Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie hasn't given Chip Kelly a public vote of confidence this season, but he's apparently doing it behind the scenes. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Lurie is still a proponent of Kelly and has no plans to fire him despite a disappointing 4-7 campaign. Lurie named Kelly the team's head of football operations less than one year ago.
Reports of turmoil in the Eagles' locker room have persisted all season long, with stories circulating in early October that Kelly was in danger of losing his players after a 1-3 start. But over the last couple of weeks, several players have offered their support for Kelly. Offensive tackle Jason Peters said recently he'll fight for Kelly as long as he's the head coach and DeMarco Murray told reporters nobody on the team will "ever give up."
Despite those signs of cohesion, the Eagles are in the midst of their worst stretch of the season to date. They've lost three straight games and surrendered 90 points over their last two contests combined. Their woes could get a lot worse this week, too, with a matchup against the 10-1 New England Patriots on the horizon Sunday afternoon.
There have been numerous reports about Kelly potentially bolting Philadelphia to rejoin the college ranks, but the schools that were rumored to be interested in him — USC and Maryland — have already hired new coaches. On Monday, Kelly reaffirmed his commitment to remaining in Philadelphia.
"I've never been looking at college jobs," Kelly said. "I can't control what's written. There's no rules. People can write or tweet — I don't know the rules. They can say whatever they want, but I've never discussed another college job since I came here."
But if one thing is certain about the Kelly saga, it can change on a week-to-week basis. If the Eagles suffer another blowout defeat Sunday, which is entirely possible given how well the Patriots typically perform after a loss, the narrative could dramatically shift.
Sunday's contest between the Pats and Eagles has the potential to get ugly. For starters, the Patriots are dominant at home, posting perfect records at Gillette Stadium in six of the last 15 years. New England's high-powered offense might currently be ravaged by injuries, but the team is expecting to have wide receiver Danny Amendola back in the lineup. The Patriots are second in the NFL in points scored and the Eagles' defense is the eighth-worst in the league.
With a win Sunday, the Patriots have a chance to clinch a postseason berth. Meanwhile, if the Eagles lose, it will probably lead to more turmoil and reported dissension.