Birdfeed: Vol. 15.14

With a victory over the Bills, the Eagles remain locked in a three way who-sucks-less tie for the NFC East. Yippee. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

While I’d love to further rip on Chip Kelly and scream from the heavens my desire for him to be gone, I’ll go bullet points this week and more passively suggest Chip take a hike. You’re welcome.

• I don’t consider myself a DeMarco Murray fan. From the get-go, I was upset about the LeSean McCoy trade and didn’t see the point in replacing him with Murray at a similar cost, especially after claiming the motive for moving McCoy was money. Regardless, I don’t understand the vitriol for Murray. Yes, Murray has been awful this season. His 3.5 yards per carry is the lowest of his carry and by a large margin, too. In fact, it’s over a yard lower than his career average. Therein lies the rub. This guy averaged 5.2 yards a carry in 2013 and ran for 80 yards per game. In 2014 he ran for 115 yards per game at 4.7 yards per carry. You really believe DeMarco Murray just all-of-a-sudden forgot how to run the football?

Here’s a crazy idea, maybe this is Chip Kelly’s fault? Murray’s not a stretch back. He knows it. Kelly knows it. Sideline to sideline isn’t Murray’s strength. It’s North-South, running between the tackles. People crediting Kelly for demoting Murray is one of the funniest things I’ve heard all year. It’s like a mayor hiring a convicted embezzler to be the county’s treasurer and then throwing that embezzler in jail after he embezzled the county’s money. Let’s not excessively praise the correct move when the one being praised is the same idiot responsible for the foolish decision in the first place. Did anyone think Murray could succeed running stretch plays out of the shotgun? No. I absolutely believe Murray when he claims he was lied to and that Chip promised a different style to fit Murray’s strengths. Maybe Kelly is just a liar, or maybe he realized he screwed up by releasing his veteran guards and could no longer run between the tackles? Either way, the DeMarco Murray fiasco is at least 70% Chip’s fault. His ego or overall stupidity as a personnel guy is to blame, and probably both.

• Speaking of Demarco Murray, how much do you think he misses running through holes like this?

• Be honest with yourself, what did you see Sunday that made you excited about this team next season. Was it Ryan Matthews and DeMarco Murray combining for 72 yards on 24 carries? Nelson Agholor letting an easy 1st down slip through his fingers? Maybe it was our $60 million prize cornerback getting burned deep for the 14th consecutive week? This is why winning the NFC East would be a long-term disaster for the Eagles. There’s no franchise quarterback. There’s no blossoming offensive line. Outside of Fletcher Cox, there isn’t a single player capable of significantly impacting a game. Weekly Reminder: Chip Kelly built the roster you currently watch with little hope of a promising future. What’s worse, if the Eagles win the division, they likely give Sam Bradford a new contract. While I doubt it’d be anything outrageous, it would still give Bradford the keys to the offense for the next 2-3 years.

• Fletcher Cox was awesome again Sunday. After tormenting the Patriots and Tom Brady in Week 13, Cox ruined LeSean McCoy’s homecoming and harassed Tyrod Taylor all afternoon. Rex Ryan even said after the game that he was “laughing when I saw him being compared to Jerome Brown, but I’m not laughing now.” That’s high praise considering Ryan witnessed first hand the dominance of Brown back in the Eagles defensive heyday. Also, Eric Rowe has been very impressive since getting tossed into action against Calvin Johnson on Thanksgiving. I find it hilarious that the Eagles have resorted to putting their rookie cornerback on the opposition’s biggest threat instead of their big money free agent. If the Eagles ever figure out that secondary, their defense would easily be a top seven defense.

• Zack Ertz finally had a good game. I’ve been way down on Ertz, mostly because he only has one or two good games a season. Whether it’s scheme, play calling or Ertz’s struggles, he needs to be more involved in the passing game. Ertz and Brent Celek provide the Eagles with their best matchups in the passing game.

• Let’s play a quick and ultimately pointless game of shoulda-coulda-woulda. Imagine if the Eagles had a more reliable kicking situation this season. As Chip Kelly foolishly mentioned after a 1-3 start to the season, the Eagles could’ve just as easily been 3-1. Add the momentum-killing 2nd quarter miss by Caleb Sturgis against the Dolphins, and the Eagles could be 9-4. I cringed when this thought ran through my head. I could argue strongly the Eagles aren’t even a 6-7 team, but a 9-4 team? Yikes.

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