Now that week one of the 2013 NFL season is done, the team the media cannot get enough of is the Philadelphia Eagles. The questions about whether Chip Kelly’s rampant offense could work for an entire game have been answered.
There is no denying that when the Birds offense was on the field against Washington, everyone in the world’s curiosity peaked. Chip Kelly ran nearly 90 plays per game while at Oregon. His “point-a-minute” scheme ran most of the Ducks opponents out of the stadium before the halftime festivities. But questions about sustainability of that pace in the NFL have been thrown around in the national media for months leading up to Monday’s season opener in Washington.
In the first half, the Eagles offense was unstoppable. Mike Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson proved that they were the most dynamic combination of skill players in the NFL. By the end of the first half, Desean Jackson had already surpassed the 100 yard mark for the game and added a touchdown that epitomized his all night domination of the lead-footed veteran Deangelo Hall. LeSean McCoy had 114 yards in the first half and was the league leader in rushing yards before the 2nd half kickoff. Mike Vick showed glimpses of the 2004 version of himself on plays like the 25 yard touchdown to Jackson. Vick also showed signs of the 2012 version of himself; the turnover prone, happy feet quarterback who when faced with pressure in the pocket couldn’t seem to find a checkdown and instead scrambled with a Washington defender getting a legal shots on his infamous ribs. Questions about whether or not the offensive scheme could work in the NFL had been answered.
But the conversation has changed its tone since Monday night. The Eagles were the talk of the league this week. Despite the first half dominance, Chip Kelly clearly took his foot off the pedal in the 2nd half in an attempt to run the clock down and escape with a win. Two minutes into the 2nd half, the Eagles offense had outscored the Washington offense 31-0. But in the 3rd quarter, the Birds eased up and allowed Robert Griffin III to give the Fedex Field crowd a glimmer of hope. Chip’s choice to try and run the clock down with so much time remaining gave the team from Washington the opportunity to chip away (no pun) at the lead that seemed untouchable. The media and NFL players have been talking about whether this 2nd half debacle was proof that Kelly’s uptempo offense would not be sustainable for an entire four quarters. Players were exhausted on the sidelines. Eagles center Jason Kelce even admitted to using oxygen on the sidelines for the first time since college. But exhaustion is part of the plan with Kelly. Maybe other teams in the league couldn’t run this offense for an entire game, but this Philadelphia team can. Chip came to Philly to change the culture and to win games and after Week 1, he proved his non-stop attack could bury opponents before they even knew what hit them.
Montclair State | New Jersey