I was indisposed during the first half of the Monday Night Football double header, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out that something special was happening. “Are you seeing this?” was the first text I received upon looking at my phone. It was immediately followed by a second person saying, “Holy crap dude, I don’t want to play the Eagles this year”.
In case you missed it, Chip Kelly unleashed his fast break offense upon the NFL on Monday night to excellent results. The Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half (as many as the Steelers ran in their entire game on Sunday) and other than a few miscues seemed to go up and down the field with ease. Before I even went to bed that night I was already seeing articles on NFL.com with titles like, “Is this the next historic NFL offense?” and “Can the Eagles be stopped?”
Whoa there, fella.
Before the season started, when critics of the Chip Kelly hiring said a bunch of high horse shit like, “it can never work here” I defended Philly’s choice immediately because I know that Chip is smart enough to not run THE EXACT SAME OFFENSE he did in college. And after eventually watching Monday’s game, I was right. He took elements of it, and then adapted it to the pro game. I think Chip is one of the best NFL hirings I have seen in my life time, but this is still one game and there are plenty of gifted defensive coordinators in this league. What happens when Michael Vick starts making poor decisions? Is the WR core really talented and deep enough to keep teams from loading the box constantly? With the NFL roster size being smaller than college, is Chip really prepared for the amount of injuries his team might sustain operating at such a pace?
This brings us to the second overreaction.
Today every football site I go to seems to have at least one feature about how, “This can never work because Vick will not be able to stay on the field.”
On the surface, I don’t really disagree with this premise. Vick has missed 12 games over the last 3 seasons to injury and is not a very durable quarterback. But I think the deeper assertion being made here is that without the brutal dog murderer (never forget), a guy who has basically been a turnover machine the last few seasons, that the Eagles are somehow hopeless. You don’t think Chip knows the same Vick injury stats that the average dickhead writing for NFL blogs does? I believe that, regardless of mobility, Chip’s offense will make it easier for any QB to have success. With the variety of fakes, motion, formations, and tempo, the stress put on the defense is enough to make a lot of the reads easier. Will he have to tinker with some things if Nick Foles is behind center? Of course. But if Vick goes down I wouldn’t expect Kelly to run out of the stadium screaming with his hands in the air and quit.
I’m not surprised that the reactions to this first game have been so polarizing, but that doesn’t mean I won’t stop fighting against it. I’m just one dude, trying to plug a leaky dam with a leaf. Just the same, my dislike of the Eagles aside…they are going to be a lot of fun to watch this year.
What overreaction do you embrace more about Monday night? Let us know in the comments section.