2014 Philadelphia Eagles: The unofficial review

Year Two of the Chip Kelly era came to a close Sunday, and there were as many ups as there were downs for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014.

The team had high hopes after earning a trip to the playoffs in Kelly’s first year at the helm of the Eagles. But another 10-6 finish this season left Philadelphia behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East and out of the upcoming postseason race.

Without further ado, here is the unofficial review of the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles:

Final Numbers:

Regular Season Record: 10-6

NFC East Final Standings:

  1. Dallas Cowboys: 12-4
  2. Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6
  3. New York Giants: 6-10
  4. Washington Redskins: 4-12

 

Schedule Recap:

  1. W vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-17
  2. W @ Indianapolis Colts, 30-27
  3. W vs. Washington Redskins, 37-34
  4. L @ San Francisco 49ers, 26-21
  5. W vs. St. Louis Rams, 34-28
  6. W vs. New York Giants, 27-0
  7. Bye Week
  8. L @ Arizona Cardinals, 24-20
  9. W @ Houston Texans, 31-21
  10. W vs. Carolina Panthers, 45-21
  11. L @ Green Bay Packers, 53-20
  12. W vs. Tennessee Titans, 43-24
  13. W @ Dallas Cowboys, 33-10
  14. L vs. Seattle Seahawks, 24-14
  15. L vs. Dallas Cowboys, 38-27
  16. L @ Washington Redskins, 27-24
  17. W @ New York Giants, 34-26

 

Statistical Leaders:

PASSING:

Mark Sanchez: 2,418 yards, 14 TD, 11 INT, 64.1 completion percentage, 88.4 passer rating

Nick Foles: 2,163 yards, 13 TD, 10 INT, 59.8 completion percentage, 81.4 passer rating

RUSHING:

LeSean McCoy: 1,319 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 5 TD

Darren Sproles: 329 yards, 5.8 yards per carry, 6 TD

Chris Polk: 172 yards, 3.7 yards per carry, 4 TD

RECEIVING:

Jeremy Maclin: 85 receptions, 1,318 yards, 15.5 yards per catch, 10 TD

Jordan Matthews: 67 receptions, 872 yards, 13.0 yards per catch, 8 TD

Zach Ertz: 58 receptions, 702 yards, 12.1 yards per catch, 3 TD

DEFENSIVE (tackles):

Mychal Kendricks: 83 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles

Malcolm Jenkins: 80 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Bradley Fletcher: 60 tackles, 1 forced fumble

DEFENSIVE (sacks):

Connor Barwin: 14.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

Vinny Curry: 9.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles

Trent Cole: 6.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles

DEFENSIVE (interceptions):

Nate Allen: 4 interceptions, 5 pass deflections

Malcolm Jenkins: 3 interceptions, 15 pass deflections

Cary Williams: 2 interceptions, 10 pass deflections

KICKING:

Cody Parkey: 32-26 field goal, 88.9 field goal percentage, 54-54 PAT, 150 points

PUNTING:

Donnie Jones: 76 punts, 43.8 yards per punt, 34 punts inside 20

Pro Bowl Selections, according to NFL.com: RB LeSean McCoy (third career selection), RB Darren Sproles (first), OT Jason Peters (seventh), C Jason Kelce (first), OLB Connor Barwin (first)

*Note: The following players were named alternates and will earn Pro Bowl appearances in the event of injuries or declined invitations by other players: WR Jeremy Maclin (third alternate), OG Evan Mathis (second), DE Fletcher Cox (sixth), S Chris Maragos (second) and K Cody Parkey (first).

What Went Right:

The Maclin Machine: After missing all of 2013 because of a torn ACL, Jeremy Maclin had a career season as the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver. The former first-round draft pick had always been a productive starter behind ex-Eagle DeSean Jackson. But his numbers this year were off the charts. Even after a slight dip in production that seemed to correspond with the injury of quarterback Nick Foles, Maclin posted career highs in catches, yards and touchdowns. His 85 catches for more than 1,300 yards put him on par with some of the best receiving performances in team history.

