From the first snap in front of the national audience on Monday Night Football, Chip Kelly seemed like a racecar driver behind the wheel. The Philadelphia Eagles were relentless on offense, upping the tempo even when they already seemed to be moving quickly. They ran 53 plays before half time; that’s almost triple that of the Washington Redskins. One could tire just sitting and watching the game on television let alone playing at the pace, which Kelly was requesting.
With the help of his defense, something that was not expected, Kelly controlled the time of possession, more than doubling that of Washington in the first half. Kelly seemed to mastermind drive after drive in the first half, picking at will the way he wanted to attack the defense. Regardless of blitzes, Kelly seemed to find success moving Michael Vick around and letting his stars get to work in the spread offense, which will become the new staple of Philadelphia football.
The second half of the game didn’t seem to produce the same outcome as the Eagles seemed almost content to let the game play itself out instead of continuing to up the speed. However, as the Redskins neared in the fourth quarter and things seemed that they might slip away, Kelly didn’t waiver in his plan, huddling the offense and slowing the play as oppose to reverting back to his comfort zone of speeding things up. It seemed like a chance in locking down his first win as Eagles head coach, but the coach stuck to his game and it worked out.
Only time will tell if the Eagles can keep this up week in and week out, but the track meet has begun and teams across the NFL will surely be taking note about how the pace that Philadelphia is going to play will effect the game overall.