Chip And the Big-Play Concept

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The Eagles have the best big-strike offense in the NFL. They had eight plays of 20-plus yards Sunday, upping their league-leading total to 80 on the season. With three games remaining, they have a shot at surpassing the record of 96 established by the “Greatest Show On Turf ” Rams back in 2001.

Chip Kelly‘s offense has 19 touchdowns of 20-plus yards, which is also tops in the league. Three of those came in the fourth quarter against Detroit, as LeSean McCoy rattled off TD runs of 40 and 57 yards, and Chris Polk got loose for a 38-yarder.

The big play is part of this team’s identity. And it’s not all about getting the big play, it’s also about stopping it.


"I think over time we felt like we had some guys on the offensive side of the ball that could put some points on the board, so if we make offenses go out and earn it, not just one-play deals going down the field, then we've got a shot at winning, and that's  kind of the whole concept we have: let's create turnovers  on defense, let's do a great job of ball security on offense, but let's not allow the team to get back into it with the easy play," said Kelly.

The Eagles' defense only allowed one touchdown against Detroit -- a two-yard run to Joique Bell following the Nick Foles' interception. They have limited their opponent to under 21 points in nine straight contests overall.

And while McCoy and company racked up 299 yards on the ground, the Lions were limited to 80 rushing yards on the day.

"When you go through it there wasn't a standout but what our defensive line did was kind of the key to the game," said Kelly. "Fletcher [Cox] was outstanding, Ced [Cedric Thornton] was outstanding, Bennie [Logan] was outstanding. Those guys did a great job with just base techniques and not getting pushed off the football, had their cleats in the ground, did everything that Coach Azz [Jerry Azzinaro] teaches, allowed Mychal Kendricks to run around.

"I thought we set the edges really well. I thought Connor [Barwin] and Trent[Cole]  and Brandon [Graham] did a really good job of setting the edges and kind of containing the backs to where there weren't explosive plays in the run game from that standpoint."

The secondary, for their part, limited Calvin Johnson to three catches for 49 yards (with some help from the slippery surface).

The Eagles' offense had three touchdowns of 35-plus yards in the fourth quarter alone. The defense has yielded just three touchdowns of 35-plus yards on the entire season. That's part of the winning formula.

Some other highlights from Kelly's day-after press conference:

-- Kelly said he won't let the win blind him to the issues that cropped up in the game.

"I think that's what happens sometimes when you have a big win, 'Well we made a couple mistakes but don't worry about it, we won the game.' We've never been that way. Winston Churchill said, 'Problems in victory are more agreeable than problems in defeat but no less difficult.' And we always adhere to that as coaches because I think the easiest thing to do is we won, let's move onto the Vikings. Well, there were a lot of things that went on yesterday that we need to continue to correct and that's the first thing you do in the Tuesday sessions with our guys is corrections."

-- Could Polk start getting more reps, perhaps at Bryce Brown's expense? Kelly did not answer that directly, but offered the following: "The one thing I know about Chris is in the last couple weeks specifically he has practiced really, really well, and like we said at any position, it's an open competition and  you keep showing us you deserve time on the field, that's what it's all about."

-- Kelly said there were no injuries to report coming out of Sunday's game. Safety Earl Wolff (knee) is expected to practice this week, according to the head coach.

-- With the poor conditions in the first half and the passing attack unable to get off the ground, did Kelly ever consider putting Michael Vick in at quarterback to focus more on the ground attack?

"No, because the ground attack works with Nick in there," Kelly replied.

That proved true in the second half.

  • sbanul20

    Best decision by Chip: not having the field plowed at the half and allowing his players to change into the longer cleats that they brought. First to second half was night and day.

    • G_WallyHunter

      According to Pereira they weren’t allowed to clear the field, or “aren’t supposed to clear the field” but only the yard lines, goal lines, and sidelines. Everything else is supposed to stay put.
      I think it varies from stadium to stadium, as you can see they were clearing more snow in Baltimore. I guess at the Linc they decide not to, or did anyway. who knows

      • Jason

        Really? I didn’t hear that from Pereira. I heard that there was to much snow to move in the little amount of time that halftime provides, with nowhere to put it.

        • DirtyWaters

          I think I read that in his article online explaining the nfl rules on snow removal.

