Why did we trust in Chip?

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It’s safe to say that Philadelphia Eagles fans have accepted the fact that their team is bad. Real bad.

As they sit at a pathetic 4-7 record, the fact that they are only one game out of first place in the CFL equivalent NFC East can’t even bring hope to Philadelphia die-hards. The only thing a playoff berth for the Eagles would do is hurt their position heading into the 2016 Draft.

It is no secret that the citizens of the City of Brotherly Love are ready to show Chip Kelly anything but love if they see him taking a stroll down Broad. Can you blame them?

Despite several peculiar personnel moves during the past few off seasons, Eagles fans put their trust in Chip. They patiently waited all summer to watch the new-look Eagles that were the easy favorites to win the division, and at one point, the Super Bowl.

Of course there are a variety of issues that are contributing to the Eagles’ failure of a season, but after this past week of football, the problem seemed so obvious and makes us wonder why anyone put their trust in Chip.

The Eagles earned a 10-6 record during Kelly’s first two seasons as head coach. The first season led to a first-round playoff loss at home to the Saints.

Following the season, Kelly released Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson for "football reasons." It has never been confirmed, but the rumor was that Jackson had some street gang affiliation. Although it was hard for Birds fans to swallow the fact that their deep-threat receiver coming off a career season was being released for nothing in return, they were able to move on.

10-6 proved not to be good enough to earn a playoff spot the second season as the Cowboys proved to be the better team. Kelly’s offseason moves this time around were bizarre to say the least, but somehow was able to keep the trust of Philly.

Pro Bowl right guard Evan Mathis was not re-signed because Kelly didn’t want to pay him the money he wanted. Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy was traded to Buffalo for the young linebacker and former Oregon Duck Kiko Alonso, who did not play the season before due to an ACL injury. Leading wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was coming off the best season of his career, was also not re-signed because the Eagles did not offer him enough money. And then lastly, quarterback and Pro Bowl MVP from two seasons ago, Nick Foles, was traded to the Rams for Sam Bradford who also did not play the season before because of an ACL injury.

Completely puzzled by these decisions, Eagles fans received a slight feeling of relief when the Eagles signed the previous season’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray. Murray and Bradford were roommates at Oklahoma, which made the idea of Bradford as the starting quarterback sound more appealing.

After it was all said and done, Chip Kelly headed into his third season as head coach believing that after getting rid of five Pro Bowlers on the offensive side, they were a better team.

Fast forward to Week 12 of the NFL season: some of these former Eagles made a statement, and maybe even gave Eagles fans the answers they have been looking for. Maclin had nine receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. Jackson had two receptions for 66 yards, one of those receptions being a 63-yard touchdown against the Giants. McCoy touched the ball 22 times for just over 100 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs.

How did their replacements do? Well, here is how they contributed to the Eagles 45-14 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Lions. Murray rushed the ball 14 times for a total of 30 yards. Alonso made two tackles. Jordan Matthews, Miles Austin and Riley Cooper combined for six catches, 88 yards, and one touchdown. I combined their stats because we are 12 weeks into the season and still nobody is sure who is the number one, two or three receivers for this team.

Here’s what we do know. We know that Chip Kelly traded two Pro Bowlers for two players coming off season-long injuries. We know Kelly let two Pro Bowl wide receivers walk and failed to replace them with anyone half as talented. More than anything, we know that Jackson, McCoy and Maclin — three players that Philadelphia cherished — are now laughing at Chip Kelly.

Not only does Philly miss the talent of these three, they desperately miss their swag. When No. 10, 18 or 25 stepped on the field, they caught the defense’s eye. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most defenses were scared when all three of these guys were on the field at the same time.

Jackson knew he was going to run by any corner that lined up across from him. McCoy knew that anyone who tried to tackle him was going to be left 20 yards back looking for their jock strap. If Maclin caught the ball on third and long two yards short of the first down, it was going to take four guys on defense to stop him from getting that first down.

Now it’s Bradford looking unsure if he is going to have enough time to make a throw. Should Bradford get the throw off, Matthews is watching the ball come to him, hoping that he is able to make a catch. And when Murray is handed the ball, he is more than confident he’s not going to get a block.

After Week 12 in the NFL, you can’t help but ask, "Why did we ever trust in Chip?"

Instead of trying to find the few missing pieces of the puzzle to a talented playoff team, he dismantled a team by getting rid of its best players. Chip Kelly shouldn't have to worry about giving B.S. answers about why the Eagles lost to New England on Sunday. We already know why. His gamble failed and it’s his fault.

Dave Madonna is a contributor for Eagledelphia.

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