Most NFL fans were impressed with Chip Kelly’s new offense last Monday night. At least, the offense that built a 33-7 early in the 3rd quarter. The final score, 33-27 , resulting in an Eagles win was a combination of the Washington defense stepping up and Robert Griffin III dusting off the rust and being able to rally his team.
Quarterback Michael Vick looked good in his first regular season start in Kelly’s brand new offense, he completed 15 of 25 passes for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns. He looked like the same Vick in Atlanta when he took the League by storm soon after being drafted out of Virginia Tech in 2001.
The common denominator? He wasn’t slinging it as many times as he did last year when he attempted 35 passes a game. That’s way too many and Andy Reid was in love with throwing the ball during his tenure in Philadelphia. Vick also ran 9 times for 54 yards and another TD. Most of his rushing yards were the result of a long 36 yard run.
LeSean McCoy also seemed to benefit from Kelly’s offense, he ran for 184 yards on 31 carries and a 34 yard TD. “The tempo really worked,” McCoy said to ESPN. “I don’t think anyone has seen it that fast.”
The offense ran 74 offensive plays, but Kelly wasn’t happy with it.
“I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you,” Kelly told ESPN. “I’m not joking. We’ve got to do a better job. We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn’t get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a proces between plays. That’s something we need to continue to work on.”
And his QB felt the same way. “We’ve got to keep working. There are a lot of mistakes we made,” Vick said to ESPN. “I think (in) the second half, we got a little bit sloppy.”
The Chargers had the opposite problem on Monday night, they choked away a 28-7 lead against the Houston Texans and ultimately lost, 31-28. Hiring head coach Mike McCoy didn’t replace the bad karma left over from previous coach Norv Turner.
QB Philip Rivers completed 14 of 29 passes for 195 yards, including 4 TD’s (tying a career best in a single game) and an interception, but his 48.3 completion percentage was only better than Blaine Gabbert’s 45.7%. Not good, not good at all. And his yards per attempts (6.72) are still MIA after Vincent Jackson departed to Tampa Bay as a free agent in March of 2012.
Maybe, just maybe Rivers is past his prime, he is 31 years old and has taken his share of hits over his 10 year career. Regardless, he needs to play better or the Chargers may very well decide to head in a different direction after this season ends.
But, there’s still a lot of football to be played in 2013 and the Eagles defense looked remarkably better last week than they did all of last year. At least, until Robert Griffin III put on his Superman cape and tried to rescue the Hogs, but a lot of that was the Eagles playing a Prevent defense. The run defense allowed just 74 yards on 18 carries.
San Diego’s defense needs to step up big time if they are to have any luck against Kelly’s offense. And judging by their game against the Texans, luck is in short supply for the Chargers.
–The last time the 2 teams played, SD won at home, 31-23. But, the Chargers are 0-6 vs NFC opponents on the road.
-Rookie LB Manti Te’o is out with a foot injury, defensive linemen Corey Liuget (shoulder) and Sean Lissemore (elbow) are probable, as is strong safety Brandon Taylor (knee).
-Cornerback Bradley Fletcher (concussion) and offensive lineman Dennis Kelly (back) are both out for this game.
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