        • Duracell

          My understanding, based on what the announcers said, was that the Eagles would have been permitted to plow the field only if the snow had stopped fully before the 2nd half. Since it was still snowing, they were not allowed to clear the field.

          Based on the above, I guess I’m wrong though.

        • G_WallyHunter

          He chimed in for a minute as usual, I was just going off what Pereira said, and he said that “they aren’t supposed to clear it”. Rob clarified, makes sense now.

      • Chris

        I got the Ravens game here in Baltimore and they were clearing the field pretty well when the snow slowed. Maybe you’re right, different from stadium to stadium but the Linc definitely was worse off than M&T from what I could see

      • theycallmerob

        The grounds crew used blowers and shovels to clear the yard lines, goal lines and sidelines during stoppages of play.

        Under NFL rules, the grounds crew could have plowed the field at halftime but opted not to because there was too much snow on the field, not enough time to clear it and nowhere to put it, the Eagles said.

        Lincoln Financial Field has a heated playing surface, although it is used when the field is frozen, not to melt snow. The field was not frozen, and to use the heating coils would have created an even sloppier playing surface.

        http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10104386/winter-weather-impacts-nfl-multiple-games-sunday

        http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/12/09/when-snow-suddenly-arrives-linc-grounds-crew-calls-an-audible/

        • G_WallyHunter

          Thanks for the clarity. I knew Pereira didn’t sound confident in his response, he probably just wanted to keep it simple (or he didn’t know what he was talking about). Makes complete sense now why they didn’t clear it, there was way too much, unlike in Baltimore.

    • GW.Fisher

      League rule prohibited any plowing at halftime.

      • theycallmerob

        not true, see below; it was a stadium/team decision

        • Brian

          Just keep re-posting. It will stick, eventually.

  • theycallmerob

    Killer ending, Tim

    • Adam

      He had to fit his dig at Foles in there somewhere

      • Andy124

        That was a dig?

        • Adam

          No

          • Andy124

            So this is what it’s like to be on the other side. lol

          • Adam

            I like to pick on McManus for his anti-Foles agenda

          • GEAGLE

            McManus needs to stop thinking that the law of averages will make us lose…F LAWS, use your eyes…we ain’t losing another regular season game McManus. Take that to the Bank

          • GEAGLE

            It’s not his fault FOles can never play QB for Chip offense :)

    • BlindChow

      By the end of the week, I bet someone (who will remain anon) will once again be talking about how the run game doesn’t work with Foles.

      • Justin

        You’re implying any of those people still come here.

      • Andy124

        lmao.

      • theycallmerob

        well. done.

    • GEAGLE

      NAILED IT!..
      ..

  • G_WallyHunter

    How about this meltdown happening before our eyes in DC?
    Gotta love it, Skins got up to the top step of the stairs so they could be kicked back down into the basement for years to come. Crap franchise and it starts at the top with their Crap owner.

    • Chris

      I hope the Skins keep Snyder and the Boys keep Jerrah as long as they live

      • ftotheyu

        Yeah the Redskins and Cowboys are jokes. I do respect NYG though; I think they have a decent organization and are worthy rivals to us.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Lucky for us, they’re both the owners, one with GM duties (Does Snyder do GM duties too?), so they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon (unless one passes away), especially with the value of their assets (Dallas is worth 2.3bil, Redskins worth 1.7bil, Eagles at 1.314bil).
        Let’s take this moment to be thankful for the owner of the Eagles.

    • jon h

      well, let’s hope they have one good game left in them…the one against Dallas

  • Tom W

    I am just amazed about how Chip has gotten all these young guys, old vets, and new guys on the same page and has them “buying in” and “investing” as he coins it to this program.

    Foles shouldn’t be this composed and accurate and heady in the pocket. He shows no signs of getting rattled w extra pressure in the pocket. may make a bad throw here or there but not many and gets rid of the ball and almost always make the right decision.

    The dline should not be this good this soon … new system, young guys … cox and thornton learning new positions new techniques .. logan brand spanking new .. curry…

    The entire defense should be playing much worse …. you don’t revamp and entire system, add 7 new starters, and play this well this quickly. Davis.

    Im just amazed and in awe of the program Chip has put together .. from the individual coach selections, sports science, common sense coaching, adjustments, talent evaluation, game plans, player development …. all top notch.

