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Pre-Game Recon: Five Questions With BGN (Chip! Chip! Chipadelphia!)

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Brandon Gowton of our sister site, Bleeding Green Nation, stops by to answer all of our biggest questions about this week's opponent for the Texans, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

1 - What the hell is wrong with Nick Foles this year? Is the departure of Bill Lazor to Miami really that big of a loss for him?

Yeah, that's the question on everyone's mind. Foles just isn't having the same kind of success he had in 2013. He did a great job of rarely turning the ball over last year, but he already has 12 giveaways this season. Foles just isn't throwing an accurate ball. He's not stepping up in the pocket, instead drifting backwards (or to the side) and throwing off of his back foot.

Of course, it's not ALL bad. He's made some good throws, but they just haven't been often enough to outweigh the negatives. Right now Foles looks like a very average quarterback, and nothing special: just a guy.

I don't put much stock into the departure of Bill Lazor. Lazor bounced around jobs before ending up in Philadelphia for one season and his (supposed) best year as a position coach just so happened to be when he teamed up with Chip Kelly. I think the bigger issue is that Foles is a limited talent who isn't capable of handling pressure well right now.

2 - It's year two under Chip Kelly. Is Philly still in love with their new coach?

Short and sweet: absolutely. The team is 15-8 since Kelly took over last year. Only four of those losses came by more than one possession. It's no secret that a lot of the team's success is directly attributed to him.

That the Eagles have managed to get to 5-2 despite Foles' struggles says a lot about Kelly. He's able to get the most out of his team despite lackluster performance from the the player at most important position on the field.

3 - LeSean McCoy has been much less effective this season, at least statistically, compared to previous years. Are the injuries along the offensive line to blame, or is Shady just somehow regressing as a player?

It's probably both. McCoy handled a big workload in order to become the 2013 leading rusher. There are times this season when he just hasn't looked like the McCoy people are used to seeing.

With that said, the offensive line injuries are probably mostly to blame. Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce are two of the team's best run blockers and they've been out for most of the season. Lane Johnson, who has been an absolute force at right tackle since his return, was also missed for the first four games. It's hard to expect the Eagles' backups to play up to the level of such high-quality starters.

4 - What do you expect from the Eagles this season? Is this team a contender?

It's really hard to say. The optimist should expect a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Eagles are arguably just a few inches away from being 7-0 this season. The offense has a number of skilled players, the defense is playing relatively well, and the special teams unit may be the best in the entire league. The problem is that the Eagles won't get very far if they keep turning the ball over. If Nick Foles doesn't start taking care of the ball, he'll be the ultimate thing holding this team back. If he can rebound, yes, this team is absolutely a contender.

5 - Put Your Name On it:  The final score for this game will be Texans ____, Eagles ____.  Why?

The final score for this game will be Texans 20, Eagles 27. Arian Foster is the key to Houston's success and the Eagles' run defense is capable of holding him in check. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be forced to make plays through the air, and that doesn't seem to bode well for Houston. The Eagles' offense will bounce back from a turnover-happy performance in Arizona.

A big thank you to Brandon for checking in with us. Be sure to read more of his excellent work, including my answers to his question about the Texans, throughout this week over at Bleeding Green Nation.

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