The entire premise of Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense is all about offensive numbers. How many offensive snaps can be called, how quickly can the offense return to the line, and most importantly, how quickly can the offense produce points.
Chip Kelly has the personnel to run the up-tempo offense that quickly made him known as the offensive guru he is known to be. The players are setting personal and team statistical highs and it looks as though this offense is going to be something amazing to watch mature, in terms of the system not personnel.
The problem is as good as the Eagles offense can be, averaging over 30 points per game, the defense is equally as bad allowing over 30 points through two weeks of football.
In week 1 Philadelphia’s defense allowed Robert Griffin III, who hadn’t played in eight months, to rack up 329 passing yards, two touchdowns, and almost cost the Eagles the game. In week two the Eagles defense allowed Phillip Rivers look like a perennial Pro Bowl QB hitting 36/47 attempts, 419 passing yards, and three touchdowns.
Rivers completed as many passes as Michael Vick attempted. The defense is allowing 360.5 passing yards (31st) on average each week and the defense as a whole is is giving up, on average, 477 net yards per game.
I’m not one to really bring up the past, especially when the past includes two seasons totaling a record of 12-20, but lets take a look at the first two games of the 2012 season.
The Eagles face the Cleveland Browns in week one, recording four interceptions and allowed just 118 passing yards. In week two the Birds faced a much more stout opponent in the Baltimore Ravens and still held Joe Flacco and co. to 232 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.
What am I getting at?
If you thought the 2012 secondary was bad think again. This years secondary is proving to be much worse.
Chip Kelly has to sit back over the next four weeks and truly evaluate the “talent” he has in the secondary. (CB) Cary Williams is decent and does make some plays, but he seems a bit hard-headed following last week’s trio of penalties called for holding against him. The other starter, Bradley Fletcher, looks like the injury bug has followed him from St. Louis to Philadelphia.
Safety Patrick Chung is a player worth keeping as he’s made some nice plays and is a solid tackler. Nate Allen has continued to struggle despite being in a completely different system (now two systems he is failing in). And neither Kurt Coleman or Colt Anderson are the game-changing players that Philadelphia needs.
Chip Kelly has four weeks before the trade deadline to evaluate what he has to work with. He needs to try and bring in players that fit his future defensive plans are and try to spark a trade.
If there isn’t anything fruitful via trade, there are players, albeit aging veterans like Kerry Rhodes, who have had tremendous success in this league who are available. And if the Eagles secondary continues to play like they have through the first two weeks, it will be clear anything would be an upgrade.
That is unless Chip Kelly’s intentions for 2013 is to do the best he can with what he has and work from a clean slate in 2014, and another frantic offseason that after only two weeks of regular season I’m not in the mood to think about.