5 Reasons Why The Philadelphia Eagles Season Is Not Over

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Loosen the noose and slowly step off the chair. Climb back inside from that window ledge. Shut the engine off, put out the cigarette and open the garage door. The Philadelphia Eagles are 0-1 to start the 2015 season, but there's no reason to write them off just yet. As a matter of fact, I'll give you 5 reasons why the sky isn't falling (yet).

5) Julio Jones isn't good...he's GREAT!
Everyone expected the Eagles new $69 million cornerback, Byron Maxwell, to handle top flight receivers. Let's not mistake his money for talent. The 2015 free agent market set the price for Maxwell as he was the best CB available. He's not a solid lockdown corner like Darrelle Revis or even Patrick Peterson; not even close. Maxwell is a mid-level CB, who is an upgrade from the what the Eagles had last year. And Julio Jones is one of the best WR's in the league. He's so good, in fact, last year he torched the aforementioned Peterson by hauling in 10 catches for 189 yards, including a 32-yard TD. So pushing the panic button on Maxwell, as being a serviceable corner, would be foolish. He'll be fine. There won't be many other WR's of Julio Jones' quality that Maxwell will need to face.

4) Winning on the Road, in the NFL, Isn't Easy
It's said every year. By every analyst. Every pundit. So why is it that fans expected the Eagles to fly down to Atlanta, for the season opener, and put up a '40-burger', where QB Matt Ryan is 40-15 at home? Chip Kelly said it himself in the post-game presser, Atlanta was playing harder in the first half than the Eagles. There was an air of confidence when there shouldn't be. Yes, the Falcons finished 6-10 last year, but with a new head coach in Dan Quinn (Defensive Coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks) comes a new culture. As you can see from last night, the Falcons defense played with the same fire and intensity we see year-after-year in Seattle. Not to mention Quinn coached Byron Maxwell last year, so he would know how best to attack the CB. Home teams were 10-6 for opening weekend and notable losses came from Seattle and the Colts who both played teams with poor records the previous year. Winning on the road isn't easy. It doesn't matter how bad you perceive a team to be, when your in their house...you need to go hard for all 60 minutes.

3) Sam Bradford had Rust, Until he Shook it Off
There was obvious timing and communication issues between Bradford and his receivers in the first half of the game. Ertz looked over the wrong shoulder for a pass. Huff got hit in the back because he was too engaged with his block to consider the ball would be thrown his way. Sam Bradford took minimal in-game reps during the preseason and it showed as it took an entire half for he and the receivers to get on the same page. But at halftime, they came out and he diced up the Atlanta defense like a turbo ginsu. Dropping in short passes, taking whatever the defense was willing to give him. At one point the Eagles started at their own 5 yard line and drove 95 yards for a score, overcoming 4 penalties for 30 yards. He took hits and continued to have the poise to stand in the pocket and deliver precision passes, leading his team from down by 17, to winning by 1. Next week, he'll be much improved now that the game has slowed down for him.

2) You Can't Go 11-5 without Losing 5 Games
Nobody predicted that the Eagles would go undefeated. As a matter of fact, 11-5 was a popular pick as not many were ready to say 12-4. And 10-6 has been the holding pattern for this team in the first two years of Chip Kelly's reign. There isn't a single fan out there who likes seeing their team lose, however, taking a loss this early in the season will keep things in perspective. Nothing is owed to the Philadelphia Eagles. If they want to win games, the division and make the playoffs, they need to play hard every down. Every opponent should be considered a threat to their overall goal. Winning 11 games is still attainable, especially in an NFC East division that just saw the Redskins roll over and the Giants literally handing the win to a Cowboys team that lost their star receiver for over half the season with a broken foot.

1) Chip Kelly is a Genius (aka: Stop Bitching about 4th and 1)
Complain all you want about the first half of that game, but all it showed was that Chip Kelly made the proper adjustments at halftime to dominate the second half. As the season goes on, he'll stick with what works and abandon what doesn't. He's not afraid to make changes and take risks, when necessary. Chip Kelly's offense is only disrupted by their own mental errors. Not going for it on 4th and 1 isn't a valid complaint. When you have a chance to take the lead, on the road, you take the points. You need to trust the defense, which had slowed Atlanta down in the second half. Even with the miss, the defense stepped up and allowed Sam Bradford to take the field, with a chance to win the game. Atlanta couldn't stop them since the beginning of the 2nd half. Even penalties didn't seem to slow this offense down. Atlanta was gassed and couldn't keep up as the final moments ticked down. The Eagles beat themselves on that final drive. Unfortunately, a high pass, that gets caught by Jordan Matthews 9 out of 10 times, went through his hands and got picked off. He's one of the hardest working players on the team, who spends hours after practice on the JUGS machine. Matthews, who took 2 (un-flagged) helmet-to-helmet hits in 3 plays, was a gamer. His 10 receptions for over 100 yards was a prime reason the Eagles were in that game at all. That drop, is a prime example of why you take the points. You just don't know when the offense will have a hiccup.

Bonus: Darren Sproles is Unstoppable!
5 rushes for 50 yards. 7 receptions for 76 yards. That's an average of (a shade over) 10 yards per touch! You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him. Unless you're William Moore, then you have no hope.

It was only 1 game. With 15 more to go, don't get your feathers ruffled.