Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chip Kelly Wears-Out HIs Welcome in Philly

The curtain has finally been pulled on the Wizard of Broad Street!

In one swift move this past week, Philadelphia Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie once again changed the entire future direction of his team with the firing of his head coach Chip Kelly. It took Andy Reid 14 seasons to wear out is welcome in the City of Brotherly Love, but despite two 10-win seasons, Kelly was sent packing after fulfilling just three years of a four-year contract.

There are some highly irrational owners in the NFL that like to change coaches like underwear, but Lurie definitely does not fall into that category. He is the type of owner that strives for consistency from one season to next as was evident in Reid's long tenure with the team despite some big ups and downs along the way. The last time I looked, Reid has his Kansas City Chiefs headed to the playoffs for the second time in his three seasons with his new team.

I will go on record as publicly criticizing Kelly for the way he dismantled this team during last year's offseason and I will go on record as publicly praising him for those moves during a very promising preseason. The two things that I have personally learned from this ordeal is that disassembling a winning combination and expecting the same results does not work in the NFL. I have also learned to put absolutely zero stock in whatever happens in the NFL preseason.

I coined Kelly as "The Wizard of Broad Street" and while the name never stuck beyond my blog, I still think the name defines the man. If Reid became known in his press conferences for mysterious answers followed by "the time is yours", Kelly remained extremely aloof with the Philadelphia press and he was always quick to downplay anything negative that was thrown his way.

It appears that his callous and almost arrogant attitude towards the whole situation is what eventually got Kelly fired as opposed to his team's dismal performance on the field in a number of games this season. Lurie has already gone on record as saying that he did not intend to fire Kelly this week in a one-on-one meeting that must have went south in a hurry. When faced with the idea of giving up his role as director of player personnel, Kelly apparently refused and things probably unraveled from there.

My take on the whole situation is that Kelly was not really cut out to be a NFL coach. His desire to control every aspect of his team is better suited in a college environment where he can recruit the players he wants on a continual basis and where constant change is part of the program.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Eagles Look to Stay in the NFC East Title Race

The rubber meets the road this Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field when the 6-8 Philadelphia Eagles play host to the the 7-7 Washington Redskins in what is essentially a playoff game for both teams. If the Redskins win as three-point road underdogs they would sweep the Eagles for the season and clinch the NFC East crown. If Philadelphia finds a way to win, it would control its destiny in the division race. A win in the Eagles' final game of the season against the New York Giants would clinch the second NFC East title in Chip Kelly's three seasons at the helm as head coach.

You get the feeling that this is going to be a three-point game either way, so I would be inclined to take the three points and go with Washington. However, after 14 previous tries I have come to the realization that it is next to impossible to handicap the Eagles (or any team in this division) this year. They change their playing form from one quarter to the next let alone from week from week. Just when you think the offense has turned the corner under the direction of Sam Bradford, it starts to sputter and stall. Philadelphia's defense has done a great job at creating turnovers all season long, but it has also been torched for 40 points or more in three of the team's last five games.

Before last Sunday night's correct and very predictable call that the Eagles would crash and burn against Arizona, I made another bold prediction that the Eagles would win these last two games to clinch the NFC East title. This would most likely set-up the opportunity for the Birds to embarrass themselves in the Wildcard Round against the Seattle Seahawks as their likely opponent. I did go with the Redskins and the points for Saturday night in a game preview for Handicappers Hideaway, but I am sticking with the call that Philly wins both of its last two games straight-up to keep the torture going for one more week.

NFL Week 16 Preview & Pick: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cardinals at Eagles Sunday Night Football Preview & Pick

The good news is that it is Week 15 of the NFL regular season and our beloved Birds are tied for first place in the NFC East Division title race. The bad news is that Philly is 6-7 on the year and facing the 11-2 Arizona Cardinals as a 3.5-point underdog at home this Sunday night.

The Eagles have been one of the hardest teams to figure out all season long, but the basic breakdown of this Sunday night's matchup points to the Cardinals rolling to another fairly easy win after outscoring their opponents by a combined 153 points in their first 13 games. I picked against the Eagles when they played New England and they pulled-off an amazing 35-28 upset, but I also went with them in games verse Detroit and Tampa Bay when they were blown-out by a combined score of 90-31.

The amazing thing about Sunday night's tilt against Arizona in light of the current three-way tie with Washington and New York atop the division is that Philadelphia could lose and still be in solid shape to win the NFC East. To me, this is still a lost season that will end somewhere along the line with another bad loss, but the Eagles do get some extra style points for keeping things interesting.

I am already counting on the Birds to lose to Arizona on Sunday, but as crazy as this may sound, I also believe they can still get past the Redskins and the Giants to finish 8-8 and win the NFC East title. That means the bad loss I am talking about will come in the first round of the playoffs to finally put a very frustrating 2015 campaign to an end.

The following is a link to Sports Betting Stats for my complete preview and pick for Sunday night's game against the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles ATS Pick

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Betting on LeSean McCoy's Return to the Linc

Last week I wrote a betting piece about Chip Kelly's future in Philadelphia and all indications point towards the Wizard of Broad St. being on the Eagles' sidelines at the start of the 2016 regular season. This week I have turned my attention towards running back LeSean McCoy's return to Lincoln Financial Field as a member of Buffalo Bills for this Sunday afternoon's game against the Eagles.

Bovada Sportsbook has set the "over/under" on McCoy's total rushing yards for Sunday's game at 89.5 with betting odds of -120 for either side. You know that McCoy will be highly motivated to have a big day running the ball and he comes into this matchup in solid form. Shady has racked-up 488 rushing yards over his last five games including three separate outings with 112 yards. I personally think he goes off against the Birds' defense this Sunday so a big wager on the OVER in this prop is the way I would go.

The following is a link to all my special NFL prop picks for Week 14 of the regular season in this week's piece for Doc's Sports.

NFL Props Odds with Expert Betting Picks and Predictions

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Betting on Chip Kelly's Future in Philadelphia

Given the Eagles' 4-7 record heading into Sunday's road game against New England as double-digit underdogs, there has been widespread speculation as to head coach Chip Kelly's future with the team. Some reports have him heading back to the college ranks in light of his very successful stint at Oregon before taking the job in Philly. Some football experts predict that team owner Jeff Lurie will cut his losses and fire Kelly after this extremely disappointing season comes to an end. There has even been speculation that Kelly will be traded to Tennessee so he can finally be reunited with his prized quarterback Marcus Mariota during his tenure with the Ducks.

One of the best things about this kind of NFL drama is that you will usually find a sportsbook that will post betting odds on what the ultimate outcome will be. That is the case this week with Bovada's special NFL props concerning Kelly's future as a head coach. Along with the race for league MVP and Jeff Fisher's future in St. Louis as that team's head coach, I have weighed-in on my prediction for what the Wizard of Broad Street will be doing when Week 1 of the 2016 NFL regular season rolls around.

The following is a link to my weekly NFL prop bet picks for Doc's Sports covering Chip Kelly's future in Philadelphia.

NFL Props Odds with Expert Betting Picks and Predictions

Saturday, November 28, 2015

NFL Betting Odds to Make the Playoffs

You know that things are bad when a team is a game and half out of first place in its division and the sportsbooks will not even post any betting odds for its chances to make the playoffs. The 2015 Philadelphia Eagles are one of those teams. Following another blowout loss this past Thursday to a Detroit Lions' team that had won a grand total of three games this season, the Birds have officially gravitated from being a good team playing bad to a bad team playing awful.

Former NFL head coach Jim Mora will always be best known for his animated and exasperated rant about making the playoffs when his Indianapolis Colts team fell to 4-6 in 2001 after a bad loss to San Francisco. I could not bring myself to watch any of the post-game interviews following the Eagles' latest collapse, but I hope that nobody asked Chip Kelly about his team's chances to make it into the postseason this year. The only question I would like to ask is where does he think he will be coaching next season?

Moving on, there are a number of NFL teams in both the AFC and the NFC that have a legitimate chance to get into the playoffs and BetOnline Sportsbook has recently set some betting odds for their chances as a special NFL team prop. Each and every week of the NFL season I put together my "best bet" picks for some of these special props for Doc's Sports and this week I came up with picks for a trio of team's betting odds to extend their regular season into this year's Super Bowl Derby.

The following is the link to this week's piece on Doc's.

NFL Playoff Odds: Picks and Predictions for Three Potential Playoff Teams

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mark Sanchez Set to Start this Sunday for Philly

While Sam Bradford has yet to officially be ruled out of this Sunday's home game against Tampa Bay, it looks more and more like Mark Sanchez will get the call to try and lead the Eagles to what could be considered a "must-win" given last Sunday's unexpected loss to Miami as 5.5-point favorites at home.

Sanchez played a key role in that loss with a late-game interception in the end zone with Philly driving to take the lead. This has been his MO throughout his seven-year NFL career. Looking at his life-time stats first with the New York Jets and in his last two seasons with Philadelphia, Sanchez has thrown 82 touchdowns and 81 interceptions. The one stat I could not find was how many of those interceptions cost his team the game. I do know that he is one-for-one this year.

In retrospect, getting rid of Nick Foles might have been the right move given his woeful play in St. Louis, but head coach Chip Kelly had to know deep in the back of his mind that neither Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez was the long-term answer to lead his team to a Super Bowl title. I am not sure if either of these quarterbacks is even capable of leading this team to a winning record but right now it is what it is.

