The 2014 Philadelphia Eagles entered the season with a good deal of expectations after proving to be an offensive juggernaut in 2013. Starting QB Nick Foles showed flashes of being a superstar NFL signal caller and the thinking was that if the defense could figure out how to play well when they were completely gassed from being on the field for so long, they would be tough to stop.
A 6-2 start- with those two losses coming by a combined 9 points to the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals- had Eagles fans feeling good about the state of football in the Philly. However, there were concerns. Namely turnovers as Foles, who threw only one interception in 2013 after taking over, looked every bit the rookie in 2014.
Once Foles was lost to injury and Mark Sanchez was pressed into duty, it was all downhill on roller skates through a nitro-glycerin plant. The Eagles limped to a 4-4 record the rest of the way and ended up missing the playoffs by a game.
In the offseason, there would be more turnover in Philadelphia than a Las Vegas brothel. DE Trent Cole and G Todd Herremanns were deemed too old to re-sign. CB Cary Williams was allowed to leave. RB LeSean McCoy would be traded to the Buffalo Bills for LB Kiko Alonso. WR Jeremy Maclin was allowed to leave in free agency. Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford- yes, that Sam Bradford.
Enter CB Walter Thurmond III, CB Byron Maxwell, and RB Ryan Mathews. All in all, head coach Chip Kelly smirked and asked us all to trust him. Days later, 2014 NFL rushing leader RB DeMarco Murray was bolting the rival Dallas Cowboys for Eagles’ green.
Is your head spinning yet?
Where do they go from here?
The Eagles glaring need for a quarterback cannot be ignored. The numbers Foles put up in 2013 created hope that came crashing down in 2014. The obvious link would be Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, having guided the program Kelly left to become coach of the Eagles.
The Eagles pick 20th in the first round. You have to believe the New York Jets will take whoever isn’t selected between Mariota and Florida State QB Jameis Winston at the 6th pick. If the Eagles were to trade their first three picks, they could only get to the 8th pick if you go by the Jimmy Johnson scale. It would be awfully challenging to get up that high. However, if Mariota slips past the Jets you might see some wheeling and dealing.
The departure of Maclin leaves an almost as big glaring whole at WR as well. Players like Hakeem Nicks, Reggie Wayne, and Greg Jennings are still available, but none of those can be considered building blocks anymore.
They seem to have addressed the need to improve their secondary in free agency so anything else added to the mix is straight butter.
Where can they get better?
QB- Foles and Sanchez were bad. Even when Foles was healthy, he was not who they thought he was.
G- Evan Mathis rated well at LG, but that was only for 9 games. No one played well at the RG spot and veteran Herremans was allowed to leave.
DE- No one consequence took the field for the Eagles at this position last year.
DT- Bennie Logan played the run well, but there was no pass rush being generated by interior lineman last year.
OLB- It’s remarkable how few Eagles are listed when you start looking at Pro Football Focus ratings by position. Not a single Eagle on this list.