In the past few weeks, I have refrained from writing, because as I have watched this team’s performance, I wanted to make absolutely sure I wasn’t writing from a position of an impassioned fan, but that of an objective observer. After a 2-3 record, however, I can say without a doubt, that doing that is nearly impossible.
Like all passionate Eagles fans, I sat there and agonized through the Redskins final drive, as Kirk Cousins drove 90-yards for a game-winning drive. I’ll pause here to let that last statement sink in for a bit. Kirk Cousins. 90 yards. 5 and a half minutes. Not one look of concern, passion, or desire from the head coach, either, during that drive. What is it about being in Redskins Park that Chip Kelly just cannot seem to handle?
I also watched, in the last few games, a quarterback that truly looks lost. Now, from where I write this today, I am not far from where Sam Bradford played his college football. And, in that town, he is still a celebrated athlete. Why not? He had it all…..fans, adoration, and a simplistic offense that he ran to near perfection. But, watch him, when the TV gets a couple of close-up shots of him during games now. His dark eyes are wide with wonder, like “What just happened” or “That defender wasn’t supposed to be there”. He’s just not a signal caller that can be trusted. Yes, he played well against New Orleans. OK. How did he do against Atlanta in the first half? How did he do against Dallas? And, the last drive against Washington, did he throw downfield, or did he check it down to the tight end, with no timeouts?
Go ahead and counter that the running game just isn’t there. And, I’ll certainly agree with you. When RT Lane Johnson is letting defenders by with his matador style of blocking (you know…….ole!), then the running game will get no traction, and Bradford will get pummeled. And, it seems, again, that the team is playing musical chairs on its offensive line. I have to admit, adding my own personal sidebar here: I traded for Tanner Hawkinson on my Eagles team on Madden……but, I digress.
Now, as the team is getting set to play a key divisional game, it seems as if it is having to deal with the extra factor of Southern Cal having an opening, and rumors running rampant that Chip Kelly is the guy that they will target. The team already has to play for a share of the division lead on Monday Night, and deal with all of the USC noise as well. If I’m Jeff Lurie, I don’t give Kelly permission to interview with Southern Cal. Kelly wanted total control. He won the power play against Howie Roseman. Make him stay and finish what he has started. Don’t give him the safety net of making a quick exit back to the PAC-12. And, while I’m writing this, if you think USC is the only coach wanting Kelly, think about his former employer, Oregon. The team that used to run through the conference, lost to Washington State over the weekend. That has to make Phil Knight more than a little angry.
The good news, if there is any, is that the schedule brings up winnable games. The Giants will not be easy. Carolina? Still very hard to get a good read on that squad. One week, they’re decent, and the next, they’re just not good. And, at 2-3, the team cannot afford any more blunders, like the Washington game. The bye week is coming soon, and with it, brings a chance for the team to get healthy for the second half run. As I said in the title……there’s still time. Just not a lot of it.