Philly’s offense moves at frantic pace

Brian Stone

When the dust settled on the Philadelphia Eagles’ 33-27 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night, one question remained in my mind: Will this offense work consistently over a 16-game season?

Ok, first, some background information: The Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half against the Redskins, taking the Washington football team by surprise as Chip Kelly’s team took a 26-point lead into halftime, shocking Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan. For the first time since 2009, an NFL team had run more than 50 plays in one half of football.

Philly moved at a frantic pace in their first series, but was upended by a backwards pass returned for a touchdown. After that, it was all Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. The first half was a clinic on how to properly run Kelly’s Oregon offense in the NFL, with Vick and company snapping the ball anywhere from six to nine seconds after the ball was spotted.

The second half was a different story though, as the Eagles tried to maintain their lead and bled the clock as much as possible. Philadelphia looked a bit disjointed as they only scored once in the third and fourth quarters. The fact that the Eagles had to slow their offense down made it less efficient than in the first half and allowed Washington the opportunity to substitute players that it did not have time to before halftime. Philadelphia barely held on for its first win of the season.

Again, I am not sure this offense will dominate other NFL teams later in the season when there is plenty of tape to be studied of Kelly’s offense. I think that if Philly faces a better squad that doesn’t make as many stupid mistakes as Washington did Monday night (one fumble, one interception, one safety, three punts) the offense might not be as potent.

Personally, I was a non-believer in the Eagles hiring Chip Kelly in the first place, and I could be wrong. My thinking was that a team that was running a college offense, restructuring an entire defense with all new personnel (from a 4-3 to a 3-4), and hiring a completely new coaching staff might work for a bit in the NFL like the Wildcat offense did, but was ultimately nothing but a gimmick that teams would quickly figure out. But only time will tell how this experiment will pan out.