Welcome to “Pretty Much Screwed,” our definitive guide to the upcoming NFL season. This team-by-team preview details why your favorite franchise might have to start looking forward to next year — but highlights at least one reason for you to be hopeful. Today: our Matt Rudnitsky explains why the Philadelphia Eagles are screwed.
I do think the Eagles have sleeper status. Mainly because of Chip Kelly and the fact that the “Dream Team” embarrassment has people sleeping on these possible sleepers. Still, you’re probably Pretty Much Screwed.
All of your “good” players are bad.
Michael Vick! LeSean McCoy! DeSean Jackson!
Jeremy Maclin! Each one of these three has had a season in which he was arguably the best and/or most explosive player at his position.
But last year, they all sucked. McCoy went from otherworldly (1624 total yards, 20 TDs, 4.8 YPC, 1 fumble, 1 missed game) to mediocre (1213 total yards, 5 TDs, 4 fumbles, 4 missed games). Vick went from historically good in 2010, to mediocre in 2011, to abysmal last year (15 turnovers and just 13 TDs in 10 starts, low YPA and lowest YPC as a starter). Jackson declined all across the board, too, getting hurt and recording just 700 yards and 2 TDs.
Could they all return to their peaks? Of course. But until they prove otherwise, these “good” players suck.
Most good teams have good players that are good. When your good players are bad, you’re Pretty Much Screwed.
Your pass defense was SO BAD last year.
The Eagles were 32nd in pass defense DVOA last year. There are 32 teams in the NFL. By conventional measures, you were 9th in passing yards allowed and 23rd in rushing yards allowed, which basically means your defense sucked and opponents didn’t need to embarrass your awful secondary during their 12-4 season.
Your first-round pick is a liar.
The Eagles selected offensive lineman/freak of nature Lane Johnson with their first pick. Seems smart, right? Well, he’s a liar. He claimed he used to wrestle black bears, which sounded like a great trait for a lineman, but then it turned out he was lying. He doesn’t even wrestle bears. How can he be trusted? Did he even play college football, or was that a ruse?
That picture was a fake. Don’t be amused by it.
Your players are following the Chip Kelly diet.
Chip Kelly’s name is fitting. But fortunately not form-fitting. What I’m trying to say is the man likes his chips. Yet, he’s revamping the way the Eagles eat, claiming he can improve performance. Optimizing nutrition sounds great, except when you look like this.
Why you might not be screwed: Chip. I’m sorry for the fat jokes. Low blows. You know another Charles “Chip” Kelly nickname? Big Balls Chip. It’s fitting. Dude likes to take risks. He’s gonna do things differently. He’s got talent. He’s got spunk. Big balls brimming with spunk. He’s capable of doing big things with those big balls. Most NFL coaches are in the first percentile of testicular circumference. Kelly is off the charts. Big balls bode well in the NFL.
Actual season prediction: I love Chip Kelly. I had to force myself to write those mean things. It hurt me. I like his big balls. I think Vick will rebound. Same with McCoy and Jackson. Brandon Graham was my hero in college. This team is underrated, because they quit last year. Still, their schedule looks damn tough. I say 7-9, no playoffs. But I won’t be shocked if they’re better.