OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Chip Kelly's defensive woes in Philadelphia have followed him to Santa Clara.
Outside of what I believe will prove to be a complete outlier in week one, the 49ers defense has been atrocious.
They've given up the third most yards in the NFL through three weeks, and have given up 83 points in their last two games. (83!!!!!!!)
During Kelly's time in Philly, the Eagles never had a defense rank higher than 28th in yards.
Meanwhile, the 2016 Eagles defense, which returned most of the same personnel, is currently the best scoring defense in the league (27 points allowed through 3 games) after completely shutting down the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Chip Kelly can deny his style of offense has any impact on the defense all he wants... The evidence is firmly against him. The Eagles defense has had 158 plays run against them through three games, good for an average of 52.6 plays per game.
During the three years Chip Kelly was in Philadelphia, the Eagles defense averaged 74.5 snaps per game. They were on the field more than any other NFL defense in 2013 (1150 defensive plays) and 2015 (1148 defensive plays), and the second most in 2014 (1,113 defensive plays). (Stats via sportingcharts.com)
The Chip Kelly formula demands efficiency and scoring early and often. When that doesn't happen, the wheels fall off quickly. He needs to be playing with a lead, forcing the opposing offense to play catch-up in order for his style to work.
With an embarrassing lack of talent at the wide receiver and tight end position, coupled with an average at best offensive line (as a complete unit), the 49ers simply aren't built to succeed with a coach like Chip Kelly calling the shots. Even the run game stats are skewed, as Kelly has continued to run while down multiple scores (down 37-3 vs. Seattle) while the opponents are in prevent defense.
The bottom line? Chip Kelly needs to adjust to his players, not force his players to adjust to him. The 49ers aren't built to play his style of football right now. If he continues down this path, the only thing the 49ers will be winning is a top-5 draft pick.