Beyond the Bison: "That's all there is to it?"

Julian Dorey

Senior Writer

Well that didn’t take long. 

Chip Kelly and his dynamic football acumen took the National Football League (NFL) by storm on Sept. 9 with a breathtaking offensive performance. On a night that was supposed to be a media-driven moment of honor for Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III, it was the wily-old veteran Michael Vick that took the bull by the horns.

Vick was sensational, throwing for 203 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a running score in the first half. As it would turn out, that was all the Eagles would really need. A quick Griffin interception in the second half led to one more Eagles touchdown, and a 33-7 lead that the Redskins had no hope of overcoming.

For months now the NFL has been anxiously waiting for and debating about what would become of the mad scientist, college coach Kelly’s collegiate “track meet” style of football.

After just one game, Kelly has everyone and their mother hopping on his bandwagon. His team’s first-half offensive explosion featured 53 plays from the scrimmage. 53. The entire NFL averaged 64 plays per game last season. 

Not only did this tempo seem to fuel Vick’s game, but veterans LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson looked absolutely rejuvenated after injury-riddled seasons a year ago. McCoy was making video-game moves from the first snap last night, and the Eagles’ speed of play only made tackling him all the more difficult. He had 115 rushing yards at the half and finished with 184 for the game.

Jackson seemed to be running alone in space the entire first half. Not only could the Redskin defenders not stay with him, but the range of routes he was running was something else. For most of his career, Jackson was poorly misused by former Head Coach Andy Reid, and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Despite Jackson’s small figure, he has strengths in route running and good hands in addition to his speed. For the first five years of his career, his coaches were so dead-set on using him as a deep ball decoy every play that the poor guy has not consistently been able to use his speed in five-yard slant situations since college.

After just one game that seems to be a thing of the past.

Some are worried that the offensive linemen will not be able to hold up throughout games this season because of the game speed. Kelly acknowledged that they will certainly get tired, just not as tired as the opposing defense.

Based on the evidence, he might just be right. There are 15 games to go this season and 12 new teams that will have their shot at slowing down the Eagles. Time will tell if Kelly’s mentality is a fad or a new football virtue.

One thing’s for sure, though—every week is going to be pure entertainment in some form of the word.

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