The first weekend of real, actual football that counts is closing in, so we decided to get some inside info on our week 1 opponent. We talked to Jacob Brooks, staff writer over at the FanSided Philadelphia Eagles site “Inside the Iggles,” and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Chip Kelly led squad.
1. Nick Foles came in for Michael Vick last year and had one of best statistical seasons ever for a quarterback. Is he going to regress this year statistically, and, if so, by how much?
"I wouldn’t call it a regression, but I expect Nick Foles to have a more average season in certain categories. I think his numbers will increase all around, you have to remember that he only played in 13 games last season and 2 of them were not full games, but I expect him to throw more interceptions for sure. Foles is a smart Quarterback that puts the time in to be great, while he will throw more interceptions this year than he did last, he will still have a great season."
2. DeSean Jackson was big part of the offense last year. Who needs to step up in the passing game this year to make up for the loss of his production?
"The obvious answer is Jeremy Maclin. Coming off a torn ACL and missing all of last season, he is now the number one receiver in Philly. His production as the “#2” receiver behind DeSean Jackson was usually better and more consistant. I am excited to see what his season looks like under Coach Chip Kelly. That being said, Riley Cooper needs to prove that he was worth his extension and the addition of Running Back Darren Sproles should be a fun one to watch in the Philadelphia passing Offense."
3. Is there a rookie expected to play a big role right away in 2014?
"Rookie Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews should have a great year in this Offense. Philadelphia is adopting the “bigger is better” mentality and Matthews fits the build. Initially playing in the Slot Receiver position, I expect his playing time to increase all season which returns a big year for him. A lesser known choice here would be Rookie Nose Tackle Beau Allen out of the University of Wisconsin. Allen has looked very strong during Training Camp and Pre-Season. He adds some much needed depth behind Bennie Logan and provides a more typical Nose Tackle size for the Eagles Defense. Keep an eye Allen as the season progresses."
4. Chip Kelly’s scheme and philosophy were pretty polarizing subjects going into his first year in the NFL. Is there any credence to the thought that other NFL teams are going to “figure him out” in his second season?
"This answer is similar to the Nick Foles answer I gave earlier. I think there will be times when it seems that the Eagles Offense is not working, but I believe it will not be due to other teams “figuring him out.” Coach Chip Kelly’s Offense is not a gimmicky Offense, it just looks that way due to the speed at which the Offense runs plays. In a a nutshell, the whole Offense revolves around match ups. When the Offense runs plays quickly, its to keep the same Defense on the field so that the Eagles can exploit some portion of the current Defense. As long as Foles can play smart, he has multiple plays to run at any given time and that is what makes the Offense hard to defend."
5. What’s you prediction for the game?
"I think this game could be closer than some would consider it. I think the Eagles Offense scores a few Touchdowns and new Kicker Cody Parkey kicks 2 Field Goals in his Eagles debut. I think the Eagles Defense struggles early, as they did most of last season, but finds a way to hold on for a 27-17 win for the Philadelphia Eagles."