The main problem for the Philadelphia Eagles isn’t DeMarco Murray or Sam Bradford, or even the often torched Byron Maxwell. It begins with how Chip Kelly built this team, and mainly making the offensive line this way. Some unlucky injuries and poof, the lack of depth has generated enormous problems for a team some thought was going to win the NFC.
Jason Kelce called out himself and his teammates on the offensive line for performing poorly through the first four weeks of the offensive season, in which the Eagles have gone 1-3. They’re 29th in the league in total offense (only 294 yards per game), and the most obvious problem is getting the running game going, with just 70 rushing yards per game (30th in the NFL) and an awful 3.1 yards per carry, 31st in the NFL, only above the winless Detroit Lions.
The Eagles are in the bottom half of the league defensively as well, giving up more than 373 yards of offense each game, but it all stems from a poor run blocking scheme, that results in not being able to control the clock. DeMarco Murray is dreaming about the line blocking for him in Dallas, but everything is connected. Sam Bradford hasn’t been consistent, and Kelly’s playcalling has suddenly turned a little bit conservative. He did change in the loss to the Redskins, but there are so many problems all over the place it’s hard to fix it all in one go.
Kelly isn’t a failure in Philly, not yet. The Eagles haven’t gotten blown out in their three losses, just outplayed for most of the time, and it’s not as if there’s nothing to be pleased about. But at the root of the problem is an offensive line that’s struggling to create holes and space for the running game, which is the basis of this offense, not the passing ability of Bradford, which the Eagles weren’t planning on leaning too heavily upon.
Saying you’re not playing well is fine, but that doesn’t automatically turn things around. The Eagles need to find a way to get the offensive line to function and block, it’s as simple as that, although it’s not easy accomplishing. Without that issue being fixed or at least improved, all the changes, creativity and so-called offensive genius in the world aren’t going to help the Eagles bounce back from a bad start, even in a weird looking NFC East.