Surprise, it worked! Chip Kelly’s offense was near perfect last night, especially in the 1st half. The Eagles outscored the Redskins 26 -7 in the first 30 minutes and the Skins 7 points came via the defense so it was all Philly in the beginning. They ran 53 plays so maybe they were spent during the second half because Washington came back and outscored Philadelphia 20 – 7.
The Eagles did hang on to win the game 33 – 27. So as great as the offense looked during Monday Night Football, the question is will it last given the second half drop off? This is a deep question so I’ll just hit the major points and paraphrase. Before that allow me to say that the Eagles looked fantastic offensively and the system can work if Vick stays healthy. Another quick thing that should not be overlooked is that Jim Haslett, the Redskins defensive coordinator made some fantastic adjustments to deal with the fast paced Philly offense and RGIII finally settled in during the 2nd half after seeing his first game action since early January. Here are some of the pros and cons of this system.
- It’s fast paced so it keeps the defense off balanced in a variety of ways.
- First it doesn’t allow the defense to make substitutions so players on the field are tired.
- It also doesn’t enable the defense to call in proper plays and have a second to think about the situation. Therefore you have a great deal of miscommunication on the field between the players and what their assignments are.
- The offense gains momentum and confidence after each successful down which keeps them motivated to get to the line and run another play.
- It can also destroy a defense long term throughout the course of the game as they are now having to play on average about 25 – 35 more plays per contest then they are used to in conventional offensive systems.
- It’s easier and less tiring on the big guys playing the offensive line as opposed to the oppositions defensive line. The major reason for this is because the O – Line does a lot less running around then the defensive line. In this fast paced, quick passing and running offense, the offensive line doesn’t have to move as much because their job is over quickly. On the other hand you have the defensive line chasing down running backs and scrambling quarterbacks all over the field. Then 20 seconds later they need to line up and be ready to go.
- A fast paced offense means that your own offensive players are going to get tired as well. Maybe not as badly as the defense but it certainly has an effect. The Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half with 21 first downs which is ridiculous in the sense that it’s nearly impossible unless you have the ball for the entire first 30 minutes. It was obvious that the offense was gassed throughout the course of the game as evident by LeSean McCoy needing several breathers since he touched the ball just about every minute the offense was on the field. So while it does tire out the defense and keep them off balance, it can have the same effect on the offense. An example of that could be when Vick threw a pass behind the line of scrimmage that DeAngelo Hall returned for a touchdown. You could perhaps attribute that to the hurry up style the Eagles are now running.
- The Eagles own defense may feel the effects of the offensive style of play as well. If the Eagles offense is playing poorly during a particular game and have a lot of 3 & outs and/or quick unsuccessful drives that lead to punts, then the defense will be on the field a lot and the reverse effect can take place where you tire out your own team. It’s a tough thing to manage and it accounts for a deep talented roster.
- It didn’t effect the Eagles last night as they were in Washington D.C. but the communication could be tough on the road with the crowd noise and other variables that may contribute to offensive issues.
- The opposing defense, as displayed last night, will fake an injury to slow down the offense and give the defense a break for a couple of minutes. That’s the only way to slow down the offense because the Eagles were still running their plays with 20 seconds on the play clock after incompleted passes, penalties and negative plays. The Eagles offense will keep the fast paced offense going no matter what the situation with two exceptions. One is they’re running out the clock and the only other reason would be that it’s not working.
- The long lasting effects of this type of offense would scare me if I were an eagles fan. How will the offense feel physically in week 9, 12 or 17. This offense may wear down and probably will at some point as NFL players aren’t used to running this style of offense.
- Speaking of length of time on the field and multiple extra plays than they’re used too, this will almost undoubtedly cause more injuries on the offense and they have had enough of that already. Between Vick’s career injuries, to LeSean McCoy and Jason Peters coming back, you need to be careful. I know an injury can happen any time on any play. But doesn’t the risk of injury increase as per the amount of plays you run?! I would think so!
My short term prediction is that the players will not be able to sustain this type of offense all season long. These aren’t 19 and 20 year old kids who have more endurance and stamina then the pro players, many of whom are in their 30’s. In my opinion, the Eagles will fly this season, but they better slow down before their wings get tired of flapping.