Probably the biggest storyline of the season was the “QB controversy” in the middle of the season. But, by the end of the season, I would actually re-label it the “QB Transition” as the Eagles moved on from Michael Vick to Nick Foles as the franchise QB. Vick started 6 games of the season and technically finished with a 2-4 record, but he left both of the games against the Giants early on and the game was mostly played by either Foles or Barkley. So his real record this season was 1-3, ultimately ineffective. Matt Barkley didn’t get a start this season at all, but he did play a fair amount in two games. The Eagles lost both of them, but I only blame him for the one against the Giants (they were already doomed to lose the one against the Cowboys).
Then Nick Foles came in, appearing for a couple throws in the games against the Chargers and Broncos, even throwing a TD at the end of the Broncos game, which Vick had already led to a bitter failure. Foles got his first significant amount of playing time in relief of Vick in the first game against the Giants, throwing two TDs on their way to a win. He then got his first start against the Buccaneers, winning that game, but then got hurt midway through the next one after playing pretty bad. That was the last time all season he played poorly though, returning two games later to throw a NFL record-tying 7 TDs against the Raiders. While not everyone admitted it right then, it was that game that proved that Foles was the starter for the future.
Breaking it down offensively, the Eagles were able to both run and pass the ball. They finished as the number one team in the league in rushing yards after LeSean McCoy won the rushing title, racking up 1607 rushing yards and 9 TDs. He also had 539 receiving yards and 2 TDs; he finished the season with a franchise record for most yards from scrimmage with 2146. Bryce Brown added 314 yards rushing and 2 TDs, and third-string Chris Polk had 98 yards and 3 TDs. Even Vick and Foles did well rushing the ball, adding 306 and 221 yards respectively. If there’s one thing the Eagles need to retain for next year, it’s the ability to run the ball this well.
Receiving-wise, top WR DeSean Jackson had the best year of his career, grabbing 82 catches for 1332 yards and 9 TDs. Since Jeremy Maclin was out, Riley Cooper had to play the whole season as the number two guy, and after a very slow start, he came up huge in the second half of the season. He finished with 47 catches for 837 yards and 8 TDs, all career highs. With both Maclin and Cooper as free agents this coming offseason and Jackson asking for a raise, it’ll be interesting to see if they try to keep all three guys. Brent Celek and Zach Ertz provided a very good tandem of TEs this season, combining for 68 catches for 971 yards and 10 TDs. Third-string James Casey didn’t do much, but adding in his 31 yards, Eagles TEs combined for just over 1000 receiving yards. Chip Kelly said he wanted to get the TEs more involved, and he did just that. It was the first time Eagles TEs combined for 1000+ yards in the past decade.