The Philadelphia Eagles had a forgettable start to the season.
They blew a late lead to the Atlanta Falcons in the season opener, and then were embarrassed at home by their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys, in a game where they rushed for 7 yards.
It’s gotten a little better since then for the Eagles. Chip Kelly is still on the proverbial hot seat, and quarterback Sam Bradford has dealt with at least a portion of the fan base wanting to see him benched in favor of Mark Sanchez.
Those fans, of course, must have already forgotten that Sanchez was intercepted 11 times in nine games last season, and has 82 touchdown passes and 80 interceptions for his career.
In fairness, Bradford hasn’t exactly instilled confidence in the fan base. He has been intercepted 10 times in the team’s first seven games. But his career track record (59 TDs, 38 INTs) is much better than that of Sanchez.
The bigger issue for the Eagles might be their receivers. They lead the league with 25 dropped passes, according to ESPN.
“Obviously, we’re not going to win if we’re doing that,” Kelly said, according to an ESPN report. “There are too many [drops] for us. We have to be able to sustain things and we have to be able to make catches out there.”
Regardless of the quarterback and receivers debate, at least the Eagles are staying in contention. They won three of four games after the disastrous 0-2 start before losing to the unbeaten Carolina Panthers two weeks ago ahead of their bye week.
All is not lost in Philadelphia, particularly with how bad the rest of the NFC East has played. The Eagles would like nothing better than to hand the Cowboys their sixth consecutive loss without Tony Romo.
While the talk of Philly might be centered on the quarterback, another storyline going into Sunday is running back DeMarco Murray returning to AT&T Stadium.
Murray set a Cowboys record last year for rushing yards in a season, posting a league-leading 1,845.
He hasn’t replicated that success with the Eagles, and the Cowboys haven’t figured out how to replace him.
But the Eagles’ rushing attack has gotten better every week.
After being held to 7 yards by the Cowboys in Week 2, the Eagles had 123 yards in a 24-17 Week 3 victory over the New York Jets.
The Eagles have rushed for 186, 158 and 177 yards the past three games, which means the Cowboys have their hands full once again.
Murray seems to have found his stride, rushing for 260 yards on 59 carries in that stretch.
▪ Left tackle Jason Peters (back) didn’t practice Tuesday but the team is hopeful he will return this week. Said Kelly: “He stayed here over the bye and got treatment and has made progress.”
▪ The Eagles gave up 204 rushing yards to the Panthers in their last game, the most allowed by Philadelphia since Week 4 of the 2014 season. In three wins, the Eagles have held opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards.
▪ Receiver Nelson Agholor, the Eagles’ 2015 first-round pick (20th overall), has eight catches for 105 yards. He’s been sidelined with a high ankle sprain the past two games, and his status for Sunday is undetermined.
19 Takeaways for the Eagles this season, most in the NFL, including 10 over the past three games.
He said it
“We need to be aware of where he is at all times.” –— Kelly on Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who has three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in three games this season