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2015 NFL Season Preview- Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia finished two games above .500, but still missed the playoffs.
The offense had a league worst 36 turnovers after a year of having only 19 with 21 of those turnovers being interceptions. After having the third lowest interception percentage in 2013, quarterback Nick Foles had 10 interceptions through eight games before going down with a broken collarbone. He was replaced by Mark Sanchez who threw 11 interceptions over nine games. Injuries to the offensive line and adjustments by defenses to Philadelphia's zone blocking scheme had an impact on running back LeSean McCoy's production but he still rushed for over 1,300 yards. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin came back from a career threatening ACL injury to have the best year of his career. Tight end Zach Ertz struggled early on but still managed 58 receptions including 24 on third down. Four of the starting five offensive lineman missed a significant amount of time throughout the year.
The starting defensive linemen are products of 4-3 schemes, but have turned into one of the best 3-4 lines in the league. Inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans tore his Achilles midway through the season and the defense really suffered because of it. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin was a mule of a linebacker and led the team with 14.5 sacks. Other than safety Malcolm Jenkins, the secondary was a mess giving up the second most passing yards in the league.
The rookie class had some success stories but also had one big failure. Linebacker Malcolm Smith was unproductive playing only 74 snaps and failed to register a tackle. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews was the team's most productive red zone target and had 58 receptions for eight touchdowns. Wide receiver Josh Huff was explosive and physical in the return game.
Eagles 2014 Rankings
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
NFL Rank- 6th
NFL Rank- 9th
NFL Rank- 31st
NFL Rank- 15th
NFL Rank- 5th
NFL Rank- 28th
After the team finished 10-6, the team made general manager Bowie Roseman their vice president of football operations. The team also gave head coach Chip Kelly the additional title of general manager. This move will give Kelly more control of the players he wants to bring in to the organization.
Notable Additions- QB Sam Bradford, QB Tim Tebow, RB Ryan Matthews, RB DeMarco Murray, WR Miles Austin, ILB Kiko Alonso, ILB Brad Jones, CB Byron Maxwell, SS Walter Thurmond
Notable Departures- QB Nick Foles, RB LeSean McCoy, RB Chris Polk, WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Brad Smith, G Evan Mathis, G Todd Herremans, OLB Trent Cole, ILB Casey Matthews, CB Bradley Fletcher, CB Cary Williams, CB Brandon Boykin, S Nate Allen
Eagles 2014 Highlights
2015 NFL Draft
Philadelphia held the 20th overall pick and had many positions to address. Primarily at quarterback, cornerback, and safety.
The team traded Nick Foles to St. Louis for an injury prone Sam Bradford and neither Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, or Tim Tebow seem to be the answer. Many expected Chip Kelly to make a big trade and draft his former college quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are gone and the pass defense gave up more big plays through the air than any team in the league. The defense needs more depth at the cornerback spot.
Malcolm Jenkins was a free agency gem but Nate Allen was a liability in coverage. He's no longer with the Eagles and they need his replacement.
Philadelphia decided to replace Jeremy Maclin and draft USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor with the 20th overall pick. Agholor has a lean, athletic frame, good agility, and fast acceleration just like former Trojans Marquise Lee and Robert Woods. He was criticized for avoiding contact which might not make him suitable for the slot position.
The team also notably drafted Utah cornerback Eric Rowe in the second round. Rowe has the ideal cornerback frame for the pro game but his hitch in his progression will likely force him to move to safety.
Nelson Agholor Highlights
What to Expect
Chip Kelly is going to do things his way and that could ultimately cost him at the pro level.
Sam Bradford is coming off back to back ACL injuries, we've seen the plateau of Mark Sanchez's play, and Tim Tebow isn't a conventional quarterback. Ryan Matthews has an injury history and DeMarco Murray might be the product of a strong offensive line. Jordan Matthews will get a majority of the targets with Riley Cooper being the number two receiver. The offensive line lost two key pieces inside which will affect the team's zone blocking ability.
The defensive line should continue to grow and become more dominant. The team lost Trent Cole and it is unknown if Malcolm Smith can match his production. Byron Maxwell played opposite the best cornerback in the league while he was in Seattle, so it will be interesting to see how he looks as the number one cornerback on a team.
None of the quarterbacks look to be the ideal fit for Chip Kelly's fast paced offense. With no quarterback, losing key pieces, and teams starting to figure out how to stop the offense, it will be hard to picture Philadelphia in the postseason.
Best record they can hope for: 8-8