Craig: Eagles' fast offense starts fast

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 14, 2013 - 5:28 PM

Chip Kelly’s creation with the Eagles next must show staying power.

hide

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly talks with running back LeSean McCoy (25)

Photo: Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Sorry, Peyton Manning. Those record-tying seven touchdown passes were impressive, but the NFL’s biggest Week 1 winner was Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

Yeah, there might be a day when Chip Kelly and his Oregon offense end up on a dusty shelf between the Wildcat and the run-and-shoot. But for now, well, consider the rest of the league impressed by Monday night’s nationally televised NFL debut.

Asked if he thought Kelly’s offense had staying power in the NFL, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the league’s reigning MVP, said: “Yeah, I think so. It sure looked like it the other day, you know?”

For months, Kelly told the NFL what he was going to do with his frenetically-paced version of the read-option offense that took the league by storm a year ago. Eyebrows were raised. Then, Kelly unleashed the hyperactive storm on the NFC East champion Redskins during a 33-27 upset at Washington.

The Redskins trailed 26-7 at the half. And it wasn’t that close. The Eagles held whopping advantages in total yards (322-75), first downs (21-3) and number of plays (53-21). For the sake of comparison, the Vikings ran 53 plays for their entire game against Detroit.

“I watched the game because I know we have to play them [on Dec. 15],” said Vikings backup cornerback A.J. Jefferson. “I came away thinking they’re going to be a problem if they can keep that pace up all season.”

In the first half, the Eagles averaged 2.6 plays per minute. And yet Kelly said he felt the offense was slow because players sometimes forgot to hand the ball to an official so the next play could start more quickly.

Let’s hope a copycat league yearns to imitate this offense. Everybody looked crisper because of the breakneck pace. Michael Vick finished with 204 yards passing, two touchdowns, and 54 yards rushing. Lesean McCoy had 184 of the team’s 263 yards rushing. And DeSean Jackson had seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.

“I think this offense will give defensive coordinators nightmares,” Fox Sport analyst and former NFL and college coach Jimmy Johnson told ESPN radio. “I think it will be successful throughout the year.”

That remains to be seen because of all the variables that come with a long NFL season.

“Obviously, the big thing with these offenses is the health of the quarterback,” Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said. “It’s hard to argue with 1-0 and looking pretty good. But we’ll have to wait and see. What happens if there’s an injury at a key position? Do they have the depth to keep up that kind of pace?”

The Eagles also need to sharpen their ability to play efficiently at a slower pace. Part of the reason they were outscored 20-7 in the second half was the clumsy way they played when Kelly slowed things down.

“I’ve never been through an entire NFL season, but they tell me you’ll be surprised at how long it feels coming from college,” Vikings rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said. “So I don’t know if a team can play at that pace for an entire season. But it sure looked good on ‘Monday Night Football.’ ”

Floyd was asked if he would ever “fake” a cramp to slow down a fast offense. Some of the Redskins’ defensive linemen were suspected of doing that, which the league has warned teams against doing.

“I wouldn’t just assume they were faking,” Floyd said. “Most of the time, they probably did get a cramp because of that offense. When you play that many snaps, especially this early in the season, your body is going to cramp up.”

Jefferson was asked if he had any advice for the Eagles’ future opponents.

“Hmm,” he said. “I think my advice would be everybody better start getting in shape for the Eagles.”

Northern Intelligence

Coming off a career-long 58-yard field goal that topped his franchise-record 57-yarder in 2011, Bears kicker Robbie Gould has made 209 of 244 career attempts.

His 85.7 success rate is fourth best in NFL history among those with at least 100 field goals made. The top three: Mike Vanderjagt (86.5), Nate Kaeding (86.2) and Rob Bironas (85.8).

• • •

Lions running back Reggie Bush has more respect for Arizona’s run defense than he does the Vikings run defense, which allowed him to rush for 90 yards on 21 carries (4.3) last week.

“I do think this game is going to be a lot tougher for us to run the ball,” Bush wrote in his blog on detroitlions.com. Arizona gave up only 67 yards rushing but allowed 299 passing in a loss to St. Louis last week.

• • •

Film of the Redskins’ Week 1 loss to Philadelphia had to help the Packers prepare their Week 2 game plan against quarterback Robert Griffin III. Clearly, RG3 isn’t quite ready to really test that surgically repaired right knee.

He ran only five times for 24 yards, looked tentative, out of sync and did not step into his throws. He had only 160 yards passing through three quarters before notching 169 more in the fourth for a career-high 329 in the failed comeback.

Three observations …

• Thursday was the first time a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team won a game despite having more punts (11) than first downs (nine).

• Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who had 217 yards passing and 112 rushing in a near upset of the Colts, isn’t a good enough passer to take full advantage of the read-option.

• Southern Cal, with 40, had the most players represented on last week’s opening-day rosters. The Vikings have four: Matt Cassel, Rhett Ellison, Matt Kalil and Everson Griffen.

Two predictions …

• Eli Manning will surprise all of us again, upsetting older brother Peyton at home.

• The Browns, who are at Baltimore, will do their part in trying to make next week’s Vikings home opener a battle of 0-2 teams.

  • related content

  • Sunday Insider: Fourth-and-5

    Saturday September 14, 2013

    Three observations …• Thursday was the first time a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team won a game despite having more punts (11)...

  • Sunday Insider: Northern intelligence

    Saturday September 14, 2013

    northern intelligenceComing off a career-long 58-yard field goal that topped his franchise-record 57-yarder in 2011, Bears kicker Robbie Gould has...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati 0 Top 2nd Inning
St. Louis 0
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd 17:01
Columbus 3
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 0 1st Prd 10:14
Calgary 0
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters
Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon
 
Close