Road To the Playoffs
Every franchise enters a football season with playoff aspirations. Both conferences, AFC and NFC, hold six seeds; four division winners and two wild card teams. Fighting for a wild card spot is always complicated depending on the scenarios needed to edge out the competition. As any coach will tell you the most secure road to the playoffs is winning division games. We take a look into how the Eagles have fared, under Chip Kelly, facing off against NFC East opponents.
Chip Kelly vs NFC East
Chip Kelly was hired in 2013 and in his first two years he has led the Eagles to consecutive 10 win seasons. Eagles have endured success because they have won within the division.
Kelly’s coaching debut came on a Monday night @ Fed Ex field against the reigning division champs, Washington Redskins. Led by Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy, the Eagles pulled off the upset winning 33-27. Prior to the Redskins eliminating the Eagles from playoff contention in 2014, Kelly had won three in a row against Washington.
- The average score between the Eagles and Redskins: Eagles 29.5 vs Redskins 26.
- Fun Fact: Three different quarterbacks have started against the Redskins under Kelly; Michael Vick, Nick Foles, and Mark Sanchez.
- Sanchez is the only one of those quarterbacks to have lost.
- Kelly’s record against the Redskins is 3-1.
- 2-0 at home and 1-1 on the road
- 2015 Prediction: Bring out the brooms, a sweep is looming.
In 2013, Nick Foles had a historic season where he threw for 27 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. Ironically, his coming out part was @Met Life stadium against the Giants. With just under five minutes left Michael Vick injured his hamstring running for a first down. Vick managed to play a couple more snaps, but eventually the pain became substantial and Foles took over just before the half with a 16-7 lead. Foles finished the game with 197 yards and two touchdowns leading the Eagles to a 36-21 victory.
- Eagles have dominated the Giants scoring an average of 26 points while only allowing 15.5 in the four most recent meetings.
- Fun Fact: The only loss occurred when both Vick and Foles were injured and New York was fortunate enough to face Matt Barkley.
- Philly swept the Giants in 2014.
- Most dominating performance: In week Six the Eagles embarrassed the Giants 27-0
- Eagles are 1-1 at home and 2-0 on the road
- 2015 Prediction: New York is vastly improved, but not enough to avoid a consecutive season sweep. Eagles save their best football for the Giants.
e Dallas Cowboys. In 2013, the Eagles won the division coming off a 4-12 season. In 2014, the Eagles were expected to run away with the NFC East crown. Most analysts believed the Cowboys were destined for failure last season, and were they ever wrong. Dallas won the division at 12-4 and won their second playoff game in the Romo era. Entering the 2015 season both franchises have high expectations. So have the Eagles done enough this offseason to dethrone the Cowboys the same way they did to the Redskins in 2013?
- Eagles and Cowboys have dominated the NFC East over the past two years.
- Eagles and Cowboys combined record since 2013 is 40-24. The Giants and Redskins are 20-44.
- The average score between these heated foes has been even; Eagles 21.5 vs Cowboys 21.5.
- Fun Fact: The worst offensive performance under Kelly occurred against the Cowboys in week 7 of 2013 where the Eagles scored three points.
- In the Kelly era both teams have yet to defeat the other at home.
- Most dominating performance: Thanksgiving @Dallas. Led by Mark Sanchez and LeSean McCoy, the Eagles demolished Dallas 33-10.
- 2015 Prediction: Another split is on the horizon. However, this time both teams will win in front of their own fans.
Every team in the NFC East improved in the offseason. Washington buffered up their defensive line and also used the #5 overall pick on OT, Brandon Scherff from Iowa. Mel Kiper Jr gave the Redskins an A- for their draft; the highest grade he awarded. New York drafted a gem in the first round last year with Odell Beckham Jr. They are getting WR Victor Cruz back from injury, giving Eli Manning a plethora of reliable targets. Giants also signed RB Shane Vereen, who was dynamic player in New England. Dallas had a very impressive draft as well, securing some of the top defensive players to come out of college; such as CB Byron Jones, and OLB Randy Gregory. However, Dallas lost the leagues leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, to the Philadelphia Eagles who also revamped their defense. Philly looked to revitalize the 31st ranked secondary in 2014 by signing CB Byron Maxwell, CB/S Walter Thurmond III, and drafting CB Eric Rowe out of Utah in the second round.
2015 NFC East prediction
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins