Behind Enemy Lines: Eagles Edition

Eagles publisher Justin Henry discusses if Nick Foles is for real, if LeSean McCoy is officially back on track and if Super Bowl aspirations are appropriate in Philadelphia.

In year two of Chip Kelly's system is QB Nick Foles the real deal? Are the Eagles proceeding with him as the franchise quarterback?

Well, the Eagles didn't follow ESPN's advice and trade LeSean McCoy to the Raiders for their first-round pick in order to acquire Marcus Mariota, so I'd assume everything's hunky-dory with Foles going forward. Foles struggled with his mechanics a bit earlier on in the season, overthrowing receivers, didn't really set his feet, etc. That's led to seven picks after six games, which is bothersome to those who thought he'd repeat his 27-2 from a year ago, but it's not that bad. In the last two games, he's thrown three picks, but only two were poor judgment. In all, he's found confidence behind a makeshift offensive line, and he has his rhythm back, and that's what's most important.

What's wrong with RB LeSean McCoy? Or is nothing at all? Has his inauspicious start been more about him, the offensive line or something else?

McCoy played exceptionally well against the Giants (149 yards), and the running lanes were actually opening up for him. That was precipitated by a dynamite performance from center David Molk, who has struggled in relief of the injured Jason Kelce, a proven stud likely due back next week, if not the week after. McCoy didn't seem comfortable behind the line at times, dancing too much, waiting for the lanes to open. Against the Giants, Foles took more snaps from under center to communicate better with Molk, and the hand-off angles seemed to benefit McCoy, who hit the holes and turned corners with his confident stride. I'm well aware what kind of test Arizona brings on run defense, but overall, McCoy's beginning to find his groove.

Speaking of Chip Kelly, what's the overall opinion of his tenure thus far? In a tough city like Philadelphia, has his attitude, style and demeanor been embraced by the Eagles' fan base?

Kelly is loved here. He's a good combination of playfully brash and self-assured intelligent. He generally seems like the smartest man in the room, doesn't hesitate, and is unflappable. It's a far cry from the stubbornness of Andy Reid, who was a good coach hamstrung by his own off-kilter instincts. The only thing Eagles fans really questioned of Kelly was his decision to cut DeSean Jackson, but at 5-1, those cries have largely subsided. He's king until he gives Philly a reason to storm the castle, looking for his head. It'll take more than a few mistakes too; he's pretty ingrained right now. Really, the Eagles are the only good team Philadelphia has at the moment.

In my opinion, Philadelphia seems to be a bit overrated right now. A not so great of a schedule along with hanging on to nearly blown leads has led me to this conclusion. Would you agree/disagree?

Disagree. They find ways to win in the fourth quarter (minus the 49ers game where they fell just short), and would win a few games by more points if not for careless mistakes (having to come back against Jacksonville, nearly letting the Rams back into that game, etc). They held a hot Giants offense to a goose egg, and came back to knock the Colts out in the end. Their only truly wretched offensive game was against the 49ers, and those games will happen. The Eagles have a lot of luck, yes, but their special teams are top-notch, and they find ways to make up for mistakes. I'd argue that they're actually better than what they've shown in some instances.

With one of the best records in the NFC, do you see this Eagles team competing for a conference championship? Are any Super Bowl aspirations appropriate at this point?

Too early to tell, but I like this team. There are weaknesses, but none truly glaring. They've overcome a few weeks with no pass rush to rack up 16 sacks in three games. They overcame offensive line injuries to run circles around a solid Giants defense. Foles overcomes early turnovers to play well in the second half. They're a bit unpredictable, but they find new ways to hurt opponents. Right now, they're in the NFC's upper tier, and it remains to be seen if they can hang in there for the stretch.

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