I would rather see Tim Tebow run around in the backfield trying to make plays then watch Bradford sleepwalk his way through games or watch Sanchez throw games away with costly interceptions. Kelly was between a rock and a hard place this past offseason in his numerous attempts to land Marcus Mariota as his quarterback of the future, but he will not have the luxury of playing it safe this time around as far as finding someone that can run his offense the way it was really designed to work.

It is still too early to give up on this season, but if the Eagles do manage to somehow win the watered-down NFC East and possibly even win a playoff game or two it will be on the shoulders of their much-improved defense. This side of the ball has been the lone bright spot for the future against the grim reality that the Birds' offense has taken a huge step backwards with its current situation at the quarterback position.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Eagles' First Half Report Card

With eight of 16 NFL regular season games in the book, it is time to dole out the grades for the Eagles' first half performance. They come into this Sunday's home game against the 3-5 Miami Dolphins as seven-point favorites and the NFL score predictor on Odds Shark has them winning this matchup 27.9 to 18.1. That would be a great result, but I cannot let this influence my grading for their first eight games.

Overall Grade: C-

Philly was close to pulling a D or possibly even an F after a dismal 1-3 start that included blown leads against both Atlanta and Washington along with a downright ugly showing against Dallas in Week 2. They were able to pull their season out of the fire with three victories in their last four games, but the lone loss to 8-0 Carolina showed just how far the Birds still are from being on of top teams in the NFC.


I may be grading this unit a bit tough, but we are nine weeks into the season and this offense still has trouble playing as a cohesive unit. With Sam Bradford at quarterback it has been hit or miss in almost every game. The offense has gotten off to notoriously slow starts and you never know what you are going to get from one series to the next. Bradford's play in the second half of last Sunday's Dallas game might have been a turning point for the rest of the season so that is why I gave the offense a plus on my D grade.


This side of the ball as been a pleasant surprise this season after being the main root of the Eagles' collapse last year down the stretch. When it comes to the rankings in the NFL, some of the numbers do not support such a high grade. The defense is ranked 21st in the league against both the pass and the run when it comes to total yards allowed, but in the one category that matters most (points allowed) it is ranked 10th; giving-up an average of 20.5 points a game. Another reason why I graded this unit so high is its 20 takeways, which is ranked first in the NFL along with the New York Giants.

Coaching: D+

I am still a big fan of Chip Kelly and I honestly believe that he will be able to pull-up his grade with a better second half, but I had to be tough on him for his team's first half performance. Things are starting to fall into place, but sloppy and inconsistent play along with stupid penalties and costly turnovers (10 interceptions and five lost fumbles) are a tell-tale sign of a team that lacks the necessary discipline to truly be one of the top contenders for a Super Bowl run. Some people might want to give him the benefit of the doubt with so many new faces on this year's roster, but he is the one that made all those changes so that is on him.

This is not the kind of report card that I would want to bring home to my parents, so I am looking for some immediate improvement starting this Sunday when the Eagles bring themselves back home to the Linc. Following the game against the Dolphins, they will home against Tampa Bay and on the road against Detroit on Thanksgiving so the Birds should be able to bring a 7-4 record into Foxborough on Sunday, Dec. 6. Following that probable loss, Philly returns home for three-straight games against Buffalo, Arizona and Washington.

I have Kelly's Heroes winning two of three in that run to bring a 9-6 record into their season finale against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. This will no doubt be the final exam for the season and most likely a title game for the NFC East crown. I win would dramatically improve these grades, but a loss could send the Birds to summer school for the second straight year.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Eagles at Cowboys Sunday Night Football Preview & Free Pick

The Eagles are back in action this Sunday night in a crucial matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in what boils down to a must-win for two teams that have a combined five victories against nine losses on the year. Philadelphia went into last week's bye with a 3-4 record in its first seven games, while the Cowboys' 13-12 loss to Seattle last Sunday was their fifth-straight setback after a promising 2-0 start. The only thing in both of these team's favor is the overall dismal condition of the NFC East this season. New York is holding down first place with an even record of 4-4 so the winner of Sunday night's contest will remain in the thick of things for the division title.

After watching Chip Kelly's new-look Eagles for the past seven games, I actually know less about this team then I did going into that season opener against Atlanta. Consistency is a concept that does not register with this team and while the Birds are probably capable of beating any team in the NFL right now, they have also proven themselves capable of losing to any team as well. The Cowboys can pin their current woes on the loss of Tony Romo, who went down with a shoulder injury in a 20-10 win against Philadelphia in Week 2. It is doubtful that Dallas would have lost all five games if he was still under center, but this team's issues run deeper than losing its starting quarterback.

Sunday night's clash will be a defining moment for each of these teams win or lose. The winner might be able to use this game as a springboard to a NFC East title, while the loser could easily crash and burn over the remainder of the season. I am banking on the Eagles coming out on top, but I am damn sure not betting on it. To catch my official pick for this game, check out the link below for my complete preview of Sunday night's game for Sports Betting Stats.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Betting Pick

Saturday, October 31, 2015

NFL Week 8 Parlay Pick

Tortured Eagles' fans get a much needed break this week with Philly on its bye week. I actually made the right pick in last Sunday's 27-16 loss to Carolina by going with the UNDER on a closing total line of 46 with 5Dimes. This Sunday, I get to focus my full attention of the rest of the league in terms of coming up with a pair of solid picks for my weekly Two-Team NFL Parlay for

For the first game on this week's radar I stayed in the NFC East with a pick on the New York Giants on the road against the New Orleans Saints. The Giants are out in front of the muddled division race at 4-3 and the Saints have turned things around with three victories in their last four games following a dismal 0-3 start. New Orleans is listed as a three-point favorite and the betting odds for the total have been set at 49.

The back-end of this week's NFL Parlay is also a matchup involving a team from the NFC East with a play on the Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys' game. Both of these preseason division favorites find themselves in need of a win to try and turn things around from an unexpected slow start. The 3-4 Seahawks head into Big D as five-point road favorites to hand the Cowboys their fifth loss in a row following a 2-0 start. The betting line for the total in this conference clash has been set at 41.

The following is a link to this week's NFL Two-Team Parlay for

NFL Week 8 Parlay Betting Picks

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Eagles at Panthers Sunday Night Preview & Pick

It was not pretty by a long stretch, but the Eagles' 27-7 victory over the New York Giants last Monday night put them back in the driver seat in the NFC East even though their record is just 3-3. They still have division losses to Dallas and Washington as part of that record, but as long as the Birds can keep finding ways to win, they will continue to be the front-runners to win the tightest NFL division race on the board.

Sunday's night contest against the 5-0 Carolina Panthers will be the true litmus test as to whether or not Philly is up to the task of holding onto that top spot. The Oddsmakers opened the Panthers as 2.5-point favorites at home for this prime-time NFC tilt and the early money from the betting public has gone towards Carolina to drive the spread up to three points.

The main thing driving the Eagles' current two-game winning streak has been the play of their defense and Carolina has also hung its hat on a unit that is ranked seventh in the NFL in total yards allowed (338) and eighth in points allowed (18.8). I have picked Philly to win twice this season and they lost. I have picked against the Birds twice and they won. This time around I am taking the easy way out with a pick on the total line which is now set at 45.5 on 5Dimes' current board after opening at 47.

Below is a link to my complete preview & pick for Sunday night's game in an article that was previously posted on Sports Betting Stats.

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers Betting Pick

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Giants at Eagles Monday Night Preview & Pick

The battle for the top spot in the NFC Least takes center stage this Monday night when the 3-2 New York Giants square-off against the 2-3 Philadelphia Eagles. There are three other NFL teams (Green Bay, Cincinnati and Denver) that have as many wins as these two teams combined, but somebody has to win the division this year.

The Giants appear to be the front runner through the early part of the season with a three-game winning streak, but the Eagles showed some signs of life with last Sunday's romp over New Orleans. Both teams have shown the ability to play at a high level and both have also made an art of shooting themselves in the foot at the worst possible times. New York started the season 0-2 by blowing two late-game leads and Philadelphia was in excellent position to beat both Atlanta and Washington but it could not seal the deal.

Turning to Monday night's matchup, it will still come down to which team's quarterback makes the most plays and the fewest mistakes. Following that ugly loss to Dallas in Week 2, I benched Sam Bradford for Eli Manning on my fantasy football team and I now have the most points in the league. This week I decided to go back to Bradford for two reasons. First, I am still a die-hard Eagles' fan and I could never root against my team because I had the opposing team's quarterback in my fantasy lineup. The second reason I am going with Bradford is that I honestly believe that he is going to make more plays and fewer mistakes than Manning on Monday night.

Eli has been a thorn in the Eagles' side at times, but over the course of his entire career I would not say that he has had his best games against his bitter rivals. Bradford, on the other hand, is still a blank canvas in this heated division tilt and he should have an automatic edge given the Giants' lack of experience playing against him. The former first overall pick in the draft is still trying to shake off the rust from two devastating knee injuries and while his early report card in Philadelphia is barely a passing grade, I think he is primed for a coming-out party on Monday night under the prime-time lights at Lincoln Financial Field.

I have already picked the Eagles and lost. I have gone against them and lost. Things have gotten off to such a bad start with my NFC East picks (0-5)in general that my weekly preview for this division for Doc's Sports has been put on a shelf because I was costing their readers too much money (if they were dumb enough to actually bet on my unit plays).

