The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the NFL with their performance on Monday night. It was the public’s first glimpse into the Chip Kelly offense, and it was even more radical than most expected. The first-half pace was quite rapid, and the Washington Redskins’ defense quickly got tired.
Many skeptics still look at the second half and point out that the pace is too much for an offense to keep up for an entire 60 minutes. The reasons behind the slower second-half play did not appear to be from lack of energy on the offense. The change in strategy seemed to stem from the defenses inability to get off the field. The average Redskins drive in the second half lasted 2 minutes and 57 seconds, compared to an average of only 1 minute and 23 seconds in the first half. It is hard for the offense to keep up their pace of plays, when the defense is taking more than twice as long to get off the field.
Among the players on the roster, it seemed most were able to keep up with the pace with ease. Lesean McCoy looked winded after a couple of his long runs, but if he needs a break he has two more-than-capable players backing him up.
Michael Vick, on the other hand, is getting older, and is the oldest player on the Eagles roster at 33. After a full offseason of rest, he looked fast and he was thriving in the game. After taking a couple of hits, however, he was back to the Vick that most fans remember from the last two years, wincing and limping between plays. It seems unlikely that Vick will last through the season, but as long as he can the Eagles look like they could be the team to beat in the NFC East.