    Even if we don’t make playoffs and get bombed by the cowboys (aint happenin) I couldn’t be more thrilled that we landed on maybe a once in a generation coach. We got something here that could be very special. Kudos to Howie for staying on him and landing his guy after everyone else gave up. Single best move he ever made.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Very well said, couldn’t agree more. I think we DID land a once in a generation coach, will be proved when he wins COTY award, and is too humble to accept it himself, so makes 24 replicas to give to his biggest staff in the league

      • ftotheyu

        Yep. Can you imagine if we had hired Gus Bradley? We’d be like the Jacksonville Jaguars. UGH.

        • Justin

          Be fair, our team has way more talent than the Jags.

        • Clamdigger

          The Jags are looking up! =P

    • Justin

      In regards to Dallas: You wouldn’t believe the number of Cowboys fans that seem to think they will beat us in week 17. The only reason they got a W earlier in the year is because Foles played like he was auditioning for Space Jam: NFL Edition. This team is vastly improved from where it had been in week 7, and these clowns think they’ll sweep us? I hope my prediction is right: Eagles walk into that game 10-5, Dallas at 8-7. Let them realize how irrelevant the game is, yet we’ll STILL blow them out. I hate Dallas.

      • Adam

        Man my Cowgirl fan friends aren’t confident at ALL. They’re not even confident about the game tonight.

        • DirtyWaters

          I don’t have Cowboy fan friends.

          • Adam

            Fortunately they’re not diehards, just casual fans. Mainly hockey folk up this way.

          • DirtyWaters

            Are they Canada’s team too?

          • Adam

            Around here (Nova Scotia) it’s mainly Pats fans. Lots of ties to the NE States. Sprinkle in some Bills fans as well.

          • DirtyWaters

            Soon as I get out of here, I’m doing the big dirty. You find one big job do it right – no witnesses. ‘Cause witnesses give up your prescription to the police. ….sorry. I can’t think of Nova Scotia without thinking Trailer Park Boys.

          • Adam

            Our proudest export.

            That’s me on the right.

          • DirtyWaters

            Totally wanna party with Bubbles. Your street cred just went up 18%.

          • Adam

            All the boys walk around the city in character. I’ve ran into just about all of them. If they’re dressed up character you can go up and shoot the shit with them. They’re all great guys. Lahey and Bubs are tops on my list.

          • Michael Deen

            Bubbles!!!! I also get immense joy from watching Randy and his cheeseburger antics…

          • Maggie

            All around Lake Ontario there are many Bills fans, many of whom are season ticket holders. That’s why the Bills play a game per year in Toronto. A kind of reward. And in the Greater Vancouver area, there are many Seahawks fans. It’s only about a 2-hour drive. That’s why Richard Sherman was doing an appearance at a school in a suburb of Vancouver when he made his comments about numerous drug users in the NFL. It was odd at the time that the NFL Network said they asked the local reporter for a transcript, when the interview was on local TV!

          • GoBirds1

            Hockey Fans that are Dallas fans, you some f,ed up friends. Who did they cheer for the Dallas NorthStars??? Vv

          • Adam

            Lord no. Leafs through and through. Here you’re either a Leafs or Habs fan, and you’ll fight anyone in the other group.

          • DirtyWaters

            Cindy Crosby fans?

          • Adam

            Eh, for his heriocs at the Olympics.. and he’s a local.. but even most people here don’t like him.

          • G_WallyHunter

            ET LE BUUUTTTTTTT!!

          • Kristopher Cebula

            Probably Penguins, Red Wings, or Devils. Whoever has the most championships

        • Justin

          Cowboys fan I work with texted me last night saying he doesn’t see the Eagles losing another game, and that this Eagles team is for real. He’s the only Cowboys fan I’ve seen say that.

          • cliff henny

            not all are idiots. if he’s from dallas/fort worth, most of them are pretty good fans. it’s the jerkoffs born and raised in philly that give cowboy fans a bad rep. either liked the star, bandwagon’d jimmy’s team, my father likes cowboys cause he served with staubach-navy ties, or just fans to piss off locals.

        • jon h

          and the giants basically played against barkley.

        • nicksaenz1

          They shouldn’t have been. They’re getting spanked!

