Eagles-Vikings Postgame: Chip Kelly's Viking Funeral
For 14 years, I watched Andy Reid put on a clinic on how not to coach smart, Championship football and today I thought I was having a flashback during the Philadelphia Eagles game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Sure, the Eagles defense played a horrible game, while giving up 48 points in a 48-30 loss at the Metrodome, but Eagles coach Chip Kelly coached one of the worst games I have ever witnessed at any level of football.
Nick Foles: 30-48-428-3-1
LeSean McCoy: 8-38
DeSean Jackson: 10-195-1
Matt Cassell: 26-35-382-2-1
Matt Asiata: 30-51-3
Greg Jennings: 11-163-1
How the hell do you only give the NFL's leading rusher 8 carries in an entire game? LeSean McCoy was coming off a game where he set the Eagles franchise record for rushing yardage in a game with 217. He got most of those yards in the second half of a game where there was 8 inches of snow on the ground and the offense was sputtering. Kelly decided to simplify things after halftime against Detroit and ride his stud back to the win and McCoy delivered a performance for the ages. So this week, Kelly ignores him? Why?
Kelly called 56 pass plays and 9 running plays. What in the Wide Wide World of Andy Reid was he thinking?
I understand that Minnesota's pass defense is horrible and they had a few injuries in their secondary, but why would Kelly make it so easy for the Vikings defense? Most defenses game-plan to stop McCoy and the NFL's No.1 rushing offense. Kelly made his own offense one-dimensional by design. A stupid design, as it turns out.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Kelly apparently had other ridiculous plans to ensure a loss for the Eagles on Sunday.
NFC East Standings
New York Giants
Who Choked Worse on Sunday?
Kelly was so afraid of the NFL's leading kick returner, Cordarrelle Patterson, he literally squib kicked on every single kickoff except when the Eagles tried on onsides kick. That mistake gave the Vikings great field position the entire game. Sure Patterson averaged 33.3 yards per return going into this game, but the Vikings started every single drive after an Eagles kickoff beyond the 33. Somehow, Kelly never caught onto that simple fact.
Kelly lived up to his reputation as a gambler in this game by making the dumb decision to go for it on 4th & 1 at his own 24 yard line while trailing 24-9 in the third quarter. Sure, he would have looked like a genius if it worked, but it didn't so he looked like a dope.
And just to add a cherry on top of the brain-fart that Chip had during this game, he called a timeout after a touchdown to go for a 2-point conversion. While that normally isn't a bad thing, in this case it was the worst thing he could have done since the Eagles were tailing and wasted their second timeout. The Eagles needed that extra timeout to stop the clock, but Kelly wasted it when the clock was already stopped. Once again, it was Andy Reidian in its stupidity.
The only thing that even came close to how bad Kelly's coaching was on this day was the play of the Eagles defense. The 48 points they surrendered was their worst performance of the year. The 52 points the Eagles gave up to the Denver Broncos earlier this season included two return touchdowns, so the defense actually only gave up 38 points in that game.
This game, the worst safeties in the NFL reared their ugly heads once again. Corners Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams couldn't cover average receivers like Greg Jennings, who didn't have a 100-yard game all season yet had a career day with 11 catches for 163 yards and a TD. Patrick Chung was so bad, he got benched. Nate Allen took bad angles. Kurt Coleman proved why he is a backup. Colt Anderson looked like the special-teamer that he is. And Brandon Boykin left with a concussion.
The defense allowed backup quarterback Matt Cassell to complete 26 of 35 passes for 382 yards, with 2 TDs and 1 INT for a 116.6 QB rating. They even allowed Cassell to run for a touchdown when nobody bothered to stay in the middle of the field as Cassell dropped back to pass from the 6 yard line. They also allowed a third-string running back with 3 career carries to rush for 51 yards on 30 carries and score 3 touchdowns. And you probably thought it was a good thing that Adrian Peterson would miss this game, didn't you?
It was the kind of God-awful performance that most people assumed would be commonplace from this marginally talented defense as they tried to switch schemes without the proper personnel. That didn't make it any easier to watch though. The worst thing the defense did though, was allowing the Vikings to score three fourth quarter TDs after the Eagles offense showed some life and cut the Vikings lead to 27-22.
The Eagles defense allowed Cassell to complete his first 9 passes while building a 17-9 halftime lead. As a matter of fact, the Eagles defense didn't force a Vikings punt until there was 7:52 left in the third quarter. While most of that was the defense's fault, the offense wasn't helping out either.
The Eagles Just Can't Beat Vikings Backups
While Kelly was ignoring his best offensive weapon, Nick Foles was having an off game. Sure, Foles ended up with a ton of yardage, but he was definitely off target early. He completed 30 of 48 passes for 428 yards, 3 TDs and an INT, for a 103.5 QB rating. He also rushed for 41 yards, but it just didn't seem like he had a good game. SI cover jinx? Who knows, but we've come to expect better from Foles.
The Eagles offensive line didn't have a particularly good game either, but maybe that had something to do with the fact that the Vikings defense knew Kelly was going to throw on every single down. LT Jason Peters had an especially bad game in getting dominated by DE Jared Allen, who had two sacks.
And even though DeSean Jackson had 10 receptions for 195 yards and a TD, even he wasn't immune to controversy in this horrible loss. Jackson seemed to give up on the long pass that turned into Foles' second interception of the season. He definitely could have tried to knock it down, but didn't. Afterwards, the TV cameras caught him on the sideline having a heated conversation with an assistant coach and Jason Avant. I'm not sure who said what, but I love that a seasoned vet like Avant and a coach put Jackson in his place. Plus, that sideshow fit right in with the team's performance in this game.
The only thing that went right for the Eagles on this day was that the Dallas Cowboys somehow blew a 26-3 halftime lead and ended up losing 37-36. Well actually, I do know how the Cowboys lost. Tony Romo choked in December, like he always does, by throwing two killer fourth quarter interceptions to hand the win to Green Bay. Thanks Tony.
So Chip Kelly and the Eagles did their best Tony Romo impersonation and choked on an easy win against a bad Vikings team, only to have Romo himself save them from themselves. With the loses, the 8-6 Eagles still hold a one-game lead over the 7-7 Cowboys in the NFC East. Looks like the last game of the season really will decide who makes the playoffs and who goes home, after all.
That's great, but if Chip Kelly doesn't remove his head from his own butt immediately, the Eagles won't be winning any more games this season and that season finale won't matter.
Vikings used to send their dead into their afterlife on a burning boat. Chip did that to his own team on Sunday with his game-plan. Let's just hope the Eagles aren't completely dead as a result of his stupidity.