Why Chip Kelly has to lower Kiko Alonso’s snaps against the Bills


We’re just a few days away from LeSean McCoy’s return to Philadelphia and what could prove to be a vital game in the Eagles race for a playoff spot. It would be crazy to not acknowledge that McCoy is going to play a huge part in the Bills Offense on Sunday and the Eagles need to be ready for him…how? By cutting down Kiko Alonso’s snap count.

McCoy rushed for 112 yards last week, making it the third week in five that he’s rushed for exactly 112 yards. If you include his receiving yards into the mix, Shady has over 100 total yards of Offense in the Bills last five games. If that wasn’t dangerous enough, you also have to factor in dual threat Quarterback Tyrod Taylor who has notched up 48.9% pass completion on passes over 20 yards and over 300 yards rushing this season.

In short, the Eagles pass rush will be very busy this weekend and the gameplan Offensively should be simply…play as they did against the Patriots, protect the ball and play smart. Defensively however, there’s a problem…Kiko Alonso.

Alonso played in 71 snaps against the Patriots, 79% of the teams total defensive snaps. He ended with 3 tackles.

But it’s not the lack of tackles that’s causing the frustration..since he has returned from injury he just doesn’t look like the player he was in the opening weeks of the season. We have already posted an article on how much Alonso is costing the defense (which you can read here)  but the tendencies continued against the Patriots..these two plays are a prime example.

It’s almost as if Brady realised how slow and indecisive Alonso was playing and fired two quick passes straight at him fully knowing that the result would be a completion. If Alonso is struggling against Scott Chandler, could he really stop a wheel route McCoy or even worse someone of Watkins’ stature?

Not to mention his running game efficiency. When stopping the run, the Eagles are ranked 27th..giving up an average of over 4 yards per rush and close to 1500 rushing yards. How much of this sudden drop in productivity is down to Kiko?

Well, with decision making like this it’s hard not to place a lot of the blame on him. The worrying part is that in recent weeks, his snap count has only risen whilst his productivity has fallen.

Chip kelly made a bold statement in effectively benching DeMarco Murray in favor of Sproles and Barner. He defeated his own ego by finally seeing the error of his ways and recognising that to defeat the Patriots, the Eagles HAD to establish a running game and Murray was not the answer.

The same goes for Alonso on Defense. For the Eagles to defeat the Bills, they HAVE to stop McCoy and find a way to make Taylor one dimensional whilst relying on the corners to close down Sammy Watkins. If Alonso is showing such worrying signs of hesitation and a lack of physicality that we all expected him to bring..someone of McCoy’s elusiveness will PRAY on those weaknesses.

The Eagles have just signed a former Bucs and Texans linebacker in the way of Steven Means. We’re not saying he should replace Alonso by any stretch of the imagination because Alonso is a good linebacker..but give him a shot. Give Vinny Curry a shot on the inside after his recent dominance at DE. Let’s not forget he worked out at linebacker during the summer.

Alonso has hurt this team ever since his return and is yet to face a running back who will punish the areas of weakness that Alonso will inevitably show. If Chip Kelly or Bill Davis doesn’t adjust to compensate that this Sunday then we could be in for a very frustrating afternoon.