Forces Up Front: The Eagles defense had plenty of problems, but its front seven also put together some dominant showings. Pro Bowl pass rusher Connor Barwin was a terror in multiple roles, and three others (Trent Cole, Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham) had at least 5.5 sacks. Fletcher Cox embraced his year-old transition to 3-4 DE like no other, and Bennie Logan had a few shining moments in the interior as well. At linebacker, Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho were hardly superstars in place of an injured DeMeco Ryans, but Mychal Kendricks helped make up for the rotation, leading the Eagles in tackles despite missing four games himself.

Takeaways and Special Days: Perhaps due in large part to the defense’s success up front, the Eagles had little trouble forcing turnovers this year. In fact, they had more takeaways than any team in the NFL. Along with 23 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions, Philadelphia scored points off a trio of blocked points. Aside from a pair of late-season field goal misses, the Eagles special teams unit was a driving force in virtually all of the team’s victories. Darren Sproles helped the punt return unit take off with several touchdowns, and rookie kicker Cody Parkey had a historic campaign as Alex Henery’s successor, setting the club record for most points scored in a single season.

What Went Wrong:

Picks All Around: Interceptions were a big problem for the Eagles in 2014, and the issue was apparent no matter who took snaps at quarterback. Nick Foles was bound to see a statistical decline after a Pro Bowl campaign in 2013, but his 10 picks in eight starts had some fans unnerved. After Foles went down with a broken collarbone, Mark Sanchez wasn’t much better in the turnover department, throwing 11 of his own interceptions over the course of nine games. Both signal-callers had their fair share of highlights, but the mass amount of picks did, in fact, catch up to the Eagles in some crucial games.

Troubles Up Front: In contrast to the dominant flashes of the Eagles defensive line, the team’s O-line was very much up and down in 2014. It didn’t help that starters Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson all missed time due to either injuries or suspension. And while left tackle Jason Peters was his usual elite self and the line was far from horrendous, the group was unable to replicate its wholesome dominance of late. LeSean McCoy still topped 1,000 rushing yards behind the line, but he also had a number of games in which he was all but a non-factor, even if he was at fault for some of his own struggles.

Secondary in Shambles: Despite forcing turnovers, the Eagles defense was marred for much of the year by an inability to defend the pass. The secondary wasn’t completely helpless in all of its games, but it struggled enough to warrant a rightful label as one of the Eagles’ biggest weaknesses. The unit finished the season as the 25th-ranked pass “D” in the league. And it also surrendered more passes of at least 20 yards than any other team. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher was a popular target of criticism late in the season, but defensive coordinator Billy Davis – or the Eagles front office, for that matter – might deserve just as much blame for the team’s struggles.

The High Point:

Week 13: Eagles 33, Cowboys 10

The Eagles looked like the class of the conference after a Thanksgiving Day rout of the rival Cowboys. For Philadelphia to dominate the way it did was promising to say the least, and the fact that the Eagles walked all over Dallas in the Cowboys’ own home simply added fuel to the fire. Mark Sanchez had perhaps his best performance of the year, leading the Eagles to a pair of quick scoring drives, and Philly’s “D” stepped up to bottle up DeMarco Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher. The win gave the Eagles sole possession of first place in the NFC East and allowed the team control of its own destiny with four games remaining in the season.

The Low Point:

Week 11: Eagles 20, Packers 53

The Eagles’ Week 15 loss to Dallas might have been the unofficial nail in the coffin of the 2014 season, and its emotional defeat might have been as heavy as the team’s emotional victory against the Cowboys two weeks earlier. But if there was one game that epitomized Philadelphia’s struggles, it was the team’s blowout loss to Green Bay. Aside from Philadelphia simply looking outmatched and exhausted, the team’s problems in the secondary and with turnovers were severely exposed. Perhaps more than anything, the Eagles received a warning of the work they desperately needed to do before being able to compete with the NFL’s best.

The MVPs:

DE Fletcher Cox: His numbers don’t exactly speak volumes, but his presence in the trenches did. In his second year as a 3-4 end, Cox built a name for himself as one of the NFL’s most feared defensive linemen. He wasn’t a sack artist this season, but he was almost always driving someone into the backfield and helped set the tone for the Eagles’ productive run “D.” The pressure applied by Cox also aided his teammates’ pass rushing success and set up several turnovers throughout the season.