That being said, I am going to press-on with an official pick for Monday night's showdown. I really like Philly's chances to win this game, but giving four points to the Giants is probably going to be one too many in what I see being a three-point spread. What I do like is the OVER on a total line of 49.5 as I think both teams are going to put some points on the board. I also forgot to mention that I went 2-13 with my first 15 "over/under" picks on the total line in another article for Doc's and that piece got canned as well.

Friday, October 9, 2015

NFL Week 5 Parlay Picks

Last week a went out on the limb that the Eagles would cover as three-point road favorites against Washington. I had that game in hand right down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter until the Redskins ripped all out hearts out with that last second score. This was an extremely damaging loss for Philadelphia on a number of levels and a major step backwards after taking a small step forward with the Week 3 win against the New York Jets.

This Sunday, the Birds play host to 1-3 New Orleans as 5.5-point favorites with most of the offshore sportsbooks. Given what I have seen from Chip Kelly's new look lineup, I am not sure this team can beat anyone by more than a field goal right now. They have continually found ways to shoot themselves in the foot and with a really shaky situation with their current field goal kicker there is a good chance they actually lose this game straight-up. I am not officially off of Philly's bandwagon, but I am definitely dragging one foot on the ground.

The following link is to this week's two-team parlay for Every1Bets and I will tell you right now that I am going against the Eagles this time around.

NFL Week 5 Parlay Picks

Saturday, October 3, 2015


The early title race in the NFC East tightened up last Sunday with Philadelphia and New York's first win combined with the Cowboys' first lost. The Eagles were able to snap-out of their two week funk to get past the New York Jets as three-point road underdogs, but at best I would say that they are still a work in progress.

Even though my confidence level in the Birds has not been fully restored I do like them this Sunday against Washington as three-point favorites on the road. This probably has more to do with how bad the Redskins looked their last time out in a 32-21 loss to the Giants that was not as nearly as close as the score might indicate. The other big reason why I made Philly one of my top picks this week is a solid run defense that should be able to neutralize Washington's biggest strength.

The following is a link to all my top picks for Week 4 of the NFL season as previously posted on


Thursday, September 24, 2015

NFC East Week 3 Preview & Predictions

There is just no way to sugarcoat just how bad the Eagles looked in last Sunday's 20-10 loss to rival Dallas. You would probably have to go all the way back to the 1998 season to see the Birds play that bad under the direction of head coach Ray Rhodes on their way to a 3-13 record. The early prognosis of Chip Kelly's new-look Eagles in their first two games makes you wonder if this team can top that mark this season.

I am going to remain optimistic that all of the new faces on this Eagles' roster will be able to eventually gel as a team to still make a title run in what has quickly become one of the weakest divisions in the NFL. That is not the 2-0 Cowboys fault, but with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant set to miss the next few months,they become a very average team. Both 1-1 Washington and the 0-2 New York Giants are very much in the mix and the winner of this Thursday night's showdown probably has the inside track to a NFC East title. The good news for us Philly fans is that this season's title race should remain close. The bad news is that we may have to endure quite a bit of ugly football along the way.

The following is a link to my weekly NFC East preview and pick of the week as originally posted on Doc's Sports

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 3

Friday, September 18, 2015

NFC East Week 2 Preview & Predictions

The Dallas Cowboys remain at the top of the NFC East simply because all of the other three teams in the division lost their season opener. New York gift-wrapped the Cowboys' win last Sunday night with some poor clock management in the closing minutes of the game and Washington could not find the end zone in its loss to Miami.

Our beloved Birds did everything they could to lose Monday's night game in Atlanta and they still almost won. You can only shoot yourself in the foot so many times before you blow off all of your toes. The Eagles did just that in a game they should have easily won if they had brought their A-Game to the Georgia Dome. I am putting this one in the vault and moving onto this Sunday's game against Dallas in what is already an early season must-win situation.

The good news is that when the Eagles' offense was clicking last week against the Falcons it looked pretty good. They are going to have to find a way to run the ball, but I was impressed with how Sam Bradford ran the show in three second-half scoring drives. The bad news is that the Eagles' defensive secondary needs to get its act together in a hurry. Maybe it is a case of these guys not being used to playing together or maybe it was a poor defensive scheme by coordinator Bill Davis, but if there is not some significant improvement defending the pass the losses are going to start piling up.

As far as my NFC East "pick of the week" I completely stayed away from Sunday's Cowboys' game. Of course I think the Eagles will win, but that is the fan in me talking. Giving Dallas five points does not make betting sense after watching Monday night's performance.

The following link to Doc's Sports has a brief preview of all three NFC East games on Sunday's slate along with my official pick for one of the other two games.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 2

Friday, September 11, 2015

Eagles at Falcons Preview & Pick

I will be covering every Monday Night Football game this season for so I had the added benefit of posting my preview and pick for this Monday's season opener between Philadelphia and Atlanta. The expectation level for the Eagles has risen dramatically with the betting public over this past preseason to the point where they are now third-favorites behind Seattle and Green Bay to win the NFC this season. The Falcons are coming off back-to-back losing seasons after being a perennial power in the NFC South the prior few years.

One of the biggest story lines for this game is Sam Bradford's regular season debut as the Eagles' new starting quarterback. A close second would be All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray's first game with Philadelphia as well after leading the NFL in rushing yards in 2014 while with Dallas. If both of these players can remain healthy and productive for 16 regular season games, there is a good chance that Philly will still be playing ball into late January.

The Falcons' defense was one of the worst in the league last season which helps explain the team's 7-9 record, but there is still plenty of firepower on the other side of the ball. Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan has consistently been one of the league's top passers over the course of his seven year career and wide receiver Julio Jones is quickly becoming one of the most electrifying playmakers in the NFL.

Not to tip my hand as far as my official pick in this game, it is safe to say that a fair amount of points will be scored by both of these teams in Monday's season opener. The following is a link to my preview & pick as previously posted on


Thursday, September 10, 2015

NFC East Week 1 Preview & Predictions

The time as come to fire things up for another season of football and I am fired up at the Eagles' prospects for a deep run in the postseason this year. I will not go as far as to say they are my pick to win the NFC with a very strong Green Bay team still standing in the way, but I will go as far as saying that the Birds should get a shot at going to Super Bowl 50 with a chance to play those Packers at Lambeau in late January.

A few other bold predictions I am willing to put out there is Arizona over Seattle for the NFC West title, while Kansas City rises to the top of the AFC West over Denver. There are no such things as locks when it comes to making NFL predictions before a single regular season game has been played, but Indianapolis is in excellent position to make a run all the way this this year's Super Bowl playing out the watered-down AFC South.

First things first before I get too far ahead of myself is my Week 1 preview of the NFC East along with my "pick of the week". This will be my fourth season covering my favorite NFL division for Doc's Sports and going over my past record for these weekly picks I am proud to say that my record is well above .500. If you do bet on sports you should always bet on what you know best and I have been following these four teams my entire life through the eyes of being a die-hard Eagles' fan.

All this means is that I am homer and happy to admit it. I think the Redskins will get thumped at home by Miami on Sunday afternoon and one of my top picks of the week with some of the other articles I have written is New York at the very least covering the seven-point spread against Dallas. However, I can easily see the Giants pulling off the upset in Big D on Sunday night. I have saved the best for last with my NFC East "pick of the week" on Monday night's Eagles at Falcons game, but I am not going to tip my hand as to which way I went in this one.

That being said, the following is a link to my NFC East Week 1 preview and pick as previously posted on Doc's

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 1

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bettors Boost the Birds' Super Bowl Odds

When the initial betting odds to win Super Bowl 50 were first released shortly after New England won last season's NFL title, the Philadelphia Eagles opened at 20/1 odds to win, which was tied for eighth on the list. Throughout the offseason that number pretty much held steady even with head coach Chip Kelly wheeling and dealing his way to a fresh look on both sides of the ball.

Even though the preseason games do not count in the standings, it is amazing what a few solid performances will do to capture the attention of the betting public. If you flash forward to today, you will find that the Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl 50 now stand at +850 (17/2) on Bovada's current board with only three teams ahead of them on the list. Even the defending champion Patriots with Tom Brady back in the fold for the entire 16-game regular season have longer odds to repeat at +900.

What does this all mean? Well for one it means that room on the Philly bandwagon is filling up fast so y'all better get on board while you still can. Second, it means that bettors are starting to see the value in this team that may have not been all that evident when Kelly first started tinkering with the lineup. Finally, it means that the sportsbooks are starting to get nervous about the Eagles as a drop like this in the betting odds reflects the fact that some serious money has been flooding in on their Super Bowl futures the past few weeks.

Whatever it all means I am excited for the start of the season as Kelly and Sam Bradford will finally get a chance to take this new-look, souped-up offense out on the open road to see what it can really do starting a week from this Monday against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

The following is a link to my NFL Super Bowl 50 futures odds preview as previously posted on


Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 NFC East Preview & Predictions

It has come to that time of the year when I have to make my official pick for the NFC East in terms of which team will rise to the top of the heap in 2015. Not that I am giving anything away, I honestly think that our beloved Birds have positioned themselves to go deep into the playoffs this season if all of their new moving parts come together and perform like a well-oiled team.

If you go back to the NFL labor situation heading into the 2011 regular season when a player's lockout delayed the start of free agency until the month of August, you might remember Eagles' owner Jeff Laurie opening-up the checkbook. The Eagles went on to sign a couple of high-profile and high-priced players that were brought in to tip the scales for a Super Bowl run following a 2010 season that ended with a heart-breaking 21-16 loss to Green Bay in the Wildcard Round. The Packers went on to win the Super Bowl that year. The plan failed miserably and the Eagles went 8-8 that year, which marked the beginning of the end for the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia.

