By Sarah Berkowitz
We are just two nights away from getting a glimpse of how good the Eagles will be in 2015 when they travel to Atlanta for a 7 pm match-up with the Falcons.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly brings a mad scientist feel to a sport that begrudgingly evolves. For all the talk about Kelly’s brilliance, he has yet to win a playoff game. He pushed his chips to the middle of the table with quarterback Sam Bradford.
“Experts” can’t agree if the Birds are the league’s future or just an exciting flavor of the month. Former players rip Kelly, including DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, whose criticism features racial overtones. Kelly must win. Bradford holds the key. He ran a spread offense at Oklahoma. He went 10-for-10 with three touchdowns against the Packers in the preseason.
Bradford hasn’t played a full season since 2012. His knees require bubblewrap. If he runs much, he will spend most of his time sitting in the trainer’s room.
Bradford represents a big upgrade over Nick Foles, who couldn’t sustain his breakthrough 2013 performance. And he’s better than many NFL quarterbacks. At least he thinks so. Bradford’s return underscores two points: the Eagles, with DeMarco Murray and Bradford, boast offensive intrigue, and there are so few competent quarterbacks that Bradford is willing to pause contract talks and play out the season given the weak free agent market.