OLB Connor Barwin: Like Cox, Barwin was a standout without gaudy numbers in 2013. This year, however, the veteran outside linebacker was all over the field, making highlight after highlight as the defense’s play-making centerpiece. Although he wasn’t elite in coverage and his unit, the defense, had plenty of trouble stopping big plays, Barwin rarely appeared out of position. He was a constant force around the edge with NUMBER sacks and once again played a pivotal role in filling blocks up front.

The Final One-Liners:

The Eagles really struggled when they needed to step up this season, but they are also still very much a fresh project of Chip Kelly.

Improvements are necessary on both sides of the ball and some glaring concerns might not even be quick fixes, but the tempo, tenacity and culture of Kelly’s Eagles have already seemed to make the team a perennial candidate to do some damage.

What 2014 should have taught Philadelphia is that Nick Foles may or may not be the Eagles’ answer at quarterback, but Mark Sanchez most definitely is not.

That is not a knock against Sanchez, who might have done more than any veteran backup is reasonably expected to do as an injury replacement, but rather a suggestion that patience should be taken with Foles after his injury- and turnover-riddled showing as a first-time, full-time starter.

LeSean McCoy’s dependence on deadly cutbacks was bittersweet more than ever in 2014, but Eagles fans would be wise to appreciate how mediocre he made a 1,300-yard rushing season look.

Critics of the Eagles’ deep passing game (or lack thereof) are probably right that the post-DeSean Jackson offense wasn’t nearly as vertical, but they should also consider the evident drop-off on long throws that occurred when Sanchez replaced an injured Foles halfway through the year.

Eagles fans might say the team should have buyer’s remorse for the contract it gave Riley Cooper after 2013, but not one of those people should feel slighted if the team gives even more money to ensure Cooper’s fellow receiver, Jeremy Maclin, sticks around in 2015 and beyond.

Somehow, all of a sudden, age could be a concern with the Eagles offensive line, which has the pieces to be dominant but maybe not the endurance.

On the flip side, the Eagles might have the makings of a historic defensive front if they continue to develop their young starters, namely forceful defensive end Fletcher Cox and the team’s pair of fiery nose tackles in Bennie Logan and Beau Allen.

DeMeco Ryans’ 2014 injury was unfortunate and it might not be long before the Eagles have to part ways with the veteran’s invaluable experience and leadership, but the team might also have one of the NFL’s top up-and-coming stars at Ryans’ position in Mychal Kendricks.

Give credit to Casey Matthews, a guy whose future with the Eagles is unclear but who overcame several years of subpar backup play to become a more-than-adequate fill-in for Ryans this season.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding an Eagles secondary that struggled mightily in some areas, and if this season revealed anything within it, it’s probably that both Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher would make good backups but not everyday starters.

Fletcher has generally been the more consistent of the two cornerbacks but simply couldn’t keep up with any top-tier receivers, whereas Williams, who could understandably return in his role next year, saw his physicality work both for and against him.

Malcolm Jenkins wasn’t quite as impacting in the second half of the season, but to deny that he was one of the most promising and reliable safeties the Eagles had since Brian Dawkins left town would be borderline illogical.

Jenkins’ counterpart, Nate Allen, shouldn’t be forgotten, either, and while Allen’s position could be upgraded if he hits free agency for a second straight year, his work ethic paid off in some respects during a four-interception season at SS.

Cody Parkey may have missed a few crucial kicks late in the year, but he also put together one of the finest seasons of any kicker in Eagles history, solidifying himself as a standout rookie and the team’s anticipated special teams ace for years to come.

Eagles weekend notes: Playoff scenarios, injury news

To say this weekend will be an important one for the Eagles would be an understatement.

After suffering a 38-27 loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, Philadelphia will try to snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to Washington for a Saturday showdown with the Redskins (3-11).

But in the bigger picture, the Eagles will need more than a win against Washington to keep their playoff hopes alive. After their loss to Dallas, they stand on the brink of a postseason berth, second in the NFC East and among wild card contenders at 9-5.

There are several scenarios that need to unfold for the Eagles to earn a playoff spot, as outlined by PhillyMag.com.

