Is Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly going to be fired after tonight’s embarrassing 38-24 loss to the Washington Redskins? While Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie allowed former coach Andy Reid to wear out his welcome, Chip Kelly has been regressing quickly since his first year. Hired in January of 2013 after Reid was fired, Kelly was supposed to change the NFL forever. His fast-paced offense and creative play calling was initially very successful. With many of Andy Reid’s former players, Chip Kelly managed to put together one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, and went on to win the NFC East in his first season.
While the Eagles did not win a playoff game in Kelly’s first year, there was a ton of room for optimism. Quarterback Nick Foles had one of the greatest seasons in Eagles history, and things were really looking up for a team that was flat out bad over the past few seasons. Slowly but surely, Chip Kelly started to dismantle the Eagles and get rid of their most talented players. In March of 2014, he released Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson in the prime of his career. According to an interview that appeared on USA Today, Kelly danced around the true reason behind the release.
“It was a decision that we made as a team. … It was part of the game of football. I wish him the best of luck. I know he’s in Washington and we’ll face him twice a year. To get into specifics isn’t fair to DeSean, and it isn’t fair to anybody in this decision. It was purely a football decision.”
While some analysts were quick to downplay Jackson’s importance to the Eagles, the offense struggled in 2014 and lacked the big play ability that he provided. Without Jackson, the Eagles still managed to win 10 games, but they failed to make the playoffs. Regardless, 10 wins is still difficult to accomplish in the NFL, so many fans and analysts were still confident that Chip Kelly was the right coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
In March of 2015, Chip Kelly traded Nick Foles and draft picks to the St. Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford and draft picks, according to ESPN. Earlier in the same month, he also traded Pro Bowl running back LeSean Mccoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, according to ESPN. In addition to these questionable trades, Kelly also failed to re-sign wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who had a breakout season in 2014.
As predicted by everyone except Chip Kelly, the Eagles were going to struggle in 2015 after giving away all of their best players. With the Philadelphia Eagles losing to the Washington Redskins tonight, Kelly now has zero playoff wins in three seasons. For a coach that is being paid as much as he is, that is unacceptable in today’s NFL. To make matters worse, the Washington Redskins are going to win the division with a maximum of nine wins. If they lose next week, they will win the division with eight wins.
For a division that was clearly there for the taking, what does all of this mean for the future of Chip Kelly? After all, this is his team. He now has final say over the players on the roster, and he got rid of many of the more talented players for “culture reasons.” While it remains to be seen what Jeffrey Lurie will do in the offseason, many fans and analysts took to Twitter after the game to note their displeasure with Kelly.
Before the game, Philly stated “a loss to Redskins would be ultimate indignity for Kelly.” With the loss now confirmed, it is evident that the loss is on Chip Kelly, and the Philadelphia Eagles may be worse off in the future if he is not fired after this season.
[Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images]