Around the NFL  

 

New low for Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia

Print

The new nadir of the Chip Kelly Experiment in Philadelphia came late in the third quarter of a 45-14 blowout loss to a 3-7 team. Trailing the Lions 38-7, the Eagles had fourth-and-two at midfield. Kelly punted.

Every game, all season

That was Kelly waving the white flag. Known for his aggression, the Eagles' offense now looks passive and predictable. There are few shots down the field. They are even fewer quality plays running the ball. Kelly has suffered his ugliest loss as Eagles coach in back-to-back weeks. Kelly was asked after the game how this loss measures up to other disappointments as Eagles coach.

"It ranks right at the top," a deflated Kelly said.

Now 4-7 after two blowout losses, the speculation about Kelly's futures will spike. Kelly insisted after the game that his team competed hard on Thursday, but this has the feel of a directionless squad that has lost the plot. The team's front seven once looked like one of the league's best, but they have been steamrolled of late. The offensive problems go beyond quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez.

While the Eagles are only two losses back in the NFC East, the next game is in New England. The Eagles are 5-10 in their last 15 games under Kelly.

"I didn't coach well today ... didn't really do anything well," Kelly said.

When things go bad in Philadelphia, they tend to spiral out of control because of all the media attention and pressure in the city. One anonymous player called out DeMarco Murray's effort after last week's game, and there will be plenty of chances for players to pop off in the coming days. (At each other or at Kelly.)

"You're gonna see who the quitters are now," tackle Lane Johnson told NFL Media's Albert Breer after the game.

Could Chip Kelly be among them? The next five weeks should go a long way in determining Kelly's future. It's an open question whether Kelly even wants to stay in Philadelphia next season. And it's hard to imagine the organization being comfortable keeping him as coach/personnel chief/smoothie distributor for another season if these blowout losses continue.

Thanksgiving was a low for the Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia, but there have been plenty of ugly coaching exits in Eagles history. It can still get worse.

Print