The simplest route would be for Philadelphia to win both of its final two games (at Washington and then in New York against the Giants on Dec. 28) and Dallas to lose either its Week 16 game vs. the Indianapolis Colts or its season finale against Washington. The only other way the Eagles could win the NFC East is if both Philadelphia and Dallas finish 10-6.

Other scenarios, according to PhillyMag.com, would allow the Eagles to earn one of the two NFC wild card spots. They require the Eagles to win their final two games as well as one of the following teams to lose its final two games: the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, or Seattle Seahawks.

In other news, Eagles coach Chip Kelly announced this week that quarterback Nick Foles will miss his seventh consecutive game as he continues to recover from a broken collarbone. It remains to be seen if Foles will receive medical clearance to return to the field before the end of the 2014 season.

Mark Sanchez, then, is slated to make another start at quarterback but isn’t likely to be the only notable fill-in against the Redskins. The Eagles also announced that veteran outside linebacker Trent Cole, who has 6.5 sacks on the year, will be absent after undergoing surgery for a hand injury he suffered against Dallas. His anticipated replacement, Brandon Graham (5.5 sacks), could have an added incentive to perform well, too, as CSN Philly’s Geoff Mosher reported this week that Graham has engaged in talks of a contract extension with the Eagles.

It’s not as if Washington will be fully healthy for its Saturday rematch with the Eagles, either.

Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was a limited participant in practice this week, as was safety Brandon Meriweather. Meanwhile, defensive end Jason Hatcher didn’t take the field altogether and isn’t expected to suit up for round two of this year’s Eagles-Redskins series.

Another Eagles note: No. 3 running back Chris Polk reportedly saw an increase in practice reps this week and could be featured more as a goal-line option behind Darren Sproles and starter LeSean McCoy, who became the team’s all-time leading rusher this season. Polk has just 39 carries on the year, but he scored two of his three touchdowns in last week’s loss to Dallas.

10 one-liners: Too little, too late for Eagles in 38-27 loss to Dallas

For a chunk of the rematch between the Eagles and Cowboys, it looked like Dallas was on track for an all-too-familiar collapse in the clutch. But in Sunday’s prime time Week 15 showdown, it was Philadelphia that folded.

Despite scoring 24 unanswered points, the Eagles were unable to dig themselves out of an early hole, failing not only to sweep their season series against Dallas but also secure a likely playoff berth in a 38-27 loss to the Cowboys.

Here are 10 one-liners that sum up the Eagles’ fifth loss of the season:

From the get-go, the Eagles simply failed to execute, surrendering 21 straight points, and the tone of the evening was set on the first play of the game, during which Dallas recovered its own kickoff after a miscommunication between wide receivers Josh Huff and Brad Smith left the ball untouched inside Philadelphia’s 20-yard line.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was mostly held in check during the Eagles’ 33-10 win over Dallas on Thanksgiving, but he was all but a one-man wrecking crew against cornerback Bradley Fletcher and the Philadelphia secondary Sunday night, finishing with 114 yards and three scores, two of which came in the first half.

The Eagles defense held its own in some aspects of the game, particularly during the team’s rally to take the lead in the third quarter, but Bryant reemerged as a problem in the fourth, hauling in his third TD on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Tony Romo and also helping set up an earlier scoring drive that ended with DeMarco Murray’s second rushing score of the night.

The Eagles deserve credit for overcoming a 21-0 hole, but the team’s offense is arguably just as much to blame for Philadelphia’s crucial loss after managing just six plays in the first quarter, struggling to gain momentum in the deep passing game and turning the ball over on three occasions.

Two of the turnovers came from quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose sixth start for the injured Nick Foles was severely marred by several misfired deep throws and a pair of interceptions, both of which put Dallas in Philadelphia territory.

The Eagles’ other turnover, a fourth-quarter fumble by Brent Celek as the tight end fell onto an opponent, was all but the nail in the coffin for Philadelphia, setting up a 49-yard Dan Bailey field goal to give Dallas a two-possession lead.

Despite two short touchdown runs by No. 3 back Chris Polk, the Eagles had trouble generating much production with their rushing attack, too, gaining just 69 yards on a combined 19 carries by LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles.