Chip Kelly took Reid's place in 2013 and he promptly led the team to a 10-6 record and a NFC East title in his first season at the helm. Philly matched that win total last season, but it actually took a step backwards with a late season collapse in losses against Dallas and Washington that cost it the 2014 division title.

This past offseason, Kelly took matters into his own hands as the newly appointed director of player personnel and completely reshaped this team with an unprecedented number of major moves. Through two games of the preseason, things appear to be headed in the right direction with two lopsided victories over playoff contenders Indianapolis and Baltimore by a combined score of 76-27. Ironically enough, the Eagles will play Green Bay this Saturday night in Week 3 of the preseason and if they blow-out the Packers on the road then we might be on to something.

I am happy to report that I will once again be covering the NFC East on a weekly basis for Doc's Sports and to get things rolling I have created a link to my 2015 preview and picks for the division in an article that was posted earlier this week.

2015 NFC East Predictions with Betting Odds and Expert Picks

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NFL Preseason Week 2 Preview

It is time to start getting serious about the NFL preseason heading into Week 2 of a four game schedule. This week the starters for all 32 teams should see more playing time so at least for the first half of the games we should get our first taste of what to expect in the regular season.

Last week the Eagles did a good job moving the ball against Indianapolis with both Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow taking the majority of the snaps at quarterback. This Saturday night we will get our first look at Sam Bradford in a home game against Baltimore. I would have to presume that if he is healthy enough and stays that way over the next few weeks that he will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 of the regular season against Atlanta. Mark Sanchez is probably still in the mix to fill that role, but I am really looking forward to seeing just how well Bradford can run this high-powered Eagles' offense.

The one conclusion that I did draw from that Week 1 win was that Philadelphia should be just fine without its No. 1 receiver from last season Jeremy Maclin. Both Jordan Matthews and rookie Nelson Agholor made a couple of nifty catches including Agholor's 34-yard touchdown reception from Sanchez towards the end of the first quarter that gave the Eagles a lead they never relinquished. We are still waiting for the debut of running back DeMarco Murray, but the Birds also did a good job running the ball last Sunday with 123 yards rushing on 32 carries.

The Ravens' defense should provide a much better test against the new-look Birds so it will interesting to see how well this offense can move the ball on Saturday night.

I just starting writing weekly articles for a new site so the following is a link to my preview and picks for a few of the better matchups on this week's preseason slate including the Ravens vs. Eagles game.

NFL Preseason Week 2 Preview & Predictions

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Eagles Preseason Week 1 Thoughts and Musings

The Eagles will share the spotlight with the Indianapolis Colts as the featured Sunday game in Week 1 of the 2015 NFL preseason. I have already stated in numerous preseason articles that Philadelphia without a doubt is the most intriguing team in the league heading into the new season.

All 32 NFL teams have made numerous changes to their roster this past offseason in pursuit of a Super Bowl title, even the reigning champion New England Patriots. The Eagles took that task to a whole new level over the past few months behind the Wizard of Broad Street, Chip Kelly ( I am hoping that nickname sticks beyond just my blog). You would think that a team that won 10 games in each of its last two seasons would look to tweak things a bit with its roster to try and add those two to three more victories that would probably result in home field advantage for the playoffs.

Not Kelly, not by a long stretch. He decided to blow things up by trading away his starting quarterback and All-Pro running back while letting his top receiver sign with another team. He has also reassembled his offensive line, linebacking corps and defensive secondary. He probably even changed ball boys and cheerleaders behind the scene.

All I can say is that I am pumped to see what the Wizard has come up with! This Sunday will not show us all that much with the starters seeing little action, but I do predict that the Eagles will still score more points on their own than the total score in almost every other preseason game this week. My bold prediction for the game is that Tim Tebow throws and runs for a score (remember you read it here first).

Kelly has put the FUN back in football and he could care less what anyone else thinks. Eagles fans have not seen the likes of this type of swagger from a head coach since Buddy Ryan roamed the sidelines at Veteran Stadium. When Reid was in town the time was ours. Kelly knows that the time is his and he is hell bent on making the most of it!

Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football the Eagles' Way

Training camps all over the NFL are in full swing and the preseason schedule gets underway this Sunday with the annual Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio. That means it is time to get serious about drafting your fantasy football team for the 2015 season. I managed to finish dead last in my league last year with a healthy dose of Eagles on my roster, but that is not going to stop me from loading-up this year's squad with a few of the top fantasy football players that are new to the nest for 2015.

The top-ranked Eagle on FantasyPros list heading into the 2015 fantasy football season is running back DeMarco Murray at No. 15. Interestingly enough the back he replaced, LeSean McCoy is just two spots lower at No. 17 so it should be a great back-and-forth battle between these two players all year long. I missed out on drafting McCoy last season as one of the top three players on the list, but I should be able to get Murray with my first round pick.

The next Eagle on the list at No. 37 is wide receiver Jordan Matthews. As a rookie in 2014, he caught everyone's attention as the team's second-leading receiver with 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. The receiver ahead of him on the stat sheet was Jeremy Maclin, but he decided to jump ship to Kansas City to be reunited with Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid. This makes it a no-brainer to take Matthews with my second pick since he should still be on the board.

Current Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly decided to trade away last season's starting quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for their starter Sam Bradford. Looking at the rankings for this season there are 16 quarterbacks ahead of Bradford on the list, but that is not going to stop me from adding him to my fantasy football team as my starter.

I will definitely try and add tight end Zach Ertz and possibly even Ryan Mathews as a back-up running back. When it comes to picking a defense I can almost guarantee the Philadelphia will still be available in the later rounds. If you are going to be the ultimate homer then you might as well go all the way.

The one thing I never liked about fantasy football was having to root against your favorite team because you had the opposing team's quarterback as your starter. My draft strategy may ensure another last place finish in my league, but you cannot call yourself a die-hard fan if your do not walk the walk no matter how much money is on the line.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

NFL 2015 Win Total Odds - Best Bets

I have already talked at length about the Eagles' projected wins for this upcoming season and while I am bullish on their chances to exceed the 9.5 total that most sportbooks have on their board, they are not one of my top picks given all the question marks that still surround the "new-look" Birds.

Philadelphia is the kind of team that could blow everyone's doors off if everything goes according to plan, yet they also have the potential to crash and burn if injuries start taking their toll with any of their new additions. The opening of training camp is right around the corner and in just seven weeks we will know exactly what we are dealing with in a Monday night opener on the road against Atlanta.

BetOnline recently updated its betting odds for all 32 NFL team's projected win totals and the following is a link to an article I recently wrote for Sports Betting Stats with my "over/under" picks for the top four teams on the list.

NFL Win Total Lines - Betting Picks

Saturday, July 18, 2015

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: Philadelphia Eagles

I saved the best for last in my tour around the NFC East with my preview and prediction for Philadelphia's win total this season. In two years under Chip Kelly as the Birds' head coach, they have posted back-to-back 10-6 records. The projected win total for 2015 with most of the sportsbooks stands at 9.5 with the moneyline odds trending towards the UNDER.

The Eagles could actually be the most intriguing team in the NFL heading into the 2015 season given their complete makeover on offense. They will kick things off with Sam Bradford as their new quarterback, DeMarco Murray in the backfield as their primary runner and second-year wide receiver Jordan Matthews as their No. 1 target in the passing game. The offensive line has a few new faces as well and the entire defensive secondary has been rebuilt from the ground up. The only constant with Kelly is constant change in pursuit of a Super Bowl title.

The bottom line with Philly is that this season could end with a deep run in the playoffs if everything goes its way, or with a step backwards from double-digit wins if players like Bradford and Murray cannot stay healthy. As always, I remain rather bullish on their chances, but that should not come as a big surprise to anyone who follows this blog.

Below is a link to my complete preview and prediction for this season in an article that was previously posted on Doc's Sports.

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: Philadelphia Eagles

Friday, July 10, 2015

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: Dallas Cowboys

Moving on in my early look at the projected 2015 regular season win totals for all four teams in the NFC East, it is time to take a deeper look at last season's division champs the Dallas Cowboys. After two-straight years of going an even 8-8, the Cowboys broke through last season with a 12-4 mark, which was two games better that the 2013 champion Eagles.

The way the betting odds are shaking-out this year's NFC East title race appears to be a two team battle between Dallas and Philadelphia. The following is a link to my recent preview on Doc's Sports for my take on how I see the Cowboys faring in this showdown.

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: Dallas Cowboys

Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: New York Giants

I am continuing my trip through the NFC East with a closer look at each team's projected win total for the 2015 NFL regular season along with their odds to go "over" or stay "under" the total. Next up on the list is the New York Giants with a projected win total of 8.5 and a -115 betting moneyline for both the over and the under.

I was bullish on the Giants last season with a predicted record of 9-7, but a mid-season slump in which they lost seven-straight games resulted in just six wins against 10 losses. The year before, New York shook-off a 0-6 start to finish 7-9. Despite these two down years, as long as Tom Coughlin is still at the helm as head coach and Eli Manning is under center at quarterback, I still see New York as a legitimate contender in the NFC East title race. Winning two Super Bowls in five seasons is still a pretty impressive stat to have on either one of these resumes.

