What They’re Saying About the Eagles

A lot of people are saying a lot of things about Chip Kelly’s debut in the NFL. Here’s a roundup.

Grantland’s Charles P. Pierce offers his thoughts on Kelly:

So, it is entirely possible that, by the fourth week of the season, what Chip Kelly has wrought with the Philadelphia Eagles may either already be edging into obsolescence, or strangled through by natural attrition of the game, as Kelly tries to make it work with whoever’s well down the depth chart behind LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. But, for one night — the opening night of Monday Night Football — the Eagles got to go out there against the Washington Ethnic Degradations and reinvent the game … for a couple of hours, anyway.

The Eagles jumped 11 spots to No. 14 in ESPN.com’s power rankings:

Michael Vick was an effective caretaker of the read-option Monday, running 41 zone-read rushes. Philly’s 245 zone-read rush yards were the most in a game in the past five years.

ESPN.com’s Gregg Easterbrook on Kelly and the Eagles’ offense:

Inevitably, Philadelphia will need to adjust as NFL defenses learn to counter what Kelly does. In the first half on Monday night, Washington played defense as if in a two-minute drill — backed-off and spread out. Philadelphia did much of its damage by rushing against a backed-off defense that was focused on preventing long gains. Kelly’s Oregon offense ran up the middle more than generally realized; against Washington, the Eagles threw 25 times and rushed 49 times. Last season, Stanford held Oregon to 14 points by taking away up-the-middle run lanes. NFL defensive coordinators will learn to do this to the Eagles, and that will bring the Blur under control.

In an MMQB column, Peter King weighs in on Kelly’s debut:

What a fun night Monday was for the future of football. Unless, of course, you’re a fan of Washington, and/or its star quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Fun is more plays, more chances for scoring explosions. And in the first quarter, playing at breakneck pace, Philadelphia quarterback Mike Vick ran 30 snaps and put Chip Kelly in the forefront of American football innovation.

Will he stay there? Time will tell. Maybe an enterprising defensive coordinator will find holes in the Eagles’ offense, and find a way to break through the zone-blocking scheme protecting Vick to disrupt his play-managing and -making. Defensive coordinators always figure things out—just look how first-year Eagles coordinator Billy Davis frustrated Griffin Monday night.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com bumps the Eagles up seven spots to No. 16 in his power rankings:

The Patriots ran a league-high 89 offensive plays on Sunday and the Eagles were on pace to destroy that after posting 53 in the first half alone, but they had just 24 in the second half for a total of 77 on the game. For comparison purposes, the Redskins ran 70 plays.

Field Yates of ESPN.com on the Eagles’ offense:

What Monday night also reminded us all of is that the Eagles have a trio of supremely talented players in Vick, McCoy and Jackson (all of whom disappointed in 2012) who are simply spectacular in space. Kelly’s offense will afford them extensive opportunities to play in space and make the most of those gifts, suggesting each is due for a big year provided they can stay healthy and, in the case of Vick, avoid turnovers.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com moves the Eagles up 10 spots to No. 15:

Chip Kelly sure has brought excitement to the Eagles offense. It is fast, fun and explosive. Can they sustain it?

Prisco gives the Eagles a B+ for their Week 1 performance:

The offense was as dynamic as expected from Chip Kelly in his first game. LeSean McCoy had a huge night. The defense had a good first half.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com has the Eagles at 15 too:

A rookie head coach a new system on offense and defense it will take some time. They capitalized on early turnovers by the Skins. Can they keep up that pace all season long?

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com moves the Eagles up 11 spots to No. 15:

So many bright spots to point out here, yet two under-the-radar things shone through: Trent Cole looks good at linebacker on that Eagles defense. The other? Effort. Kelly has this football team playing for him; just consider how Jason Avant sold out to convert a third down late in the game. Playing hard never gets old, even as Kelly continues to reinvent offensive football.

Chris Ryan of Grantland says Kelly is making football fun again in Philly:

Last night the Eagles beat the Redskins on Monday Night Football, 33-27. They won the game with a slim margin of victory, but in terms of how hard I fell in love with this team, it was a landslide. Football games can be long and arduous, and to be sure, with an approximately four-hour running time, and a dragging final one and a half quarters, this game felt that way by the end. But during the first half, and the very beginning of the second, Chip Kelly and the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Team took us on a journey.

Ross Jones of FoxSports.com on Kelly:

Kelly had a dilemma when deciding to ditch Eugene, Ore. for the bright lights of the NFL. Leave a known commodity and a proven winner that pumps out first-round talent into the NFL Draft or take his outside-the-box philosophies into the league. You know the story, but Kelly’s immediate success in the league is remarkable.

Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com warns to slow down on the Eagles hype:

Let’s pump the brakes on this bandwagon, and we say that after predicting the Eagles would beat the Redskins Monday night. (We also have them finishing second in the NFC East.) The reason? It’s not because we don’t think Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense can’t work — clearly, it can — but because of something much more mundane: injuries.

And finally, the guys over at The700Level.com have photos of the Rocky and Philly Phanatic play-call signs.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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