That being said, the running backs played a big role in the Eagles’ temporary comeback, as Polk scored two of the team’s unanswered touchdowns and McCoy served as a lead blocker on Sproles’ own score, a one-yard carry that gave Philadelphia a 24-21 third-quarter lead following a 72-yard catch-and-run by receiver Jeremy Maclin.

The Cowboys all but silenced the energized Lincoln Financial Field crowd following the Eagles’ 24-point run, however, scoring two touchdowns in a span of 2:51, largely thanks to three separate passes of more than 20 yards from Romo to Bryant.

Despite the obvious mismatch in coverage against Bryant, the Eagles defense had a few highlights, limiting the NFL’s leading rusher in Murray to an average of 2.6 yards per carry and forcing a third-quarter fumble on a Vinny Curry sack of Tony Romo that helped set up a Philadelphia score during the team’s 24-point stretch.

Fletcher’s fellow cornerbacks had their fair share of troubles, too, as No. 3 man Brandon Boykin surrendered several first-down catches, reserve Nolan Carroll drew a late-game 15-yard penalty for a personal foul and starter Cary Williams, despite several pass deflections, helped Dallas keep two scoring drives alive when he was flagged on debated calls of illegal contact.

Now 9-5 on the season, the Eagles surrendered the opportunity to control their own playoff destiny with their loss. Second in the NFC East behind Dallas (10-4), Philadelphia will begin a two-game road stretch to close the regular season with a Dec. 20 rematch vs. the Washington Redskins (3-11).

Rematch: 3 questions for Eagles vs. Cowboys

Coming off a 24-14 loss at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, the Eagles return home Sunday for a prime time rematch with the Dallas Cowboys and a chance to take a big step in winning the division.

Here are three questions to consider as the Eagles look to down the Cowboys (9-4) for the second time in three weeks on Sunday night:

Can the Eagles take pressure off Mark Sanchez by running?

When the Eagles run the ball well, they usually win. It’s just a fact. And when Dallas hosted the Eagles on Thanksgiving, Philadelphia had little trouble on the ground thanks to a big day from LeSean McCoy. Last week’s game wasn’t as promising for the Eagles, however, and the team was forced to rely on quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has had his fair share of ups and downs in place of an injured Nick Foles. If the Eagles want to attack Dallas with a balanced game plan as they did in their last meeting, setting up the pass with heavy doses of McCoy and Darren Sproles could be important.

Will the Eagles dominate up front?

The Eagles defense has been on the wrong end of a lot of big plays this year. But it also deserves credit for forcing plenty of takeaways, and a number of those seem to come as the result of dominant showings up front. In the last Eagles-Cowboys showdown, Dallas’ DeMarco Murray came into the game as the NFL’s leading rusher but managed just 3.7 yards per carry. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was also rattled, throwing two interceptions. Philadelphia’s headlining defensive starters, from Fletcher Cox (49 tackles, 3 sacks) and Connor Barwin (13.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles) to Trent Cole (6.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles) and Vinny Curry (8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles), could play a monumental role in limiting Dallas.

Can the Eagles make big plays down the field?

The Eagles fired on all cylinders against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, but one of their primary struggles against Seattle last week was finding opportunities down the field. The team’s top three wide receivers, Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews, combined for just 57 yards against the Seahawks. Of course, Dallas’ secondary isn’t anywhere near as talented, or at least in terms of their numbers this season. But capitalizing on opportunities, especially in the passing game, could be crucial for an offensive balance as well as the Eagles’ confidence in Sanchez.

Other Eagles notes: Romo has reportedly been battling back and rib injuries as of late, but the Cowboys quarterback posted perhaps his best performance of the season against the Chicago Bears in a 41-28 Week 14 win, throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions. That being said, Romo has a career losing record in games he’s started in the month of December. Also, the last time the Eagles played a Sunday Night Football game, they topped another division rival, the New York Giants, in a 27-0 shutout on Oct. 12.

Midweek update: Eagles claim rookie safety

The Eagles added some depth to their secondary in advance of their Sunday rematch with the Dallas Cowboys.

A day after announcing the release of cornerback Roc Carmichael, Philadelphia claimed rookie safety Jerome Couplin off the Detroit Lions practice squad, according to the team’s website.

