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Birdfeed: Vol. 15.12

It’s been five days since the Eagles were humiliated on Thanksgiving. While I’ve forgotten most of that massacre, here are three things I remember. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

1. That was by far the worst football game I’ve ever seen Mychal Kendricks play. Theo Riddick left Kendricks in his dust multiple times. Obviously, Kendricks – despite being one of the league’s fastest linebackers – isn’t as fast as the speedy Riddick, but it wasn’t only Riddick’s speed that hurt the Eagles. Kendricks’ angles were atrocious. Several times he was in position to seal off the outside but opted for a more aggressive angle. The result was Kendricks flailing in the direction of Riddick or Ameer Abdullah as they flew by.

2. The Eagles will continue to suffer offensively until they find some talent on the outside. Jordan Matthews is the only potential threat among Philadelphia’s receivers, and I guarantee you he isn’t keeping defenses up at night. Jordan’s size is beneficial in the middle of the field, but he’s not running past anyone. The Eagles can’t stretch the field. Unless Tom Brady is your quarterback, this is a big problem. If only they had a receiver who’s had a catch of 40+ yards in 75% of the games he’s played this year. Oh wait, Chip Kelly had that guy and kicked him to the curb because of his “gang affiliations.” Once again, you’re the best, Chip.

3. The Eagles made it halfway through the 2015 season before their secondary returned to form. For the 3rd season in a row, the Eagles secondary is a disaster. Byron Maxwell is essentially stealing money. He’s getting $60 million to watch someone else cover the opponent’s top threat. Malcom Jenkins is either having a bad season or suffering for everyone else’s mistakes. Nolan Carroll was the toughest of the Eagles corners and had performed admirably most of the year, but now he’s gone. In three years, Chip Kelly has drafted seven defensive backs and signed seven free agent defensive backs of note (not including undrafted free agents and training camp bodies). In Kelly’s three seasons, the Eagles have ranked 32nd, 31st and now 20th in pass defense. While one insanely homerific individual could argue the aforementioned is a sign of improvement, I would counter that ranking 20th despite nearly 15 roster moves strongly indicates Chip Kelly has no idea what he’s doing. On the flip side, Kelly’s defense is setting NFL records for allowing 5 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in consecutive weeks, so the Eagles have that going for them.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Eagles, Week 12 could have been worse. With the Redskins winning, the Eagles are still only a game out of 1st in the NFC East and Rob Gronkowski could miss Week 13. In other words, the Eagles are a lock for the Super Bowl.

Also, Chip Kelly’s 2014 1st round pick not only stepped on the field on Thanksgiving, but was also featured in a replay. Once again, you’re the best, Chip.

Marcus Smith

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