brought him back a year later, but that’s a story for another time) and gave the former head coach Chip Kelly all of the power.
Kelly didn’t hesitate to shake things up immediately. He made ridiculous, out of the blue trades and signed free agents to monster deals. At the opening of free agency, he traded quarterback Nick Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford just to package him in a deal to attempt to get the second overall pick of the 2015 draft for Marcus Mariota. Thankfully for the Eagles, that monster trade never happened, and the Eagles were stuck with Bradford at QB.
They looked great…
That season, Eagles receivers raved about how good Bradford was. The Chip Kelly “innovative” offense was really seeming to click. They had the 2014 rushing champ DeMarco Murray on board, who was complimented with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. Tight end Zach Ertz was going to finally get the majority of snaps at tight end and first round pick Nelson Agholor’s USC highlight tape was getting everyone excited.
They played Week 1 at home against the Colts, winning 36-10. Nelson Agholor had three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown, shaping up to a successful first round pick, so everyone thought. The touchdown against the Colts ended up being his only touchdown until week 14 of the regular season.
Week 2’s game was exciting for other reasons. Sam Bradford would make his debut in an Eagles uniform against the Baltimore Ravens. He completed three of his five attempted passes for 35 yards. He was held out for the remainder of the game for safety reasons after he took a low hit from Baltimore LB Terrell Suggs. The numbers weren’t amazing, but Bradford looked really good for missing almost two full seasons due to injury.
Week 3 of the 2015 regular season was a game that Eagles fans will never forget. The Eagles beat the Green Bay Packers 39-26, having a monster first quarter where the Eagles scored 25 unanswered points on offense. Sam Bradford went 10 for 10 for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews looked solid in the run game and Darren Sproles was running perfect routes out of the backfield, being utilized as a hybrid back.
Life after the peak
The media and fan base went crazy after the Eagles 3-1 preseason run. They opened up the season favored to win the NFC East, and had 20-1 odds to win the Super Bowl (9th best in the NFL). The people in Vegas weren’t the only ones excited about the Eagles. ESPN’s Adam Schefter predicted that the Eagles would make a run to the Super Bowl and win it all against the Ravens.
Obviously, Schefter was dead wrong. The Eagles ended the season with a 7-9 record failing to make the playoffs. Before the final week of the season Chip Kelly was fired and the 2015 season went down as one of the craziest, most disappointing seasons in Eagles history. The “mad scientist” Chip Kelly was fired and off to San Francisco, Sam Bradford was traded before the start of the following regular season and DeMarco Murray was shipped off to Tennessee after having a disappointing season, rushing for 1,143 less yards then the previous season. The Eagles fan base learned a valuable lesson after the 2015-16 season—never speak too soon because the preseason means absolutely nothing.