WHAT IF touted NFL players came with warranties? Like a 4K television?
What if highly touted coaches came with them, too?
Like a computer?
"I'd like to return this coach."
"What seems to be the problem?"
"Used to run fast. Now the programs freeze, shut down a lot. Sometimes the screen goes blank . . .
"And the software already seems outdated."
More teams in the NFL employ some version of a hurry-up offense than was the case before Chip Kelly became the Eagles coach. More defenses appear acclimated to defending it, as well. When some NFL sages warned us back then that Kelly's way was more gimmick than genius, it was often dismissed as petty jealousy.
But what if it's true? What if what we are seeing, in Weeks 1 and 2 of Kelly Year 3 is less about "technique" and "execution" and more about scouting, familiarity and talent evaluation.
What if the genius really is just an expiring gimmick?
"Maybe from a schemewise, we need to switch some things up," right tackle Lane Johnson was saying after the Eagles followed their two quarters of awful football last week with a full, eye-searing game of it in yesterday's 20-10 loss to Dallas at the Linc. "Maybe they are catching up to us . . .
"We were just . . . one-dimensional."
One-dimensional? A Chip Kelly offense? "It's execution," insisted Kelly. "And it's coaching."
Ah, but what if it's also - or predominantly - the decisions Kelly made as general manager in the offseason? Namely, matching these running backs with this offensive line? Cutting your Pro Bowl starting guard rather than negotiating a raise?
Allowing your No. 1 receiver to leave via free agency?
For the second week in a row, the line that Kelly revamped - the line that was deemed to not need help via the draft - played as if it was composed of backups. Just-introduced backups. Allen Barbre seemed to apologize to DeMarco Murray after his holding penalty negated what would have been the former Cowboy's first rushing touchdown as an Eagle. Jason Kelce, who spoke glowingly about the team cohesion in the preseason, turned the ball over by snapping it off Sam Bradford's helmet, canceling a defensive turnover that put the ball on the Dallas 30.
There were holds. There were complete whiffs on blocks. At one point late in the game, the Eagles - with two well-paid free agents carrying the ball - had minus-14 yards as their rushing total.
The Eagles finished with 7 yards rushing on 17 carries. Murray, who cited this team's offensive potential when he signed here last spring, gained 2 yards on 13 carries, giving him 11 yards on 21 carries for the season.
Sam Bradford finished with a 65.6 passer rating and threw two interceptions, including a mind-numbing one into the gut of linebacker Sean Lee at the back of the end zone after the Eagles had driven from their own 39 to the Dallas 3 in the third quarter, with the game still within reach.
That was the amazing, and ultimately frustrating part of this. The Cowboys' offense tried its best to throw this one, as it had the week before against the Giants. Kelly's team just couldn't do anything with the gifts. Bradford usually had plenty of time, but his targets were blanketed most of the day. There were also three critical drops - two by Jordan Matthews, the guy who was supposed to take up the slack left by Jeremy Maclin's departure; the other by Zach Ertz, who sat out much of the preseason play nursing a sports hernia.
"I don't think it's a communication issue," Ertz said.
We should all pray he's wrong. Because the alternative - they don't have the talent to get open - traces back to their third-year coach and first-year GM.
And might doom them.
And if it's that, pick your poison. Either the league has caught up to Kelly's genius, or he's not a genius when it comes to being GM.
Either one is unsettling, if not toxic.
Especially in a league in which you are forced to absorb your decisions rather than return them.
So let's hope this thing is more fixable than it has appeared over the first two games. Let's hope the line that he has bet so much on does jell into a unit capable of blocking someone, anyone, in the weeks to come. Let's hope that the dearth of drives and points over six of the eight quarters played so far are the growing pains of his reshuffled team.
Kelly seemed to suggest just that as his postgame press conference ended with an answer-starved whimper yesterday, citing two midseason losses two seasons ago in which the Eagles scored a total of 10 points. "We went 7-1 down the stretch," he said.
"I just think we kind of have to get back to basics," he said.
Someone noted those two midseason losses two years ago were played with a third-string quarterback.
"Yeah," said the coach/GM, sounding just a little exposed. "We still have to make an evaluation of everything."
On Twitter: @samdonnellon