      • DirtyWaters

        Some people will get their wish and see Vick play…because we’ll be resting Foles for the playoffs.

      • cliff henny

        be great to have division wrapped up…but i would love to see chipper and crew get another healthy shot at kiffen’s defense. just blow the f’n doors off…watch the cowboys unravel at eagles hands. either way, i’m good

      • UncleCarm

        Dallas Sucks

    • OregonDucker

      Now you know what many of us in Oregon know. Enjoy the ride!

  • Max Lightfoot

    Has anyone noticed that in the above photo that Chip Kelly looks like a slightly gone-to-seed Janis Joplin? Love the man, but just sayin’ …

    http://johannasvisions.com/today-janis-joplin-passed-away-in-1970-42-years-ago/

  • trixman

    A colleague texted me during the game that Chip Kelly looked like the Emperor from Star Wars. After seeing this photo, I have to agree. The Lions’ feeble skills were no match for the power of the Dark Side.

    • EaglePete

      ok wait, Ive read an emperor, a Janis Joplin, a bubbles and a Shia Lebeouf reference in this thread, good stuff.

  • Kevin

    I keep hearing how the field limited Megatron… But Bumblebee (Coop) and Jazz (D-Jax) had good days and better numbers… So which is it, is our defense good? Is Foles better than Stafford? Are coop and d-Jax better than Johnson? Did we hide all the energon? Do the lions suck that much? We all played on the same field, under the same conditions… Can we just drop all of the slippery surface stuff… As it should have aided both offenses.

    • Justin

      You’re going to have to explain Bumblebee to me.

      • Adam

        Transformers!

        • Justin

          I…I don’t….

          • BlindChow

            More than meets the eye?

        • DirtyWaters

          Likes to cruise around with Shia Labeouf?

          • Andy124

            Likes to cruise around with Shia Labeouf Megan Fox?

          • Adam

            Strikeout FAIL

          • Andy124

            Already fixed. Might need to refresh. Not sure.

    • Eagledelphia

      “Did we hide all the energon” props to you for that one

  • TNA

    If you throw in Celek’s slide at the end of the game as a 20+ yd touchdown (as it was, it went for 27 yds – could’ve been 37 YD touchdown pass), the Eagles have 20 big-play TDs. That’s a lot of big plays – and one of the reasons this team is exciting to watch from a purely fan’s perspective. This team is very very easy to root for, top to bottom because they’re self-aware, they work their tails off, they’re smart and they’re talented.

  • Media Mike

    The big plays have been exciting to watch. There is nothing better than high fiving a room full of friends when Shady busts one long or D-Jax gets behind the D for a long TD!

    • DirtyWaters

      And ripping their throats out?

      • Media Mike

        I’m thinking more of a “Temple of Doom” style grab and pull of the heart of Terry Bradshaw in punishment for his selection of the Cowboys to win the game.

  • theycallmerob

    @oregonducker: this one’s for you! another image to add to your collection soon enough:

    McCoy’s jersey, gloves, and cleats will be making their way to Canton, Ohio.
    http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2013/12/9/5193272/lesean-mccoys-record-breaking-game-worn-gear-being-sent-to-the-pro

    • EaglePete

      oh ya, “Joining Foles is now Eagles running back LeSean McCoy after his performance”

      Okay after last season, did anyone think anything about the 2013 Eagles and Canton would be uttered in the same sentence……..twice

      • Media Mike

        Brandon Graham is going in next for 10 sacks of Romo in the season ending game!

    • OregonDucker

      Thank You theycallmerob!

      Another MAGNIFICENT BASTARD inducted into the Hall of Honor. Can you believe this season? We are witness to something special in all phases of Eagles ball. This is a season to cherish for life!

    • Maggie

      Too bad the entire Oline plus all the receivers and TE’s blocking couldn’t go too. And maybe Stoutland.

  • Eagle_NorCal

    Vick said early in the year that he wished Kelly was his coach his whole career. Foles basically has that opportunity. Plus I get the impression that Kelly kind of fell for Foles when they were both in the college ranks. Kelly covets a tough guy and Foles fits the bill. Kelly said recently he’s surprised whenever Foles makes a mistake -that’s quite a compliment. If the two of them can stay together for a number of years, some amazing things may happen.