Last Thursday, the discussion focused on whether Chip Kelly’s system would work at the professional level. But now, there’s a whole new set of topics, including this one: How should Kelly go about protecting leads?
That’s what happens, I suppose, when you build a 26-7 halftime lead on national television, but end up needing to recover an onside kick to clinch a victory in the final minutes.
“Just talking to Chip, just saying regardless of how much we get up and lead by, just don’t take your foot off the pedal,” DeSean Jackson said. “We’ve got to continue to go out there… still gotta keep pounding, keep pounding because later towards the game, they started making a comeback.”
After scoring a touchdown on the first drive of the second half, the Eagles punted three times and fumbled once on their next four possessions vs. the Redskins. They moved at a fast pace throughout the first half, but slowed things down in the second. The offense wasn’t as productive, and the Redskins scored 20 unanswered points.
“I think the thing that we really need to do a better job of in the game is when we’re slowing down towards the end of the game, finishing it off is what we need to really fix up,” said center Jason Kelce. “But there’s still adjustments to be made throughout the whole game.”
Added Jackson: “We just got content a little bit as far as play-calling and just slowing our tempo down. We have to use that as a fast pace to continue to keep defenses off-guard. I think Chip probably learned something in that first game. Things hit the fan sometimes, and as long as we’re able to go out there and continue to play at a high pace and do what we’ve done to get us that lead, we have to continue to do that throughout the game.”
There are the two perspectives. One is to get better at the four-minute offense, be more efficient, chew up clock and still play at a slower pace with a big lead.
The other option is to just go with what’s working. Keep the foot on the gas, push tempo and realize there’s no such thing as too big of a lead.
If Kelly’s biggest problem against the Chargers is figuring out which route to take, Eagles fans will probably be pretty happy.
WHAT YOU MISSED
A No-22 look with player explanations about the ‘Emory Henry’ formation where Jason Peters and Lane Johnson split out wide.
“I think I can make it through,” says Michael Vick. The QB talks about hits and throwing his body in harm’s way as a lead blocker.
Cary Williams is trying to change the conversation, writes T-Mac.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com always does a terrific job with his game reviews. Here’s what he saw from Lane Johnson:
Solid game. Beaten by Kerrigan on pass play. Didn’t give up, though, and was able to keep him occupied as Vick slipped to the outside. Got confused and failed to block Kerrigan on pass play. Blitzing LB is the one who got the sack, but Kerrigan blew up the play. Johnson has to know to take the guy going to the inside. Lined up on the left side on Shady’s TD run. Had an outstanding block of DT Bowen. Gave Shady a big lane. Generally controlled Kerrigan when he faced him on pass play. Lane also did a good job as a run blocker. You would think a rookie playing in an up-tempo attack and being moved around might struggle, but that wasn’t the case. Still adjusting to pro football and has his moments, but is physically ready.
ESPN.com rounds up Kelly reaction from people around the league. Here is Tom Coughlin’s take:
“The version that Chip Kelly has brought to Philadelphia is in itself new to the NFL. We’ve all had the two-minute offense where quite frankly we are snapping the ball at that speed, the idea of playing for a full game like that, you know, is new for me in watching it in the NFL. They’re putting the pressure really on the defense to get lined up and communicate and recognize again what all the options are and be in position. Even when it isn’t something that is going what I call Mach speed, it still forces you without a huddle to do a great job communicating.”
Don’t forget we’re broadcasting live from Smith’s in Center City from 6 to 7 tonight. Listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic or online.