Sam Bradford's return to football after nearly two years away from the game hasn't gone quite the way the former No. 1 overall pick was hoping it would. Through two games, the Eagles' quarterback has passed for 560 yards on 89 attempts (6.3 yards per attempt) and has thrown four interceptions to just two touchdowns. More importantly, he's yet to get on the board in the only category he cares about, the win column.
Bradford's struggles aren't entirely surprising. The Eagles' offense as a whole hasn't been able to make much happen through two games, and with the team averaging just over 2.1 yards per carry on 70 attempts so far this season opposing teams have been able to sit back and take away Philadelphia's options downfield. But even without teams stacking the box and blitzing aggressively, Bradford hasn't had the time he needs to get through his progressions, and the Eagles have been unable to get much going in the air either, save for the team's inspired second half against the Falcons in Week 1.
"I think that was Atlanta's plan, to not let anything get deep. And then tonight, Dallas did a good job of mixing up the coverage," he said after completing 23-of-37 passes for 244 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday's 20-10 loss to the Cowboys. "They played (two safeties deep) more than we probably expected. When we struggled to run the ball, it made it easier for them to go to that."
Dropped balls, breakdowns along the offensive line and miscues between Bradford and his receivers have kept the Eagles from gaining much traction on offense. There's a level of rust that is to be expected when a quarterback misses so much time, and because of the importance of that position in setting the tempo for the rest of the team the ripple effects can be felt throughout the offense.
Asked after Sunday's game whether he attributes his early struggles more to rust, a lack of rhythm, or his own predisposition to press when his team is in a rut, Bradford admitted it's a little bit of each.
"Tonight was pretty tough, but I think the biggest thing for us as an offense is that we just have to establish a rhythm," he said. "When you go three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, and you're not converting on third down, or you're not giving yourself a chance to convert on third down because you're on a third-and-long, it's just tough."
But despite the Eagles' struggles through two games, Bradford still believes the Eagles will turn things around. He's seen first-hand the potency of head coach Chip Kelly's offense, and with the talent contained within the team's star-studded backfield, it's only a matter of time before the team finds success on the ground and, by virtue, through the air.
"I think (our confidence level) is still there," Bradford said. "We still believe in ourselves. We still believe in the offense. We know that when we get things going, we can be a really good offense. I think we just need to get out of our own way."
The Eagles faced the Dallas Cowboys in their 2015 home opener at Lincoln Financial Field. View the full gallery here...