The Philadelphia Eagles have had quite the off-season. After finishing 10-6 for the second year in a row and narrowly missing out on a second straight NFC East title, Chip Kelly and co. didn’t waste much time on re-shaping the roster. Philly traded stud running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for star linebacker Kiko Alonso, and later swapped quarterback Nick Foles for St. Louis Rams passer, Sam Bradford.
Despite much controversy over both moves, Kelly didn’t run off course from his plan, and plowed full steam ahead with some more splashy moves in free agency. To make up for the loss of McCoy, the Eagles brought in both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, who figure to be injury risks, but as classic north/south runners, arguably fit Kelly’s offensive system better than McCoy ever did. Philadelphia didn’t just pay mind to the offensive side of the ball, either, as they shored up a shaky secondary with Walter Thurmond III and Byron Maxwell and also picked up inside linebacker Brad Jones. The Eagles did lose some explosiveness with Jeremy Maclin leaving for Kansas City, but could still make up for it in this year’s draft.
While some may point to Kelly as a demolition man that is enforcing too much change, another angle suggests he’s simply molding his team in his own vision. McCoy and Maclin were elite talents, but with replacements in hand and the draft on the way, Eagles fans as a whole will largely be trusting that Kelly is making the right moves to produce a consistent winner. Considering he has two winning seasons and an NFC East championship under his belt already, Eagles fans are probably obliged to wait and see how things play out.
Regardless of how things unfold, one this is for sure: Eagles tickets are going to continue to return serious value. DeMarco Murray paced the entire league in rushing a year ago, so Philly’s up-tempo running game shouldn’t miss a beat, while fans can expect larger roles out of young play-makers like Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews now that Maclin is gone.
The Eagles might remain as good as they have been the past two years, but it won’t be because of an easy schedule. If you’re an Eagles fan outside of Philadelphia, let Hipmunk.com get you to the game. Philadelphia flights through Hipmunk can be reserved with only a few clicks, and can offer hotels in Philadelphia from $89 that will have you within arms reach of your favorite football team.
It’s never easy to put up three straight winning seasons, but in 2015 the Eagles will be looking to do just that, and much more. The key will be Kelly’s bold moves. If they work out, he just might look like a genius in the midst a deep playoff run.