Turning to this season's outlook, the following is a link to my complete win total preview and prediction for New York in an article that was previously posted on Doc's Sports.

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: New York Giants

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: Washington Redskins

I am happy to announce that I will once again be covering the NFC East this season for Doc's Sports. While the start of the 2015 regular season is still over two months away, I wanted to get the ball rolling with a in-depth look at each of the four teams projected win total along with the betting odds for the "over" and the "under".

Starting lowest to highest, the following is a link to my win total preview and prediction for the Washington Redskins as previously posted on Doc's Sports website.

2015 NFL Season Win Totals Picks: Washington Redskins

Friday, June 19, 2015

2015 CFL Futures

My CFL Futures Odds Preview is reprinted by permission of Sports Betting Stats

2015 Canadian Football League Futures Odds

The CFL is gearing up for another season of football “north of the border” and Bovada has recently updated its futures odds to win this season’s championship. The following is a closer look at some of the top contenders to take home a Grey Cup title in 2015.
CFL 2015 Grey Cup Futures Odds

The Calgary Stampeders impressive run to the 2014 Grey Cup title in the CFL has them listed as the favorites to repeat, but teams such as Saskatchewan and Edmonton are also gearing-up for a run at the Grey Cup with a new regular season of action set to kick things off a bit later this month.

The following is a look at my top three teams to win this season’s CFL Grey Cup based on betting odds from Bovada.

Top Valued Favorite

Calgary has been listed as a 10/3 favorite to successfully defend its 2014 Grey Cup title, but Montreal in 2009 and 2010 were the only team to win back-to-back titles since Toronto in the late 90’s so it remains a tall task. I am going with the second team on Bovada’s list as my top-valued favorite with a play on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at 5/1 betting odds. The Roughriders won the Grey Cup in 2013 and they remained in the thick of things last year despite losing their quarterback Darian Durant for a good part of the season due to injury.

The Roughriders will have a pair of new coordinators heading into the 2015 season with Jacques Chapdelaine running the offense and Greg Quick handling things on the defensive side of the ball. With Durant in the lineup, they won eight of 10 games, so the key to another Grey Cup run is still in his hands (and throwing arm).

Top Valued Contender

The West Division remains stacked after sending four teams to last season’s playoffs, but I am going to go with the East’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats as my top-valued contender at 13/2 odds to win the 2015 Grey Cup title. The Tiger-Cats have been to the last two Grey Cup Finals and in 2014 they gave Calgary all it could handle in a tough 20-16 loss as 6.5-point underdogs. The main difference in that game was a Hamilton kick return for a touchdown that was wiped off the board due to a penalty.

Zach Collaros has emerged as one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the CFL and the versatile Brandon Banks was a duel threat as a receiver and on special teams returning kicks. The key to making the third time a charm could lie in a young defense that was prone to some bad mistakes at times, but still fairly solid overall. The Tiger-Cats are going to have to do a better job at winning on the road after going just 2-7 in nine road games as part of an overall record of 9-9.

Top Valued Longshot

The British Columbia Lions have turned the reins over to Jeff Tedford this season after a very productive run in the college ranks as head coach of the Pac 12’s California Golden Bears. They made in into the postseason last year in the highly competitive West Division with a record of 9-9, but the Lions are counting on Tedford to help this team close the gap with a better performance on both sides of the ball. Bovada’s betting odds that they make the leap all the way to Grey Cup Champions have been set at 6/1 and while they are technically not huge longshots compared to the posted odds for some of the teams in the East, it would be still be quite a feat to take home this year’s title given the level of competition the Lions will face in their division.

One of the concerns has to be the health of quarterback Travis Lulay, who missed time last season with a shoulder injury. If he can quickly return to form, he may be the perfect player to effectively run Tedford’s quick tempo offense where the passing game is the primary means to moving the ball downfield.

Other CFL Futures Odds

The betting odds for the other CFL teams on Bovada’s list start with Calgary at the top at 10/3 odds. Edmonton follows Saskatchewan as an 11/2 third-favorite. Next on the list after BC and Hamilton at 8/1 odds are both Montreal and Toronto. Winnipeg is once again expected to bring up the rear in the West at 17/2 odds to win a title and Ottawa has the longest odds on the board at 20/1 after winning just two games as an expansion team in the East last year.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Betting on the Eagles' Vital Numbers

We are getting to the point of this long and arduous NFL offseason where it is worth taking a closer look at the 2015 NFL futures odds that have already been posted and recently updated for all 32 NFL teams in an effort to try and find some solid value in the numbers. For the sake of this week's post, I have consulted BetOnline sportbook to get the most up-to-date NFL futures for the Philadelphia Eagles to see where the best value lies in all of their particular betting odds for the upcoming season.

Super Bowl 50 Odds to Win: +2000

I am one of the most optimistic Eagles' fans in the world, but unless everything goes this team's way this season, it is still a few players away from being a legitimate Super Bowl-caliber team. Do not get me wrong, I think that head coach Chip Kelly has made some bold personnel moves to make this a very good team that has the potential to overachieve at the highest level, but the value in the risk/reward when it comes to betting on Philly to win a Super Bowl this season is just not there.

NFC Championship Odds to Win: +1000

Winning an NFC Championship is a much more obtainable goal as the fourth-best team on the list behind Seattle (+250), Green Bay (+350) and Dallas (+650); however this could be a stretch as well given the current unknowns with the Eagles' new-look offense and its untested re-tooled defense. This is the same scenario as winning the Super Bowl in that everything would have to go their way in the regular season to earn one of the top two seeds in the conference. I would not rule out a small wager on the Birds winning the NFC this year, but I still do not see all that much value in their current betting odds.

NFC East Division Odds to Win: +150

Most times the betting odds for futures are weighed heavily on the recent past as the betting public has the tendency to form its opinions based on what happened in the previous season. This is the only explanation I can come up with as to why Dallas has been listed as a +140 favorite to repeat as NFC East champs. The Cowboys still have some major holes on a defense that was ranked 19th in the NFL last season in total yards allowed and they lost their best player on offense (DeMarco Murray) to their division rivals. You can talk about the Cowboys' offensive line all you want, but putting the ball back into Tony Romo's hands to try and win games adds-up to another 8-8 record in my book.

The Cowboys' anticipated decline plays right into my rational to go big with a wager on the Eagles' +150 futures odds to reclaim the division title in 2015. I will admit that part of this is wishful thinking, but I honestly do believe that the loss of Murray will have a major impact on the Cowboys' offense in a negative way while he quickly makes Eagles' fans completely forget about Shady McCoy.

Total Projected Wins: 9.5 (-105 OVER & -125 UNDER)

This futures bet goes hand-in-hand in my prediction that Philadelphia win the NFC East. In my "everything goes their way" scenario, I have the Eagles winning 12 or 13 games this season, but a more realistic prediction is a third-straight record of 10-6, which should be more than enough to end-up at the top of the list in this division.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Chip Kelly: Crazy Genius or Just Plain Crazy?

Going back over of few of my posts on this blog earlier in the year when Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly was wheeling and dealer players like Monte Hall, I found that I was rather critical of his moves at the time. After taking time to digest the entire situation, I have come to the conclusion that those early observations and comments were premature, unfounded and actually unfair.

My problem was that I got too caught-up in conventional thinking which has run rampant in the NFL over the past several years. There can only be one Super Bowl winner each season, while there can be any number of NFL head coaches and general managers that start making roster moves with self-preservation of their jobs at the top of their mind. Bold moves are not all that common in this league when it comes to building a winner, but that is basically the equivalent of playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win.

Ever since Kelly decided to leave the college ranks at Oregon to take the head coach position in Philadelphia, nothing he has done has been conventional. Most NFL experts highly questioned whether his fast-paced, up-tempo offensive scheme that turned the Ducks into a national power at the collegiate level would work at the pro level. It went against the time-honored perception that controlling the clock was directly linked to winning in this league. Kelly has not only challenged this theory, he has openly stated that he does not even care about time of possession. To him, it is all about scoring as many points as possible. I think everyone would agree that defense does win championships, but it also helps when your offense can consistently put-up almost 30 points a game.

Another time-honored perception in the NFL is that a 10-win team does not trade away its starting quarterback and running back while letting its top receiver leave via free agency. Kelly has now decided to challenge this theory with offseason moves that have completely changed the complexion of this team. This made more than a few NFL experts scratch their heads in disbelief and I was guilty of joining that school of thought. Kelly has put character ahead of talent in certain cases because he knows you can win most of your games with talent, but you win championships with character.

I am going on record right now as becoming one of the biggest Chip Kelly fans out there. He makes these bold moves in what he honestly believes is in the best interest of his team. The ultimate goal of all 32 NFL teams is to win a Super Bowl, but he is one of the few guys in this league that is willing to put everything on the line to walk the walk to achieve this lofty goal.

Only time will tell if Kelly turns out to be the "Wizard of Broad Street" by bringing home a long awaited title, but the reason I have changed my entire perspective is the fact that he stands tall in his convictions by risking his reputation and career to get the job done. He knows he will eventually be run out of town if he pulls another "Andy Reid Show" by tempting the fans with one winning regular season after another only to come up short in the playoffs. I admire his defiant stance at times to push an unconventional agenda that is strictly designed to build a team that will take that final step to Super Bowl glory.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bradford, Sanchez...even Tebow in line to Start at Quarterback in Eagles' Opener

The Eagles held their first round of OTA's this week at the NovaCare Complex and one of the biggest topics of conversation gravitated around the quarterback situation. It was assumed by just about anyone who follows this team that when head coach Chip Kelly traded quarterback Nick Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford that these two teams simply exchanged one starter for the other. As far as I can tell, Foles is firmly in place as the Rams' starter heading into training camp, but I cannot say the same thing about Bradford with a great deal of confidence.

