OREGON DUCKS NFL STYLE

    OK…SO THE CHIP KELLY ERA WITH THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES OFFICIALLY BEGAN ON MONDAY EVENING IN WASHINGTON.  EVERYONE THAT HAS SAW ANY TYPE OF GAME FOOTAGE FROM CHIP’S DAYS AT OREGON, WHERE HE MADE THE DUCKS A PERENNIAL POWERHOUSE IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL, HAS SAW HOW CHIP’S STYLE OF OFFENSE CAN COMPLETELY DOMINATE A FOOTBALL GAME.  HOWEVER, THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION WAS HOW HIS “SPREAD” OFFENSE WOULD TRANSITION INTO THE NFL.  UNLIKE COLLEGE, WHERE THERE IS AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF PLAYERS TO USE IN AN ENTIRE GAME…AND ALSO WHERE THE DROP OFF FROM STARTER TO RESERVE IS NOT THAT LARGE, THE NFL HAS A LIMITED ROSTER AND THE DROP OFF FROM THE STAR PLAYERS TO THE RESERVES IS ENORMOUS.  MOREOVER, THE EAGLES DID NOT TIP OFF ANY SECRETS DURING THE PRESEASON AS THEY RAN A MORE TRADITIONAL OFFENSE.

     SO MONDAY NIGHT WAS A MONUMENTAL NIGHT, NOT ONLY FOR THE EAGLES, BUT ALSO FOR THE NFL.  THROUGHOUT HISTORY, THERE HAVE BEEN MANY DIFFERENT OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE SCHEMES THAT HAVE COME TO FRUITION.  WE HAD BILL WALSH, THE FATHER OF THE “WEST COAST OFFENSE”, THAT WAS CREATED DURING THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS DOMINANCE IN THE EIGHTIES THROUGH THE NINETIES.  SO MANY COACHES AROUND THE LEAGUE OF THE PAST AND PRESENT WERE BY PRODUCTS OF THAT OFFENSIVE STYLE AND WERE GROOMED BY WALSH.  MIKE HOLMGREN, JOHN GRUDEN, ANDY REID, RAY RHOADS, AND STEVE MARIUCCI ARE JUST A FEW THAT COME TO MIND.  WE ALSO HAD THE “RUN AND SHOOT” WITH THE HOUSTON OILERS AND BUFFALO BILLS OF THE LATE EIGHTIES AND EARLY NINETIES.  THEN WE HAD THE SAINT LOUIS RAMS, BEHIND KURT WARNER, MARSHALL FAULK, TORY HOLT, AND MORE THAT BROUGHT THE RUN AND SHOOT TO A NEW LEVEL WITH MORE OF  A “HURRY-UP” OFFENSE.  HOWEVER, NONE OF THESE OFFENSES COME CLOSE TO THE COMPLEXITY OF CHIP KELLY’S “SPREAD OFFENSE”…OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE OREGON DUCK OFFENSE.

     LAST NIGHT THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES KEPT WASHINGTON’S DEFENSE ON ITS TOES AND KEPT FANS ON THE EDGE OF THEIR SEATS FROM THE FIRST SNAP.  DURING THE FIRST HALF, THE EAGLES OFFENSE RAN 53 PLAYS WHICH WAS THE MOST IN THE FIRST HALF SINCE THE 1998 VIKINGS, WHO RAN 56 PLAYS.  THE NFL RECORD FOR PLAYS IN A GAME WAS 93, OF WHICH ONLY THREE TEAMS HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.  THE NFL AVERAGE IN 2012 FOR OFFENSIVE PLAYS WAS 64.  THE PATRIOTS LEAD THE LEAGUE WITH 74.  THE EAGLES ENDED THE GAME WITH 77 TOTAL OFFENSIVE PLAYS, NOT BAD FOR AN OFFENSE ON IT’S FIRST GAME TOGETHER.  THE EAGLES ACTUALLY RAN 19 OFFENSIVE PLAYS BEFORE RGIII EVEN TOOK THE FIELD.  OF COURSE, THERE WAS A CONTROVERSIAL TURNOVER ON THE FIRST DRIVE OF THE GAME, WHERE MICHAEL VICK WAS CALLED FOR A FUMBLE THAT THE REDSKINS PICKED UP AND RAN BACK FOR A TOUCHDOWN.  THIS CHIP KELLY OFFENSE WAS SO FAST PACED, NOT ONLY USING NO HUDDLE AND HURRY-UP TECHNIQUES, BUT ASLO MULTIPLE FORMATIONS AND SPREADS.  AT ONE POINT, THE EAGLES LEFT AND RIGHT TACKLES WERE FLANKED OUT WIDE AS RECEIVERS WITH THREE DOWN LINEMAN AND MICHAEL VICK IN THE SHOTGUN.  I AM NOT SURE I HAVE EVER SAW ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN MY TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS OF WATCHING NFL FOOTBALL.

