Mister Obvious Says – Fitting that Chip Kelly, he of the no-huddle, fast-paced offense, did not stand pat during the offseason. His moves kept coming. Philadelphia has a new starting quarterback with Sam Bradford acquired in a trade with St. Louis for Nick Foles, two new starting guards, a new starting running back (a big one in DeMarco Murray after LeSean McCoy was dealt to Buffalo) and new starting cornerbacks and at least one new starting linebacker.
Biggest Additions – Out of many significant additions, Bradford and Murray stand out the most. The former Oklahoma teammates should thrive in Kelly’s offense as long as Bradford remains healthy. Ryan Mathews, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher with San Diego, also must stay away from his injury-filled past to give defenses fits going against him and Murray.
Biggest Loss – Foles and McCoy were traded away so Kelly does not see them as losses but as bargaining chips to make his team better. WR Jeremy Maclin signed as a free agent with Kansas City but Kelly is hoping veteran Miles Austin, twice a 1,000-yard receiver with Dallas before going to Cleveland last year, will be an adequate replacement along with rookie WR Nelson Agholor.
Rookie To Watch – Agholor was one of the best receivers in the nation last year for USC finishing in the top 10 in receptions (seventh), yards (ninth) and touchdowns (tied for seventh).
Marquee Match-up – The Week 9 game at Dallas on a Sunday night marks the return of Murray. In Philly’s favor, its bye week precedes this matchup while Dallas must host Seattle the previous week.
Game Most Likely To Win – Week 16 at home against Washington.
Game Most Likely to Lose – Week 13 at New England in another Sunday night affair.
Overall Thoughts – Everybody talks about Kelly’s offense, which deflects attention away from Philly’s defense. The Eagles ranked 32nd and 31st in pass defense the last two years, which prompted the Eagles to sign free agent cornerback Byron Maxwell away from Seattle. They also received aggressive LB Kiko Alonso in the trade with Buffalo for McCoy. An improving defense matched with the fireworks of the Eagles’ offense could equate to at least a 12-win season.
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