We can learn something very valuable in comparing the Philadelphia Eagles’ preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and this past game against the San Diego Chargers. The template may be out to combat Chip Kelly’s offense or, more specifically, Michael Vick as a quarterback, and it is a strategy that has haunted Vick throughout his career: defenses are going to make Vick beat them with his arm.
All week, we were told that the Chargers’ secondary was their weak point and that the Eagles could throw all day. That was partially true. Vick created than a few plays on the field, and if any of the multiple missed deep balls to DeSean Jackson would have connected, the game would have a different result.
The problem was that Kelly was baited by the same defensive tactic the Jaguars used, keeping one safety deep and daring him to throw. He took the bait and ignored LeSean McCoy. As a result, the protection schemes faltered and Vick showed his usual poor decision-making when he holds the ball too long.
Kelly must be true to his system and ignore these strategies by the defense. The Chargers also used every second of the play clock and kept the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense off the field.
Now Kelly must adjust. He needs to stick with his fast-break offense no matter what looks come from the opposition. This season will be a learning experience, if not a perfect one. If they can build quick and come back strong against Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, they will show some needed backbone.
If not, they only face a harder test against Peyton Manning the week after. They do not want or need to go through this stretch with a 1-3 record. It is gut check time for Kelly.