NFL Wire News

Kelly: No Foles, but Eagles ‘going to win’


PHILADELPHIA — It was an episode of Dallas that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly hoped to never see. When he made it to his office Sunday, he flipped on a television long enough to realize the Cowboys had turned out the lights on their division rival’s playoff hopes.

“There wasn’t really much left for the second half,” said Kelly, though the second-year coach is adamant there is plenty for his team to play for in Week 17.

The double-dose of dejection hit the Eagles in successive days.

First, the disheartening loss at Washington to the four-win Redskins but their playoff chances in peril on Saturday. The Cowboys finished the job, throttling the Indianapolis Colts 42-7 to win the NFC East, sending Seattle into the playoffs and ensuring the Eagles would be home in January.

“Our sole focus right now is the New York Giants,” coach Chip Kelly said Monday. “We don’t say, ‘Hey, the offseason is coming up, so let’s start planning for the offseason.’ It’s, ‘Let’s plan for the last game of the season,’ which is against New York. It’s a good football team that we’re going to go play. They’ve won three straight games.”

Kelly said the Eagles would not have quarterback Nick Foles, who is still sidelined by the collarbone injury he incurred Nov. 2 at Houston. Mark Sanchez, who completed 37 of 50 passes Saturday in the loss, will start his eighth consecutive game.

Kelly scoffed at the idea the organization, now eliminated from postseason contention, might want to give Matt Barkley a look in a regular-season game.

“I would not be fair in any of my beliefs and I would not be fair to any football player right now if I said to some guy, ‘Hey, I know you’re a better player, but I’m going to play a younger guy now,'” said Kelly, who earlier said ‘we’re not benching Mark.’ He did keep the door open to moving away from left cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who was scorched in successive weeks by Dez Bryant of the Cowboys and former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson on Saturday.

“That’s not what we’re all about. If you want to go do that, go somewhere else. That’s not us. We get a chance to go put the ball on the ground, we’re going to go play football; that’s what we’re going to do.”

A full offseason evaluation will be needed from the offensive coaching staff to determine the Eagles’ course of action at quarterback. Sanchez and Foles can become free agents and Barkley is largely unproven since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2013.

Asking in particular about Foles, Kelly said he didn’t have an assessment ready yet.

“I’ll go back. That’s what the offseason is for,” he said. “I haven’t sat down and gone through every throw, every situation, every decision, all those things, at this point in time. I can’t give you a real good answer on that one right now.”

No time was needed for Kelly to evaluate the structure of the playoffs. Some have been critical of teams with a losing record — the NFC South champion will have seven wins — earning an automatic bid over a possible 10-win team like the Eagles. Kelly hushed that talk instantly Monday.

“Should we move to the (NFC) South so we can get in a different division?,” Kelly replied. “No, that’s just the rules. People that complain about rules that are already in existence. … We didn’t do enough. We didn’t win enough games against the right opponents to put ourselves in the playoffs. We knew the rules of engagement before the season started. To sit here after it is over and say, ‘Let’s change the rules so this can happen,’ that’s just the way it is. There may be a year where we’re in a situation where we’re not in great shape and we win our division and we get a chance to go. People said it about Seattle a couple years ago, and then Seattle won their wild card game.

“It’s still about winning each week and doing what you’re supposed to do. We already knew the rules before the season started. That’s the way it expressed itself. We didn’t do enough to win to get ourselves in the playoffs. That’s on us. That’s not on anybody else, or what the structure of setup is.”

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