     SO EAGLES FANS AND PLAYERS ALIKE HAD TO BE THRILLED WITH WHAT THEY SAW LAST NIGHT.  JUST IMAGINE IF THE EAGLES HAD MORE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS, DON’T FORGET THEY ARE MISSING THEIR NUMBER ONE RECEIVER JEREMY MACLIN.  ANOTHER CRAZY STAT LAST NIGHT WAS THE FACT THAT THE EAGLES RAN THE BALL 49 TIMES, WHICH WAS THE MOST SINCE 1997.  ANDY REID COACHED THIS TEAM FOR FOURTEEN YEARS AND THE EAGLES NEVER RAN THE BALL THAT MANY TIMES.  IN FACT, UNDER ANDY REID, THE MOST TIMES THE EAGLES EVER RAN THE BALL IN A GAME WAS 37 TIMES AND THAT WAS INCLUDING GAMES THAT DONOVAN MCNABB RAN THE BALL.  LeSEAN McCOY RAN 31 TIMES FOR 184 YARDS WHIUCH WAS ONE SHY OF HIS CAREER HIGH.  AT HALFTIME, THE EAGLES HAD 21 FIRST DOWNS WHICH EQUALED THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF OFFENSIVE PLAYS THAT THE REDSKINS HAD MADE.  DESEAN JACKSON HAD SEVEN CATCHES FOR 104 YARDS AND A TOUCHDOWN, HIS SIXTEENTH 100 YARD PERFORMANCE, WHICH IS ALREADY FIFTH ALL-TIME FOR THE EAGLES IN HIS STILL YOUNG CAREER.  THE GAME ALSO FEATURED A BRENT CELEK TOUCHDOWN AS ANOTHER CALLING CARD OF THE “CHIP STYLE” OFFENSE IS THE FEATURE OF THE TIGHT END.  MICHAEL VICK ALSO RAN FOR A TOUCHDOWN AND DID NOT TURN THE BALL OVER, WHICH WAS HIS FIRST ERROR FREE GAME SINCE HIS 2010 COMEBACK SEASON.

     THE  EAGLES PERFORMANCE DID NOT COME MISTAKE FREE.  THE OFFENSIVE LINE, ALTHOUGH THEY DID LOOK BETTER THAN LAST SEASON, STILL LOOKED SHAKY AT TIMES.  MICHAEL VICK WAS SACKED THREE TIMES AND HIT HARD TEN PLUS TIMES.  SO THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS.  CAN THIS HIGH FLY OFFENSE MAINTAIN SUCCESS THROUGH A BRUTAL 16 GAME SEASON AND POSSIBLE PLAYOFF RUN?  CAN MICHAEL VICK SUSTAIN A HEALTHY SEASON IF THE LINE CANT DO A BETTER JOB IN BLOCKING.  CENTER JASON KELCE, THE EAGLES SMALLEST LINEMAN, ADMITTED TO NEEDING AN OXYGEN MASK WHICH WAS HIS FIRST TIME SINCE COLLEGE.  SO YES, THERE ARE STILL QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW FAR THIS OFFENSE CAN GO BEFORE BURNING OUT.  CAN DESEAN JACKSON, A SMALLER TYPE RECEIVER, REMAIN HEALTHY FOR A SIXTEEN GAME PERIOD?  IN  CONCLUSION, THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS THAT REMAIN.

     NONETHELESS, THE FIRST GAME OF THE CHIP KELLY ERA PROVIDED EXCELLENT ENTERTAINMENT AND AN EXPLOSIVE OFFENSIVE OUTPUT.  THE SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR A TEAM THAT HAS WEAPONS SUCH AS THE EAGLES.  MICHAEL VICK, LeSEAN McCOY, AND DESEAN JACKSON PROVIDE THREE DYNAMIC OFFENSIVE PLAYERS THAT CAN PUT UP RECORD NUMBERS IF THEY MAINTAIN SUCCESS.  I AM SURE THAT ONCE THE SEASON GOES ON, WE WILL FIND MORE PLAYERS THAT STEP UP INCLUDING THE TIGHT END’S BRENT CELEK AND ZACK ERTZ.  AND AS HIS REIGN CONTINUES, CHIP WILL BE ABLE TO ADD MORE OF “HIS PLAYERS”, PLAYERS THAT HE KNOWS WILL FIT THIS OFFENSE.  WELL, SO MUCH ABOUT THE OFFENSE HERE…WE CANNOT FORGET ABOUT THE DEFENSE.  ALTHOUGH THE GAME BECAME CLOSE AT THE END, THE EAGLE’S DEFENSE LOOKED MUCH MORE MALIGNED.  THE RUN DEFENSE WAS STELLAR, AS THEY HELD STAR RUNNING BACK ALFRED MORRIS TO UNDER 75 YARDS TOTAL.  THEY ALSO CREATED TWO TURNOVERS, WITH TWO INTERCEPTIONS.  DURING LAST YEAR, THE EAGLES ONLY HAD THIRTEEN TOTAL TURNOVERS.  SO THE DEFENSE GOT A B- GRADE FROM ME.  ALL IN ALL, THE FIRST GAME WAS A HUGE SUCCESS AND GIVES US A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE FROM THE “OREGON DUCK!”  THIS COULD BE EXTREMELY EXCITING AND EXPLOSIVE.  THIS WAS THE MOST FAST TEMPO I HAVE EVER SAW.  STAY TUNED…..ImageImage