CHIP KELLY would have you believe he has no idea that Nick Foles' next collarbone exam is scheduled just after this Sunday's game against Dallas.
I'm gonna say maybe he does.
Against Seattle, Kelly called plays like a man who was trying to win despite his quarterback, not because of his quarterback. In the NFL, the second scenario generally works better. It did for the Seahawks.
Lost in the euphoria of the Eagles' 33-10 Thanksgiving devastation of Dallas was the fact that Mark Sanchez threw the ball more than 20 yards downfield twice. Against Seattle, Sanchez seemed reluctant to throw it even half that far. If it was third-and-12, Sanchez would flick a 6-yard toss to a receiver who usually was about to get tackled by three Seahawks.
Sanchez passed for 96 yards Sunday, 35 of them on one play, the touchdown to Zach Ertz. Kelly might have put former Missouri quarterback Brad Smith in the shotgun and run the offense just as productively.
Granted, the play of the offensive line was a huge disappointment. LeSean McCoy, perhaps distracted by the unexpected death of a cousin a few days earlier, never made a sharp cut and seemed to get tackled pretty easily. This is a run-based offense that isn't going to function well when the run game doesn't work.
Also granted: Foles spent much of the autumn throwing bad picks and showing terrible footwork before he broke his left collarbone Nov. 2 at Houston. Against Seattle, he might not have fared any better than Sanchez. But Foles can throw the ball deep down the sideline, which was where Ertz and occasionally Jordan Matthews seemed to be open Sunday. Sanchez only seems to be able to work the middle of the field, which most emphatically was not open, against the best and most aggressive defense in the NFL.
And Foles, whatever his faults, never shows the sideline TV cameras that vacant stare, with the pursed lips. By the fourth quarter Sunday, Sanchez's body language did not indicate he was playing in a 10-point game. You never got the idea he was going to rally the troops. The Eagles had the ball three times in the final quarter. They netted 8 yards.
Sanchez took off once, probably could have gotten the first down, flopped to the ground 2 yards short. On the Fox broadcast, Troy Aikman said: "I don't know if he lost track of where he was, or just didn't want to take any type of hit."
Sanchez took the Eagles' best chance to get back in the game - Malcolm Jenkins' fumble recovery with 9 minutes and 7 seconds left - and turned it into a soul-killing interception; on the run, he underthrew Riley Cooper, the very next play after the fumble. Kelly made it clear yesterday that Cooper ran the right route, Sanchez just couldn't get the ball to him.
It seems quite possible the Eagles do not have a quarterback on their roster who can win a playoff game. If that's the case, the quest for one who can will dominate the offseason.
Meanwhile, if Foles isn't getting another exam/scan until after Dallas, 6 weeks from the date of his injury, that very well might mean he won't be ready to start Dec. 20 at Washington. As you fight for a playoff berth, when is a good time to try to switch back to a QB who hasn't played in nearly 2 months?
Developing story lines
* Chris Prosinski has been a solid addition to the Eagles' special teams. Smart player, strong tackler.
* Speaking of special teams, Eagles gunner Nolan Carroll fought past Richard Sherman and blew up a punt return. Maybe Chip Kelly should have let Carroll go out for a few passes on Sherman's side.
* The Eagles' second snap of the day was an omen. Kam Chancellor went over Brent Celek's shoulder, knocked the ball away, Celek looked for a flag, there was none. That was how ref Bill Vinovich's crew was going to roll, and the Eagles needed to adjust. They really didn't. They just complained a lot after the play, which didn't work. I think both coaches and players let the officiating distract them. I've never seen Chip Kelly spend so much time chewing on zebra ears.
You could tame the beast and still lose? After the 21-yard run against the Eagles' dime package on third-and-15 during the first series of the game, Marshawn Lynch gained 65 yards on 22 carries.
Vinny Curry has eight sacks in 311 snaps played. That's roughly a sack every 39 snaps. So if Curry had played each of the Eagles' 939 defensive snaps through 13 games, he'd have 24 sacks, with three games left. Theoretically.
Not real fired up about Richard Sherman's declaration after Sunday's game that the Eagles miss DeSean Jackson "tremendously."
Yes — writing it one more time here — giving away Jackson's talent, getting nothing in return, was an odd move for a team with championship aspirations. But Sherman is Jackson's childhood baseball teammate and friend. He has an agenda here.
And yes, DeSean caught five passes for 157 yards and a TD for the Redskins against the Seahawks back on Oct. 6, when the Seattle defense wasn't playing anywhere near its current level. But if you watched DeSean's career here, and you're really honest, you know that Sunday's physical, tight Eagles-Seahawks game was not the kind of platform where he excelled.
And if you saw how Mark Sanchez was throwing the ball Sunday, how Sanchez reacted to the disruptive pressure Seattle got without blitzing — yeah, DeSean could have watched an underthrown pass get picked off
Of course, DeSean didn't play football this week, missing Washington's latest loss with a bruised shin.
Bottom line, Jackson would not have made the Eagles as good as the Seahawks, and their offense isn't really struggling without him.