The Philadelphia Eagles now have the first game of the season under their belt and Chip Kelly now has his first win as an NFL coach after beating the Washington Redskins 33-27. The Eagles showed a lot more in game one than we have seen in the preseason and it kept fans on the edge, waiting for the next big play to come out. The most important fact from the game: the team was really impressive overall. Here are some key notes to take away from the game:
OFFENSE OVERALL — The Eagles offense played extremely well against the Redskins. For the first time, we got to see Chip Kelly's offensive package in full force. Kelly was never going to show everything in the preseason and decided to keep things simple if you compare the preseason to the season opener. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson each had great games. The offensive line played well too and it was nice to see a healthy set of players for once in front of Vick. Chip Kelly said things would be up-tempo and we saw exactly that in the first half. However, it looked like they let off of the gas in the second half because they only ran 24 plays compared to the 53 plays in the first half. Overall, the offense looked really good. Hopefully the offense can sustain this and of tempo and maybe even pick up the pace even more.
MICHAEL VICK — Besides the bad pass in the beginning of the game, Vick had a solid outing. He completed 15 of his 25 pass attempts for 203 yards and two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was a beautiful pass to DeSean Jackson who beat the coverage to get himself basically wide open in the back of the endzone. It looks like Vick hasn't lost a step. He was constantly moving around in the pocket and took off on some nice runs. He ended the night with 54 yards and a touchdown on nine rushing attempts. Just like Vick had said, he didn't slide when he went on the runs. He dove. The first sight of him diving for a first down probably made many cringe. The worst cringe probably came when Vick was seen limping. He added weight in the offseason so he could take more abuse on the field and he showed that he could take the hits last night. But there is only so much the body can take, especially at his age in this game.
LESEAN MCCOY — There is really nothing else to say about McCoy's performance other than "WOW!" McCoy had 31 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown. His most impressive play was his 34 yard run. McCoy's performance in addition to the up-tempo offense may be a great sign of what is to come this season. McCoy had an off season last year in addition getting injured. His play against the Redskins showed that he may be back to his 2011 status when he rushed for a career high 1,309 yards. You could also tell how well the up-tempo offense was working by the fact that McCoy had to be taken out of the game for a few plays in order for him to catch his breath. He was seen kneeling on the sidelines as Bryce Brown replaced him for a few plays. That brings up one small issue: overworking McCoy. Yes, we would all like to see McCoy tear it up every game, but we don't want him to get injured. With the amount of plays Kelly wants to run each game, which is around 100, McCoy should be taken out every once in a while so he doesn't get fatigued. The last thing the Eagles need is for McCoy to go down because of that.
DESEAN JACKSON — Jackson also had a great game. He had seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. His longest catch was a 26 yard touchdown. It was also the 16th time Jackson has had a 100-yard game. Jackson may have had a great game, but he also needs to get his act together. Chip Kelly had to pull Jackson from the game because he kept going at it with DeAngelo Hall. At one point when words were being exchanged between Jackson and Hall, a referee stepped in to get them separated. Jackson still had the best performance out of all of the receivers. Riley Cooper and Jason avant combined for 27 yards on four catches.
Check out the Vick and McCoy highlights from the Redskins game:
DEFENSE — The performance from the defense was probably the most surprising part of the game. Who would have thought the Eagles defense would come out strong like they did after a poor preseason performance? They owned the first half by constantly getting to Robert Griffin III and forcing turnovers. They had two interceptions and a fumble recovery to go along with three sacks and 70 tackles. Cary Williams had probably the biggest play of the game when he broke up the pass late in the game. The second half was a complete 180 from that. The Redskins were beginning to pick them apart and the defense just looked like they were getting tired. However, it was the first full game they have played together so expect them to come out strong again next week. If they can play like they did in the first half of the Redskins game for the rest of the season, things are going to be very interesting.
Overall, the entire team played extremely well. If the Eagles duplicate their performance for the San Diego Chargers game, then the remaining teams on the schedule are going to have to take a closer look at the Eagles. If the offense can get the 100 plays per game that Kelly wants, it's going to give opposing defenses headaches. Even though it was only the first game, it can already be seen that this is going to be a very interesting season for the Eagles.
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