With a 52-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Denver Broncos handed the Eagles their third straight loss this season. The Eagles have been downright hard to watch over the past few weeks and the thrashing the Broncos handed them made it even worse. With that in mind, what do Chip Kelly and the Eagles have to do in order to turn this season around?
A small part of the answer lies on the offensive side of the ball, specifically at wide receiver. Losing Jeremy Maclin for the entire season because of an ACL tear hurt the team and it is really showing. DeSean Jackson is the only threat the Eagles have at wide receiver. If opposing defenses can shut down Jackson, then the deep passes that he is mostly targeted with are no longer a factor they have to worry about. When Jackson is taken out of the picture, that leaves Riley Cooper and Jason Avant. Those two are not the answer for this offense. You can't blame the rest of the offense for what is happening. LeSean McCoy is playing out of his mind this season and Michael Vick is doing the best he can with the weapons he has. If the Eagles don't get another starting wide receiver, there won't be much of an offense left if they continue using McCoy at the pace they are because McCoy will be will likely get hurt from being used too much.
The Eagles need to look to making a trade for a wide receiver or get one out of free agency. Recently, the Cleveland Browns have started shopping wide receivers Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Gordon, 22, has a 40-yard dash time of four and half seconds and he his six-foot-three. Having Gordon on the Eagles would mean they have another threat at wide receiver to go with Jackson. The nice thing about Gordon is that he still has three years remaining on his rookie contract. Little is basically basically Riley Cooper, but stronger. The Eagles would most likely pass on Little and just stick with Cooper.
Looking to free agency, there are a few options. The possibilities are Brandon Lloyd, Devery Henderson, Deion Branch and Donte Stallworth. There is even Randy Moss, but the Eagles would almost certainly pass on him due to his age and the fact that they wouldn't want someone with an ego larger than DeSean Jackson's on the sideline. Moss would just be another Terrell Owens in the Eagles locker room.
The real problem that needs to be addressed in order to turn the season around is on defense. The problem from last year has carried over to this year even with different players. The secondary is just horrible. They were ranked as one of the worst last year and continue to keep that reputation this year. They started out strong in the first half of the Washington Redskins game in Week One, however, we have yet to see that same defense since then. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning made things even worse by picking the Eagles defense apart. Manning threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 28 of his 34 passing attempts and had no interceptions to go along with that. After all, he is Peyton Manning and he can tear apart any defense. But this was the worst we have seen him do that to a defense this season and the fact it was the Eagles shows how much work needs to be done to the Eagles defense.
With it being Chip Kelly's first season as the Eagles head coach, getting to the postseason was probably not in the Eagles future. The team is adjusting to his system and Kelly is seeing who is weakest links are. Right now, most of the weakest links are on defense. With the trade deadline exactly a month away, the Eagles are probably keeping their eyes open as to what defensive players are going on to the trading block. it will be interesting to see what the Eagles do in the coming weeks if they continue to play like they are. Hopefully they start to turn it around over the next few games as they are playing struggling teams like the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the next two weeks.
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