The700Level

Eagles LT Jason Peters may be having his best season at age of 35

usat-jason-peters-panthers.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles LT Jason Peters may be having his best season at age of 35

Offensive linemen. We typically only talk about them when they're really bad, or simply incredible. It's time to talk about Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, who is playing about as well as he ever has — at 35 years old.

Stop to think about that statement for a moment. Peters is a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro. A veteran of 14 seasons, there was about a three-year period from 2011 through 2013 where he was hands down the most dominant offensive lineman in the NFL.

And based on the first six games, 2017 has the potential to be his best campaign yet.

Not bad, considering there was talk that Peters could be a casualty of the salary cap the past two offseasons. There's no reason to sugar-coat it — he's old, has battled injuries, and it certainly looked like regression was beginning to set in. If Chip Kelly were still the head coach of the Eagles, with his constant uptempo offense, there is no doubt in my mind Peters wouldn't be here right now.

But Peters is revitalized since Doug Pederson took over the program. Last season was a bounce-back year, at least enough that the Eagles felt confident in signing Peters to a one-year extension in August. Yet, even 2016 pales in comparison to what he's been able to accomplish thus far.

According to Pro Football Focus, Peters did not allow a single pressure on the quarterback in 37 dropbacks against the Panthers on Thursday night. It was the third time he shut out the opposing defense in the last four weeks, and on the season, he's on the hook for six pressures and one sack total.

Peters has dramatically cut down on penalties as well, which have been an issue even in some of his previous great years. The guys in black and white have only called out No. 71 once so far. Not even Pete Morelli could find fault in his performance.

In '16, Peters allowed 4.0 sacks, 8 quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries. Based on overall performance blocking the run and in pass protection, PFF had him graded ninth among all offensive tackles.

Peters is currently second among tackles in PFF's graded, behind only longtime Cleveland Browns stalwart Joe Thomas.

Frankly, the entire Eagles offensive line could take a bow. Since replacing Isaac Seumalo at left guard, the unit has begun staking its claim as the best front in the league.

That all starts with Peters, and it always has. That's how he got the nickname "The Franchise" years ago. But even then, nobody would've imagined a couple years ago he would still be arguably the Eagles' most important player, right up there alongside Carson Wentz.

Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

ajayi-barner.jpg

Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

It's not everyday you see an Eagles player take the ball and run for 71 yards. So Philadelphia fans understandably went bonkers when Jay Ajayi did just that in the Birds' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.

It's also not that frequent that you see a dude get chased down from behind on such a play.

Sadly, the latter happened to Ajayi and his teammates let him hear it on the sidelines after. The fantastic Inside the NFL gave us an up-close look at the roasting.

You almost feel bad for Ajayi, like Kenjon Barner is laying it on a little too thick.

"You slow as $#@!," one player tells him.

"They're gonna lower my speed on Madden," Ajayi says.

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

usa-chipkelly-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

After spending the year out of football, former Eagles coach Chip Kelly is returning to the sideline — and might be aligning with ex-Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman in the process.

According to reports, Kelly is expected to accept a head coaching job at one of two college football programs. The decision is down to Florida and UCLA, and he is rumored to have already turned away other high-profile programs such as Nebraska and Tennessee.

UCLA may be Kelly's most likely landing spot at this point, with alumnus Aikman putting on a "full-court press," says ESPN's Mark Schlabach, and Florida supposedly wanting an answer ASAP.

Wherever Kelly winds up going, that should end his unsuccessful foray into the NFL once and for all. Consider this an obituary of sorts.

The move will cement Kelly as a "college coach," if his pro tenure hadn't accomplished that already. After guiding the Eagles to the playoffs and being named Coach of the Year in his first season, he missed the postseason the next two years and was fired. Kelly got the hook again after one miserable season with the 49ers, bottoming out with a 2-14 record.

There are no shortage of excuses for why Kelly flamed out in the NFL. Lack of talent — specifically under center — was certainly a factor, though his failed stint as the chief talent evaluator in his final season with the Eagles certainly contributed to that.

The simple truth is not everything that works in college translates at the next level, and Kelly never adjusted.

Kelly only turns 54 this week, so a return to the professional ranks years down the road isn't completely out of the question. After his last two trainwreck seasons in the league, it's difficult to imagine what an organization would still see.

Employing schemes that aren't suited to the team's personnel, calling the same 10 to 15 plays every game, eliminating the quarterback's ability to call an audible or even something as small as never using a snap count may work at university. Those concepts are fundamentally opposed to what has been successful in the NFL.

Honestly, it's kind of too bad. The Eagles could use that easy W on the schedule periodically.

Perhaps the Eagles should just be grateful to have survived Kelly's radical changes without overhauling the entire roster again, and somehow coming out better off for everything. After releasing DeSean Jackson, trading away LeSean McCoy, trading for Sam Bradford, and spending huge sums of money on the likes of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell -- to name a few, and all in the span of a year -- the franchise easily could've wound up in the tank.

There's no denying Kelly looked like a genius while at Oregon, racking up 46-7 record and three top-five finishes in four seasons as head coach. Yet like so many college coaches before him, and many bound to come after, he was never destined for sustained success in the NFL.