It was reported this week that the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft is still a long way from being 100 percent after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL he sustained before the start of last season. Add in the fact that Kelly has appeared to leave the door open for Mark Sanchez to be his starter on opening day and we should have a full-blown quarterback controversy on our hands when the Birds open camp in late July.

If you really want to stir the pot you might as well throw Tim Tebow into the mix after Kelly decided to give the former Heisman Trophy cast-off a chance to revitalize his sketchy NFL career. The Eagles still have Matt Barkley on the roster and GJ Kinne is there to round-out a fivesome of signal-callers that are all fighting for position in one of the most interesting depth charts on the team.

My gut feeling is that if Bradford is healthy and ready to go he will get the start against Atlanta in the season opener, but given his past history with injuries that becomes a very big "if". You do not get drafted first overall for the fun of it and, when healthy, Bradford has been able to live up to all the hype. While I cannot turn a blind eye to all the injuries he has sustained in his first five seasons in the league, I also have to be optimistic that he can stay on the field all 16 games and hopefully into the playoffs.

Sanchez has already had his turn to run Kelly's fast-paced, up-tempo offense when he took over for an injured Foles last season. On paper, he surprisingly played rather well; however gaudy stats do not win games. I just cannot see this former No. 1 pick leading the Eagles back to the NFC East Division title they won in 2013 after finishing two games behind the Cowboys under his watch last season. He still fills a huge role as a viable backup in a league filled with quite a few mediocre players at his position, but Sanchez is not the long-term answer and as already mentioned the short-term one either.

Could Tebow actually be reborn as a legitimate starting NFL quarterback after taking the past two seasons off to work on his game? If you believe in miracles then you might want to say yes. I actually do believe in miracles but this one would have to be seen to be believed. I love the fact that Kelly decided to go way out on a limb to see what a new and improved Tebow can add to his team, but I am not about to jump on that bandwagon site unseen. Still, I can picture a scenario where Bradford goes down and Sanchez starts stinking up the joint in a losing cause at the Linc only to hear the entire crowd start chanting TEBOW, TEBOW, TEBOW!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eagles 2015 Projected Depth Chart-Defense

In my last post I took a closer look at the Eagles' 2015 projected depth chart on offense according to Yahoo Sports, so this time around I am going to turn my attention to the other side of the ball. The following is Philadelphia's projected depth chart on defense:

• Left Defensive End
1. Fletcher Cox
2. Brandon Bair

• Nose Tackle
1. Bennie Logan
2. Beau Allen

• Right Defensive End
1. Cedric Thornton
2. Vinny Curry

• Left Outside Linebacker
1. Connor Barwin
2. Marcus Smith II

• Left Inside Linebacker
1. Mychal Kendricks
2. Jordan Hicks

• Right Inside Linebacker
1. Kiko Alonso
2. DeMeco Ryans

• Right Outside Linebacker
1. Brandon Graham
2. Bryan Braman

• Left Cornerback
1. Byron Maxwell
2. Eric Rowe

• Right Cornerback
1. Walter Thurmond III
2. Brandon Boykin

• Strong Safety
1. Earl Wolff
2. Chris Prosinski

• Free Safety
1. Eric Rowe
2. Chris Maragos

There is little doubt that the Eagles' defensive has been the Achilles Heel of this team during Chip Kelly's two-year tenure as head coach. You cannot place all that much blame on this new regime considering the mess that Andy Reid's staff created with this unit in his final few seasons at the helm.

The main problem has been a defensive secondary that gives up too many big plays. The Eagles have also had major problems getting off the field on third down as well as giving-up points late in the game. All of these things added up to a defense that was ranked 28th in the league in average yards allowed (375.6) and 23rd in points allowed (25.0) in the 2014 regular season. This unit was ranked 15th at stopping the run with an average of 110.7 rushing yards allowed, but it fell all the way to 31st in defending against the pass with 264.9 yards allowed.

Kelly has obviously made it a priority to address the situation through both free agency and the draft. He brought in veteran defensive backs Byron Maxwell from Seattle and Walter Thurmond III from the New York Giants. He traded for inside linebacker Niko Alonzo while resigning outside linebacker Brandon Graham. The biggest surprise in Kelly's defensive makeover was using all five of his draft choices after the first round selection of wide receiver Nelson Agholor on this side of the ball.

The upgrade in talent is pretty obvious, but I still have to question how quickly will all of these new faces come together to play as an effective unit under the guidance of defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

As a collective whole, I would give this defensive depth cart a grade of B-. It is solid up front with a defensive line that helped Philly rank second in the NFL in sacks last season with 49. They Eagles are loaded at linebacker especially on the inside, but they are going to need some solid production from Marcus Smith II on the outside as last year's first round pick.

Many experts are calling Maxwell a bit overrated as a cover corner and Thurmond III is still a question mark as a bona fide starter at the other corner position. Any kind of significant improvement in one of the porous secondaries in the league could hinge on just how quickly Kelly's three draft picks at the defensive back position develop at the next level with an extra emphasis on second-round pick Eric Rowe.

My overall assessment for Philadelphia's defense heading into the new season would be cautious optimism. I believe that Kelly has done a good job filling some obvious needs on this side of the ball if all of the new additions can play to expectations. The only thing that is definitely in this unit's favor is that is really has nowhere to go but up, especially when it comes to defending against the pass.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Eagles 2015 Projected Depth Chart-Offense

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports, I recently came across the projected depth chart for the Eagles' offense heading into the 2015 season as copied below.

• Wide Receiver
1. Nelson Agholor
2. Josh Huff

• Wide Receiver
1. Riley Cooper
2. Jeff Maehl

• Wide Receiver
1. Jordan Matthews
2. Miles Austin

• Left Offensive Tackle
1. Jason Peters
2. Andrew Gardner

• Left Offensive Guard
1. Evan Mathis
2. Dennis Kelly

• Center
1. Jason Kelce
2. David Molk

• Right Offensive Guard
1. Matt Tobin
2. Josh Andrews

• Right Offensive Tackle
1. Lane Johnson
2. Allen Barbre

• Tight End
1. Zach Ertz
2. Brent Celek

• Quarterback
1. Sam Bradford
2. Mark Sanchez

• Running Back
1. DeMarco Murray
2. Ryan Mathews

My first thought was that things look pretty good... On Paper!!!! My next thought was that this unit should be able to put some serious points on the board if all the No. 1's on this list can stay on the field for the full 16-game regular season schedule. Most importantly this would include the Eagles' new starting quarterback Sam Bradford and running back DeMarco Murray.

Bradford has been injury plagued for most of his NFL career and before Murray had his break-out season in 2014, he also missed time due to injury. The other concern from a health standpoint is the offensive line. In Chip Kelly's first season as head coach, the starting five lineman played as a complete unit almost the entire season. Last year this was more like a MASH unit as multiple injuries took their toll as the season wore on. The starting five on this year's list looks pretty solid, but depth remains a major concern seeing how Kelly decided not to address this need in the recent NFL Draft.

The Eagles' receiving corps has also been altered over the past year with the departure of DeSean Jackson in the 2014 offseason and Jeremy Maclin this offseason. The Birds have to hope that second-year vet Jordan Matthews continues to develop as an emerging star in this league and that first round draft pick Nelson Agholor can make an immediate impact right out of the gate. The tight end situation remains solid and the Eagles still have Darren Sproules as another weapon.

Like I already said, things look good on paper and if everything goes according to plan I would expect this unit to once again be one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL. Next week, I will take a closer side at the other side of the ball with a defense that has also gone through somewhat of a makeover especially in the secondary.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Eagles 2015 Draft- Final Grades

I decided to take an entire week to go through all the facts and figures of last week's NFL Draft before releasing my official report card for the Eagles in Chip Kelly's first foray as both head coach and as the team's director of personnel. I broke things down by a few general categories as well as issuing an overall final grade.

Meeting Team Needs: B+

I really like the first round selection of former USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor. This position was a pressing need with the departure of Jeremy Maclin through free agency. One knock on Agholor is his overall speed, but he does bring a high-level of versatility to the table that should work perfectly with Kelly's inovative offensive scheme.

Moving-up to get cornerback Eric Rowe from Utah in the second round also helped this grade, especially since he was considered to be first-round talent by many draft experts. This also helped to fill a pressing need to add some immediate depth into a recently revamped defensive secondary that has been a thorn in the side of this defense for the past few seasons.

Kelly decided to stick with defensive players with his next four picks. While you cannot go wrong by adding even more depth to this side of the ball, Kelly missed-out on getting an easy A in this category by not picking-up at least one offensive lineman.

Creativity: C-

This was Kelly's lowest grade simply because of all the hype he created heading into this draft. Some experts had him trading away all his picks and half his current starters to go out and get his former quarterback at Oregon, Marcus Mariota. Instead, he decided to play things pretty much by the book in what turned into a very methodical seven rounds of picks.

