Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Season Preview

10
Sep

2014 Record – 10-6

Key Additions

WR Nelson Angholor, LB Kiko Alonso, QB Sam Bradford, CB Walter Thurmond, RB Demarco Murray, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Miles Austin

Key Departure

QB Nick Foles, RB LeSean McCoy, LB Casey Matthews, OLB Trent Cole, WR Jeremy Maclin, CB Bradley Fletcher, TE James Casey, CB Cary Williams, S Nate Allen

Breakdown

After two years of over .500 football Chip Kelly finally has the control over personnel that he was hoping for when he came to the Philadelphia Eagles three years ago. Acquiring a number of familiar faces that played with him while at Oregon, as well as thunder and lightning style running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. In addition to those moves Kelly traded away a quarterback who boasted a 14-4 record and a pro-bowl in Kelly’s offense for Sam Bradford. Kelly feels Bradford can have a career resurrection in his fast paced offense. Kelly has all the pieces he believes he needs for his chessboard offense to outsmart opposing defenses.

In addition to remodeling the offense to his liking Kelly added Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell from Seattle’s Super Bowl Champion secondary to a unit that has seen its fair share of struggles over the recent past. Having a secondary that can contribute will help an already stout front seven that has allowed only two 100-yard rushers since Kelly’s arrival. Kiko Alonso joins Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin to fill out one of the NFL’s most fierce defensive fronts.

Kelly’s controversial style of offense has already been pretty successful in the NFL, this year will be the first time it is completely unveiled. Some question the moves that were made and believe that Kelly upgraded the offense at the cost of the defense. Though this style of offense won’t become a trend in the NFL it can be successful for a brief period of time. He has the right pieces this year as well as support on the defensive side of the ball in addition to a special teams unit that scored seven touchdowns and blocked six kicks last season.

X-Factor – Byron Maxwell

Coming over from Seattle, Maxwell won’t have the supporting cast, or should I say be a supporting member of such a cast. He’ll need to prove the latter isn’t true to show he deserves the $55 million contract he was given. Maxwell is joined by former teammate Walter Thurmond who may help the adjustment.

2015 Breakthrough Player – Nelson Agholor

After losing Jeremy Maclin to the Chiefs in free agency the Eagles desperately needed to fill that pair of shoes. They drafted the same style player in Nelson Agholor. If this Eagles offense has any hope of being successful it needs an impact receiver right away. With no real threat to take the top off of a defense and an overrated Riley Cooper, Agholor is going to need to show he’s worth the first round pick spent on him right away.

Best Case

Kelly’s scheme works and everyone manages to stay healthy through playing at such a high speed. 14-2

Worst Case

Bradford doesn’t stay healthy, the holes in the secondary are exposed and the experiment is proven to be just that, an experiment. 7-9

Key Game

December 13 @ Buffalo Bills

Having to play against an already difficult defense Chip Kelly and the Eagles will also have the hurdle of dealing with LeSean McCoy relaying how the offense will be run to Bills coach Rex Ryan. As well as the hurdle of stopping McCoy. Both teams will likely be playing for a playoff spot and how the drama of this game unfolds will impact both teams final three games.

Projected Record – 12-4

About the author: Matthew Palmateer