After months of waiting and speculation, we finally got a good look at Chip Kelly‘s high-octane offense with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. We’d been wondering whether or not his style could work in the NFL and boy, did it ever.
Leading the attack was quarterback Michael Vick, who believes this offense is tailor-made for his strengths. After seeing it in action, it’s hard to argue with him.
Vick completed 15 of 25 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, adding 56 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Those who waited on him in their drafts were jumping for joy, watching Vick prove he could wind up being one of the biggest steals of 2013 drafts.
Of course, his owners were probably also scared after seeing what a physical beating he took.
He dealt with poor protection all night, getting sacked three times and was knocked down repeatedly. To make matters worse, he took it upon himself to be LeSean McCoy‘s lead blocker several times, thrusting his body in front of linebackers with reckless abandon. He got up hobbling a number of times throughout the game, giving his owners serious cause for concern.
The Eagles’ offense is going to do a lot of scoring, no doubt about it. Opposing defenses will have a hard time keeping up with the torrid pace since Kelly doesn’t like to let anyone get too much oxygen between plays. The question is, how long will Vick be able to keep up that pace before his body breaks down?
We know it’s inevitable because the guy has never played a full season in his career. He’s unlikely to end that trend while playing in an offense that will command more from him physically than any other he’s played in. He’s made it clear that he loves the offense, but while his heart may be in it for the long haul, his body won’t be.
The fact that he’ll sooner die than slide isn’t going to help his cause either. He’s already tweaked his groin, and the way he was hobbling late in and after the game wasn’t a happy sight.
If he’s healthy, Vick will yield massive profits for his owners this season. But as we well know at this point, and especially after seeing what happened to him on Monday night, he can’t be relied on to stay intact.
Owners are faced with a difficult decision right now. Do you hang onto him and hope he doesn’t end up getting hurt too badly, or do you sell high and flip him for someone who won’t stress you out on a weekly basis? The upside is very, very hard to turn down, but those who aren’t up for the gamble really can’t be blamed.
In case you decide to base your decision on the false assumption that the Eagles won’t actually end up sustaining their insane pace on offense, take note of the fact that Kelly felt the pace was a little “slow” on Monday night.
This team is about to shift from fifth gear to sixth. The San Diego Chargers‘ defense better start their good night’s sleep right now if they hope to keep up with the Eagles this Sunday.