Diversity: C+

Once again, I like the fact that Kelly used most of his picks to add some key depth to the Eagles' biggest weakness during his tenure with this team. However, adding three cornerbacks may have been one two many and inside linebacker was not a pressing need given the depth and talent of the players he already had on the roster at this position. I do like the fact that Kelly decided to draft players on the criteria of what they can bring to the team instead of the actual position they play, but lets hope that he can move some of these new additions around to make an immediate impact this upcoming season.

Adding Character Players: A

I may be getting a bit ahead of myself in this category, but on the surface, it appears that all six draft picks are players that not only have a high motor on the field, but also have the ability to be quality additions to the locker room. Kelly has already shown his complete lack of patience for guys that are more concerned with their overall stats as compared to the final score of a game. The release of DeSean Jackson was a prime example of this philosophy last season and the departure of LeSean McCoy this year continues to prove that there is no "I in Team" in Philadelphia.

Overall Grade: B+

Taking everything into consideration, I really like the direction that Kelly took in this draft. While some Eagles' fans may have been disappointed that he did not make a huge splash by pulling-out all the stops to move-up to get Mariota, I took Kelly at his word that he would not mortgage his team's future to make this deal happen. Love him or hate him, Chip Kelly continues to mold this team into his vision of what it will take to bring a championship to this title-starved franchise. Lets all hope that the six players he just added to the roster turn out to be a big step in the right direction to finally achieving this lofty goal.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NFL Draft Prop Bet Picks

I have no idea what Chip Kelly has up his sleeve for tonight's first round of the NFL Draft as well as for the other six rounds on Friday and Saturday so I am not even going to attempt to post my final mock draft as originally planned because I happen to truly believe it would be a tremendous waist of time. This will be his third draft as the Eagles' head coach, but his first as a general manager with complete control of all player personnel decisions so anything can happen between now and when Tampa Bay is "on the clock" with the first overall pick.

What I did decide to do is make a few picks on some of the numerous betting props that have been released in conjunction with tonight's opening round.The first set of betting odds deal with the eventual draft position for some of the top prospects in this year's draft. I decided to zero-in on Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper and Georgia running back Todd Gurley as two of my top picks.

The betting odds that Cooper is selected before the sixth overall pick of the first round are set at -120 and they remain the same that he is picked higher than that. Most draft experts are confident that the Oakland Raiders will select Cooper with the fourth overall pick and I happen to agree. The names and faces with this franchise may have changed since the days when owner Al Davis made all of the personnel decisions, but I believe the general philosophy of drafting speedy wide receivers has not. Cooper is widely considered the best prospect at wide receiver in a very deep pool of talent and more than worthy of being a top five pick.

I also took a hard look at the betting odds for Gurley's draft position which were set at -120 for both UNDER or OVER 15.5. Draft guru Todd McShay had him going to the New York Jets on one of his most recent mock drafts, while his counterpart Mel Kiper Jr. has Gurley falling to Cleveland with the 19th pick of the first round. I am not sure what the Jets are going to do with that pick, but I am going to side with McShay that Gurley is "off the board" by the time Houston is "on the clock" with pick No. 16.

Running backs rarely get picked in the first round since many teams feel they can find a quality runner in the later rounds of the draft. While I do think that Gurley breaks the mold in this year's draft, I am going with the UNDER 1.5 at +500 on total running backs taken in the first round. Even though the money line odds on the OVER have skyrocketed to -1000, I still think he will be the only player at that position to go in the first 32 picks. The next best running back on the board is Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, who is projected by many draft experts to go late in the first round, but I am not buying it. Offensive and defensive linemen are always in high demand and this draft is extremely deep in wide receivers and quality defensive backs. Gordon would be a steal for any team that does draft him, but it will not be in the first round.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Betting on Tim Tebow as an Eagle

Anyone who follows sports betting knows that between the betting odds that the Las Vegas sportsbooks release along with the ones posted on any number of different offshore books, you can pretty much wager on just about anything. A perfect example are the current Tim Tebow prop bet odds that just released concerning his tenure as the newest member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

I am beginning to think that the Birds' head coach Chip Kelly gets bored if he is not the topic of conversation around the NFL at least once a week, so he vaulted is team back into the media spotlight this past Monday by signing former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and Florida standout to a one year contract.

Tebow has been out of the league since the 2013 preseason and he has not appeared in an NFL regular season game since the 2012 season, but none the less, Kelly believes that he is just the guy to revitalize the career one of the most polarizing players to ever play the position of quarterback in the NFL. I do not get paid to make those kind of decisions so maybe Kelly knows something that has completely escaped the personnel departments of 31 other NFL teams.

Now that Tebow is an Eagle, I will actually root for him to make the team's 53-man roster heading into the 2015 regular season, but I am not sure I am ready to bet on it. The betting odds he gets cut before the team's first preseason game on Aug. 13 have been set at +200 and the odds go up to +280 he actually makes it through the final cuts to earn a regular spot on the team.

Assuming Tebow is available to play come opening day, the betting odds that he records a passing touchdown in the regular season are set at +500, which are the same odds that he runs the ball in for score. The final player prop on the board sets the betting odds at +2500 that he actually gets traded from the Eagles.

Maybe Kelly has some grand scheme to utilize Tebow in some other position in his offensive scheme. You can bet on this as well with odds set for what position he lines up in for his first play in the NFL regular season. The best odds on the board are set at -600 for quarterback. The next best odds are +400 he lines up as a wide receiver or tight end and they go up to +500 he lines up at running back or plays on special teams. The longest odds on the board is that Tebow lines up on the other side of the ball on defense at +2500. I would not rule out any of these options with Kelly pulling the strings on this team.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Is Landon Collins the Eagles' Next First Round Pick?

Chip Kelly has quickly gained a reputation among NFL head coaches as someone that marches to a different beat when it comes to personnel decisions for his team. Last year he had no qualms about releasing wide receiver DeShawn Jackson even though he was coming off his best season as a pro. This year, he has really shaken things up by trading away his starting quarterback and running back while letting his top receiver depart via free agency. Given these past moves, speculation is still running high that Kelly is cooking-up some kind of draft-day trade or trades to land his former quarterback from his coaching days at Oregon, Marcus Mariota.

Most of the talk about making such a bold move is based on pure speculation and when you start reading about how the Eagles are going to trade for Johnny Maziel and Cleveland's first-round pick as part of this Mariota scheme it is time to seriously start checking the sources. I personally think that Kelly is going to play things pretty close to the vest on April 30 and select the best available player that fits the biggest need with the 20th overall pick in this year's draft.

Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay get paid quite a bit of money as the top two NFL Draft experts in the country. This time of year they are regulars on ESPN with their mock draft projections and football fans all over the country tune-in to see which player their favorite team is going to draft in the first round. Both of these NFL Draft guru's have Philadelphia selecting Alabama safety Landon Collins in the first round.

This makes perfect sense to me given the recent departure of Nate Allen to Oakland via free agency along with the fact that the Eagles do not have someone in place to fill his shoes. Kelly has already given the defensive secondary a complete makeover with the addition of cornerbacks' Byron Maxwell from Seattle and Walter Thurmond III from the New York Giants while also saying goodbye to Bradley Fletcher, who is now in New England. This all combines to make safety the team's top overall need heading into the draft.

Collins is a logical choice given his athleticism and skill set. Another plus would be his ability to immediately fit in perfectly with defensive coordinator Billy Davis's scheme. He stands 6-foot-0, 228 lbs. and with the build of an outside linebacker he can provide both pass coverage as well as help against the run. The Eagles have not had an imposing figure at the safety position since Brian Dawkins roamed the secondary and right now (on paper) Collins appears to fit the bill.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eagles' 2015 Preseason Breakdown

The NFL recently released the 2015 four-game preseason schedule. While most fans may not pay all that much attention to these exhibition matches, they could be extremely important this year for an Eagles' team that will have to gel quickly on both sides of the ball given all the new faces that have been added through blockbuster trades, free-agent signings and the upcoming college draft. The one constant under third-year head coach Chip Kelly is change.

The Birds will open-up play in Week 1 at home against Indianapolis, which is favored by many to win the AFC this season. This could be a good early test for a rebuilt defensive secondary against one of the best passing teams in the league. Most draft experts still expect Kelly to use the 20th overall pick in this year's NFL Draft on either a cornerback or safety and, if that is the case, the spotlight will shine heavy on whomever that player may be.

Week 2 brings Baltimore to Lincoln Financial Field in what has become a fairly annual preseason matchup between these two inter-conference teams. This game should present a solid test for Sam Bradford; assuming he will still be the Eagles' starting quarterback come this August. I never bought into the conspiracy theory that Kelly traded for Bradford only to use him as a trading pawn to move up the board to get a shot at former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the draft. In light of an injury-plagued career, people tend to forget that Bradford was the first overall pick of the 2010 draft.

The Eagles will head on the road to face Green Bay for that all-important third preseason game, which is often used as one final dress rehearsal before the start of the regular season. Given the fact that the Packers are one of the top two favorites to win the NFC in 2015, this game should provide an excellent gauge of how well all of Kelly's new acquisitions actually fit together to form what every Eagles' fan is hoping will be a championship-caliber team.

The final exhibition game pits the Birds on the road against the New York Jets, in what has become another annual preseason tradition. This will be Kelly's final chance to evaluate the players that will fill those last few roster spots. There could be some key battles still raging in the defensive secondary or with the Birds' suddenly crowded receiving corps on offense. The truth of the matter is that this final game is for the type of fans that have nothing better to do on a late-summer Thursday or Friday night.

