Once again, the quarterback position will be the hot topic in Philadelphia.
Head coach Chip Kelly said in his day-after press conference on Monday that Michael Vick underwent an MRI on the hamstring he re-injured in Sunday's loss to the Giants. Nick Foles was inactive for the Giants game with a concussion, but he took the imPACT Test to potentially get one step closer to action. For the second straight week, Matt Barkley had to come off the bench to finish the game.
Kelly will not make any decisions about who the quarterback for this Sunday's game against the Raiders will be until he has all the information available to him. However, Kelly can't pump the brakes and tell his coaching staff to not develop a game plan. Time is ticking away and before we know it the Eagles will be on their flight headed for California.
"You just hope if you're a little unstable at quarterback, we can kind of lean on something else that can help us get through those murky waters," Kelly said. "That's where, as a group, we've got to do a better job of let's take a little bit of pressure off. We don't have to throw it every down because we're running the ball so well."
Unfortunately, the Eagles did not run the ball well Sunday against the Giants. LeSean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, had 48 rushing yards and for the first time all season was unable to get at least one carry of 10 or more yards. In his two meetings against the Giants, McCoy was bottled up to the tune of 94 yards on 35 carries (2.7 yards per carry). In the other six games, McCoy is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and has 639 yards on the ground.
The Eagles' explosive offense has been stifled in the past two contests. The only touchdown for the Eagles in the past two weeks was courtesy of linebacker Najee Goode's return of a horrific snap be long snapper Zak DeOssie. Yes, the starting quarterback did not finish against the Cowboys or the Giants, but that doesn't tell the whole story.
"It's not all on the quarterback. ... It's on all of us," Kelly said. "We have to do a better job as a total group. I have confidence in the group. It was the same group for six games that we were on track to set records. It's not like we're going to throw the baby out with the bath water and start over again and say we're going to do something new here."
The only certainty for the Eagles' quarterback situation at this point is that Barkley, the fourth-round pick out of USC, is healthy. Barkley was 17-of-26 for 158 yards with a fumble and an interception. The numbers weren't pretty, but Kelly has a foundation to build on.
"I think he's got a good understanding of what we're doing," Kelly said. "He puts the ball on people, gave the guys a chance to run after the catch. I think he's got a bright future."
The offense has not been able to get on track in the past two weeks, but the Eagles have still scored 30 or more points four times already this season after only doing that once all of last season. The key for Kelly is getting back to those methods which were successful in order to erase the malaise of the past two games.
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