Couplin, a product of The College of William & Mary, was originally an undrafted free agent signing of the Lions. On and off the team’s practice squad, he appeared in eight games as a backup. Couplin (6-1, 215) had a brief stint with the Buffalo Bills after being released in October but later returned to Detroit’s practice squad.

Carmichael played in 13 games for the Eagles last season and was re-signed in November after the team’s placement of safety Earl Wolff on Injured Reserve. But the veteran backup was inactive the last three weeks, and the Eagles had been somewhat thin at safety following Wolff’s absence.

Couplin joins special teamers Chris Maragos and Chris Prosinski behind Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen at the safety position.

10 one-liners: Eagles quieted by Seattle ‘D’ in 24-14 loss

With potential high playoff seeding on the line Sunday, the Eagles struggled to replicate their Thanksgiving Day magic at home.

Despite coming into this week having won 10 consecutive games at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia was slowed by the stifling defense of the Seattle Seahawks, falling to the defending Super Bowl champions in a 24-14 decision.

Here are 10 one-liners that sum up the Eagles’ fourth loss of the season:

At the forefront of the Eagles’ struggles was the team’s fast-paced offense managing just 139 total yards, Philadelphia’s lowest total under head coach Chip Kelly.

The Eagles figured to face a tough task against the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense, but the Seahawks virtually shut down all facets of Philadelphia’s game, holding running back LeSean McCoy to 50 yards on 17 carries and helping force a dismal outing by quarterback Mark Sanchez (10-20, 96 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT).

Considering Seattle’s lopsided edge in time of possession on Sunday, the Eagles defense held on its own on many occasions, limiting the Seahawks to 10 points in the first half and forcing a turnover, but the unit also surrendered several big gains on third downs and allowed quarterback Russell Wilson to score three touchdowns.

Early on, the Eagles defense seemed to have Wilson (22-37, 263 yards, 2 TD, 48 rushing yards, 1 TD) figured out, forcing throwaways and notching two sacks, but as the game went on, Philadelphia was fooled multiple times by Seattle’s read-option offense and struggled to cut the Seahawks drives short.

The Eagles stormed out to an early lead, recovering a fumbled punt by Jon Ryan and capitalizing with a first-quarter TD screen pass from Sanchez to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, but Philadelphia didn’t score again until the third quarter, when Seattle had already put 17 unanswered points on the board.

Tight end Zach Ertz hauled in a 35-yard TD pass from Sanchez to cut Seattle’s lead to three, but the Eagles’ usual weapons were otherwise all but nonexistent, with Maclin, rookie receiver Jordan Matthews and running back Darren Sproles combining for just 44 yards against a stout Seattle “D” headlined by linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

Roughly a week after arguably his best outing as the injury replacement of Nick Foles, Sanchez threw only 20 passes but was most scrutinized on a deep-ball interception that came immediately after the Eagles’ own fourth-quarter turnover, a forced fumble by linebacker Mychal Kendricks on a run by the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch.

The Eagles, at least according to the scoreboard, were still in contention in the fourth quarter, but a 23-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to receiver Doug Baldwin, who beat safety Malcolm Jenkins in the slot, essentially wrapped up a contest that saw one of the NFL’s top defenses prevail over one of its top offenses.

Although they had plenty of their own shortcomings to blame, the Eagles, namely Coach Kelly, also seemed to struggle with the game’s officiating crew, which most notably helped Seattle advance into Philadelphia territory on a third-quarter scoring drive thanks to a much-debated 44-yard pass interference call against cornerback Bradley Fletcher.

Among the few standouts for the Eagles in a game that saw them possess the ball for just 18:04 as opposed to Seattle’s 41:56 were Kendricks, whose knack for being around the ball helped mask a thin LB corps, and defensive end Fletcher Cox, who led the team with 11 tackles and helped anchor the Eagles’ run defense against Lynch (23 carries, 86 yards).

Now 9-4 on the season, the Eagles will stay at home for their next game on Dec. 14, a rematch of their Week 13 clash with the Dallas Cowboys (9-4) that will decide which of the two rivals moves forward as the leader of the NFC East.