Friday, April 3, 2015

NFL Offseason Betting Report: Handicapping Some Early Futures Odds

In a previous post on Eagles Lincs, I took a closer look at the Eagles' most up to date futures odds to win Super Bowl 50 on Following an unprecedented offseason of change in the team's roster, it was determined that the betting public appears to be somewhat bullish on head coach Chip Kelly's complete makeover. Philadelphia's overall numbers have moved in the right direction, but it is still just seventh on the list to win the Super Bowl at +1800 and it is a +900 fourth-favorite to win the NFC.

This past week in an NFL offseason betting report for Doc's Sports, I took a closer look at all the futures odds to make a few bold predictions for the 2015 season. Being the homer that I am, I determined that the best value on the board was taking the Eagles to win the NFC. It did come with one major caveat concerning the health of just about everyone of the new players that Kelly just acquired.

The Birds have put themselves in the ultimate "if everything goes right" scenario as far as winning anything next season. If Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray can both stay healthy for every game on the schedule then I honestly believe that the Eagles' offense will be one of the top two or three in the NFL as far as putting points on the board. Another big "if" as far as health can basically be applied to almost every new addition to the Eagles' roster. Kelly has really decided to roll the dice with a ton of new talent that has had a history of missing quite a bit of time with major injuries in their NFL careers.

The following is a link to my article as previously posted on Doc's Sports.

NFL Offseason Betting Report: Handicapping Some Early Futures Odds

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sportsbook boosts the Eagles' chances to win Super Bowl 50

The New England Patriots had barely put the finishing touches on their impressive run to last season's Super Bowl title and had already posted its future betting odds to win Super Bowl 50 in February of 2016. At that time, the Eagles were seventh on the list at 25/1. The Seattle Seahawks opened as 6/1 favorites and New England was listed as a 7/1 second-favorite to repeat. Right below the Eagles on this initial list were the Dallas Cowboys at 15/1 betting odds.

Quite a bit has changed since then given some of Philly's dramatic offseason moves, so the burning question is did head coach Chip Kelly help or hinder his team's chances to win a Super Bowl title next season by swapping-out his starting quarterback and running back for supposedly new and improved versions while parting ways with his top wide receiver from a year ago? has updated its NFL futures board since the start of free agency and while Philadelphia is still seventh on the latest list, its odds to win Super Bowl 50 have improved to 18/1. The Seahawks remain the top favorite at 6/1, but the Green Bay Packers are now second-favorites at 15/2 with New England sliding down to third at 8/1 odds to successfully defend their title.

Kelly may have stole the Cowboys' top player on offense from last season when he signed free agent running back DeMarco Murray, but Dallas is still ahead of the Birds on the latest list at the same 15/1 betting odds.

One of the biggest movers and shakers on the current betting board is the New York Jets. Their opening odds to win next season's Super Bowl were well down the list at 125/1 with only four other teams having longer odds. The betting public must be pretty high on some of the Jets' offseason moves under new head coach Todd Bowles. New York is still considered a longshot at best as the 23rd team on' current list; however it betting odds to win Super Bowl 50 have improved to 50/1.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Eagles' Mock Draft 2.0 Update- March 22

It has been a month since I released my first update for this year's NFL Draft and in that post I had the Eagles taking cornerback Marcus Peters from Washington with the 20th overall pick in the first round. Since that point, head coach Chip Kelly has been the ultimate wheeler and dealer in reshaping this entire team and part of that process added both Byron Maxwell from Seattle and Walter Thurmond III to his defensive backfield so the need to take a cornerback in the first round is not as pressing.

Part of the reshaping process was parting ways with the Eagles' top receiver from last season Jeremy Maclin, who decided to rejoin is old coach Andy Reid in Kansas City as a free agent. Along with a pressing need at wide receiver, Kelly will also need to fill some holes in his offensive line as well as well as at the safety position with the departure of Nate Allen.

Reid had a long history of taking offensive linemen in the first round of the draft and I see Kelly following in that tradition by selecting offensive lineman Jake Fisher with the Philly's first overall pick. The need is there and Fisher has shown versatility throughout his college career by playing almost every position along the line. The biggest selling point for Kelly pulling the trigger is that Fisher played his college career at Oregon and we all know about his affinity for adding as many Ducks as possible to the roster.

I am going with Fisher as my official first round pick, but another name to watch is safety Landon Collins from Alabama. This is another position of need and Collins brings both size and speed to the table in a defense that is not known for being one of the more physical squads in the league when it comes to pass coverage.

Moving onto the second round pick, I have Kelly taking UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. He would probably be a bit of a project at first, but Hundley's overall skill set fits Kelly's offensive system to a tee. He is also a product of the Pac-12, which automatically puts him on Kelly's radar. I am not sure if this would be the best pick at this position given the need at wide receiver, but I think that Kelly is hell-bent at solving his issues at the quarterback in both the short term with Sam Bradford and Hundley down the road.

These are the only two draft picks I am releasing in this month's Eagles' mock draft, but I am working my way through the list of prospects to add picks for the later rounds for next month's 3.0 version.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Can the Eagles win a Super Bowl with Sam Bradford?

The new Monty Hall of the NFL when it comes to "Lets Make a Deal" is undoubtedly Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly. In just two short weeks, he has completely reshaped his team's offense with a new quarterback, two new running backs and a gaping hole in the receivers' corps.

Among a number of shocking moves, Kelly decided to trade Philly's starting quarterback Nick Foles, who had shown some tremendous promise in his first three seasons in the NFL for the St. Louis Ram's starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who was the first overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. At face value this trade appears to heavily favor the Eagles, but given the fact that Bradford has only started seven games in his last two seasons due to multiple ACL injuries, it would have to be considered a risky move at best.

The bigger question than can the Eagles win a title with Bradford at the helm would be can Bradford remain upright long enough to even have a chance to hoist the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy? He did start all 16 games in his rookie season while throwing for 3,512 yards and 18 touchdowns. He completed 60 percent of his 590 attempts while getting picked-off 15 times which is not all that bad for a first year quarterback in this league.

He only made it through 10 starts in 2011 before suffering a season-ending injury, but he did go the distance in 2012 with a full 16 starts. A season-ending knee injury limited Bradford to just seven games in 2013 and he never even made it to opening day last season after going down with another torn ACL in a preseason game.

If Bradford can stay healthy in 2015, he will have one of the best backfields in the NFL to take some pressure off the passing game with both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews now in the fold. The bigger issue could be who will Bradford be throwing the ball to when he drops back to pass. The Eagles failed to come to terms with Jeremy Maclin, so they are now without a true No. 1 wide receiver. Jordan Matthews showed some tremendous promise in his rookie season last year with 872 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches, but it remains to be seen if he can elevate his game into that No. 1 position in 2015. Riley Cooper is a decent possession receiver and both tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz have shown some excellent pass catching ability. Throw in Darren Sproules catching the ball out of the backfield and you have a decent receiving corps, but hardly one that would be considered a championship caliber one.

Getting back to my original question of can Bradford leads the Birds to the Promised Land, my answer right now would be a very non-committal maybe!

You would have to think that Kelly has a few more tricks up his sleeve to try and address a few serious holes on defense so it is hard to say what the final version of Philly's roster will look like come opening day.

One thing that I can say with a certain level of confidence is that if all of the new faces that have joined this team stay healthy for the entire 16-game regular season, the Eagles will be back in the playoffs in 2015. The problem is that this "IF" is the biggest two-letter word in the world for our beloved Birds' title hopes.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Say it Ain't So- Shady McCoy gets Shuffled Off to Buffalo

Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly has gone out of his way to put his unique stamp on this team in his first two seasons at the helm; however lately he has been tattooing his name all over the place at the NovaCare Complex with some of his recent player personnel moves. I can appreciate the rational behind releasing some high-priced veterans that are no longer worth the cost of their contract, but trading away your top player in running back LeSean McCoy to open-up cap space is a whole other situation.

I get the math behind this move, but I am not sure I fully understand the logic when it comes to winning games next season. McCoy is an electrifying playmaker that has the ability to change the momentum of a game with a single play. I also understand that running backs are not a high-valued commodity in the NFL, but I also know that you still need a certain level of talent in all the skill positions to win a championship in this league. How far would Seattle have gotten the past two seasons if Marshawn Lynch was not on the roster?

My real take with this whole situation is that Kelly wants to rebuild the entire team in his image. Ego is a powerful tool that can be used to build dynasties as well as set a franchise back years with bad decisions. Regulars to this blog are well aware of how I feel about Jerry Jones as the owner/general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. Last year's record aside, we all know how much success his team has had behind his egocentric dictatorship once he parted ways with Jimmie Johnson in the mid-90's.

Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie wants nothing more than to bring a Super Bowl title to the City of Brotherly Love, but he has obviously drank that Oregon Kool Aid that Kelly had been peddling before taking his medicine show to the NFL. I think it is great to have a head coach with a world of confidence that their system is the right recipe to win world titles, but giving them all the power in personnel decisions in the duel role of general manager has failed more times than it has succeeded in this league.

I will reserve final judgement of Kelly's plan for next season and beyond until after the draft. I actually like the swagger he has brought to Philly after Andy Reid's show dragged on for a few more seasons than it should have, but I also have to question what is driving some of his decisions? Maybe he does have the master plan that will bring an end to a 44-year NFL Championship drought, but anytime ego is the driving force behind some of the bold moves that men in power make, it becomes a recipe for disaster.