Philadelphia Eagles 33
Washington Redskins 27
After the first half of the first Monday night football game of the year between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins, Chip Kelly glanced over at the FedEx Field scoreboard with a giant grin on his face, as proud of his team as ever. His Eagles, a team that finished an anemic 4-12 the year before, had worked their heart out learning Kelly’s new scheme in the offseason, and it had paid off.
From 2009-2012, Chip Kelly’s spread offense at Oregon topped all of the rest in college football and was the consensus number one team watched in the country during that span. Mind-blowing stats such as 45 points a game and 325 plays of 20-plus yards in four years nominated Kelly as the best coach in all of the land, but can he become of the hallowed few that translates success on the college football field to the pro spectrum?
After Monday night? Yes. Yes he can.
And while it would be preposterous to think that Chip Kelly has already revolutionized the game of football after a Week 1 win over the Washington Redskins, Coach Kelly and the Eagles looked very consistent and on task throughout most of the game.
Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick finished with 257 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, but perhaps the most important stat of the day for Vick was that he stayed healthy throughout the whole game. Tailback LeSean McCoy was also one of the many fantasy juggernauts of the Eagles on Monday, finishing with 189 yards and a score. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson (7 rec, 104 yds, TD) and tight end Brent Celek (2 rec, 56 yds, TD) were Vick’s favorite targets on the night.
Over the weekend, in a 59-10 bashing of UVA, 7 of Oregon’s 8 touchdown drives lasted under two minutes, and all four of Kelly’s perfectly-mastered scoring drives on Monday mirrored that of Oregon’s: 8 seconds, 34 seconds, 2 minutes & 7 seconds, and 3 minutes & thirteen seconds.
It is obvious that changes have been made to the Eagles offense, but to put it in perspective, in 2012 Philadelphia put 350 yards per game, and 17 points a game, which was ranked a poor 29th in the NFL. Against the Redskins in Week 1, The Eagles netted 443 yards and 33 points, which were top 5 in the league in both categories. The squad also racked up a NFL-high 263 rushing yards versus the Washington defense, which was 92 more than the second best team in that category, the Oakland Raiders.
Philadelphia’s 53 plays ran in the first two quarters were the second most since 1991, but all Chip Kelly saw was room for more improvement. “I thought it was too slow to be honest with you,” the Eagles coach said after Monday night’s game. “We may have eased. It’s a different game than in college. We have a lot to learn.”