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

2013 NFL PLAYOFFS

Ok…so here we are…the NFL 2012 Playoffs! Wow, it seems like just yesterday I did my post on The Philadelphia Eagles and the fact that every year we as fans anticipate a Superbowl Win. Well, lets just say this season did not work out as well as the Eagles Organization or any of its fans had thought. In fact they had their worst season since 1998 going 4-12. Andy Reid was fired and has since signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs with the title of Head Coach and Vice President of Football Operations. We all wish him luck in the AFC. However, I am not just an Eagles fan I am also a Football Fan. And as we move forward…it’s that time of year again where we get to analyze the playoffs and the first week known as Wild Card Weekend starting with Wild Card Saturday. The First Week Byes went to the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos in the AFC and the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC. We will get to those teams at a later date. Today we will analyze the Saturday and Sunday Wildcard Teams. The first game begins in just a bit with the Bengals go on the road to face the Texans. This is two teams going in different directions. Houston started this season at 11-1. However, they struggled down the stretch and lost Home Field throughout the playoffs as well as the Bye. So at 12-4, most people would say that the Texans are the clear favorite in this game. Well, if there is any chance of an upset, the Bengals have the BEST chance to upset. The Bengals have been stellar down the stretch as Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have carried the offense. But it is the Bengals Defense that carries this team. The Houston Texans are also blessed on the Defensive side of the Football. J.J. Watt had 21.5 Sacks and Gino Atkins had 12.5. Together these two players make the best Defensive Tackle Duo in the NFL. On Offense the Texans are lead by the rushing of Arian Foster and Matt Schaub. Schaub has been very inconsistent and probably thanks God every week that he has an awesome Wide Receiver in Andre Johnson. The Bengals on Defense are lead by their pass rush also but their Defensive Backs are very underrated. In this first game I am taking the Bengals to upset. Possibly 24-21. Ok onto the second game. The Minnesota Vikings travel to face the Green Bay Packers in a chilly Lam beau Field! So…we have the perennial MVP favorite and former Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers for the Green Bay Packers facing the NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson who came 7 yards from breaking The NFL rushing record of Eric Dickerson with 2,097 yards! Not only was he the Rushing King, but he may be this year’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year and also possibly the MVP favorite! Yes that’s right, a lot of people thought that Peterson would lose a step after his season ending knee surgery. It has been anything but that, Peterson has been miraculous. He looks like Earl Campbell in his prime running over and through every one in his way. He has single handedly put the Vikings on his back. Green Bay will get its best Defensive Back inserted into the lineup, as Charles Woodson will suit up for the first time since Week 7. Woodson is a game changer. We know all about the Packers Offensive Assault behind Aaron Rodgers and all those talented receivers and his Tight End. The Vikings also get a Defensive Back, Antoine Winfield back into the lineup which should help. When Winfield went down, Rodgers picked apart the Vikings secondary. Ok, the season series was tied. Peterson rushed for over 400 yards in two games against the Packers. However, this is Green Bay and this is the Playoffs. I am taking Green Bay to beat the Vikings despite a hard fought game and another 100 yard rushing game in this one. Packers win by at least a Touchdown.
Ok, now lets go to the games tomorrow. The Surprising Indianapolis Colts under interim Coach Bruce Aryans will face the Baltimore Ravens. Well, this could be the last hurrah for Ray Lewis as he returns from a regular season ending injury. Never count out the Ravens Defense and their Offense had stepped it up tremendously with Joe Flacco. Ten Colts on the other hand are lead by the Rookie Quarterback Andrew Luck and the reinspired Wide Receiving Corps. Indy has also had a strong Defense. As well as Luck has played…his luck runs out tomorrow as the Ravens win this one 21-17. And finally we have the 2 Most Surprising Playoff Teams. We have the Seattle Seahawks on the Road to face the Washington Redskins. Ok…well both of these teams could have the Rookie of the Year Candidates at Quarterback. RJ 3 has been better than anticipated while Russell Wilson has come out of nowhere to Lead the Seahawks. Washington has a great running game behind Alfred Morris as he was among the NFL rushing leaders all season. RJ3 has been more than incredible Throwing 20 Touchdowns and only Five Interceptions. He also rushed for over 800 yards. RJ3 may be better than all the past prototypical Quarterbacks such as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham and so forth as he is a stellar athlete, but he can also read Defenses. Russell Wilson has been Red Hot! He has thrown for over 3,000 yards on his first season whole throwing 26 Touchdowns and 10 Picks! Combine that with almost 500 more yards and 4 rushing TD’s and we may have the most prolific Rookie Quarterback ever. These two teams feature star QB’s, but they also have good Defenses, especially Seattle. The Seahawks also bolster a Tough Running Game with the Rock Marshawn Lynch. Although the Redskins are favored at home, I am taking the Seattle Seahawks to win a nail biter as they are also my Superbowl pick from the NFC. So to recap…my picks to move on are the Bengals, Packers, Ravens, and Seahawks. Stay tuned to a full review and an analysis on next weeks match ups. BTW, The Eagles better sign a Defensive Minded Coach! Signing off!

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