Hopes were high for the Philadelphia Eagles last year, the year before, and about every year before that. They flooded fans, fantasy players, and gamblers with so much disappointment and regret that now Andy Reid is far from the city of Brotherly Love in Kansas City, and Chip Kelly has been vaunted with the task of transforming the Eagles into a blisteringly rapid offensive powerhouse akin to his NCAA Oregon Ducks whose accomplishments earned him the job.
Most analysts and fans thought trying to implement such an offense into the NFL would be a spurious waste of time, because the defense would be able to adjust too quickly to be run over by a non-stop audible approach that has baffled college teams for years. Well everyone was wrong, including the coach of their first opponent this year Mike Shanahan. He knew long before the season began that he would be facing something unique coming in against a Chip Kelly offense. He even spent a vast amount of time watching NCAA tape of the Oregon Ducks thinking he was prepping his Redskins with the necessary armor to avoid the Kelly trickery. It was all for naught though, as Washington was completely embarrassed on the most national stage the NFL has to offer during the regular season: Monday Night Football.
After halftime, between quarters, regardless of what Shanahan tried to say to his players, it didn’t help. It was like throwing plants at Godzilla, and even though the final score margin would lead onlookers to believe the game was a hard fought grudge match, it wasn’t. The Duck infused Eagles dominated from opening to closing whistle without doubt about who was leading the aggression.
So unlike other years it isn’t about whether or not the Eagles look promising this season, but a whole hearted gasping, “Who is going to stop them?” The questions regarding Michael Vick after his sincerely lackluster performance of last season were not only squashed, but he is being universally praised for so seamlessly integrating a system that at least during this mid-week break is for all intents and purposes unstoppable.
I have been watching football since I could identify shapes and spell, and never in a million years did I expect the riskiest and most unconventional college offense to have a spitting chance at functioning in the NFL. I was wrong, but delightfully so, because watching it come to fruition against professional football defensive coordinators, corner-backs, and safeties alike was mind-blowing. There is no telling who will be the first team to have an answer to this down the road, but I for one hope it won’t be for the better part of the season. We all remember how enjoyable it was watching the Wildcat offense of the Miami Dolphins destroy the New England Patriots leading into one of the most memorable Bill Belichik post-game press conferences that I can recall. The Oregon Duck fueled Philadelphia Eagles may have a short shelf life of dominance in the NFL, but you can bet that everyone will trying to watch them play more than any other team for the next few weeks guaranteed.
By: Michael Blain