The frenetic first half of the Philadelphia Eagles' 33-27 victory Monday night had the NFL cognoscenti scrapping the trendy read option in favor of coach Chip Kelly's better mousetrap. The second half turned back the clock to Woody Hayes' "three yards and a cloud of dust."
Professional football's latest pioneer oversaw an offense that set a breakneck pace, running the second-most plays through the first quarter and the first half of any team since 1991.
» Joined the New England Patriots as the only teams with both a 100-yard rusher (LeSean McCoy, 115 yards) and a 100-yard receiver (DeSean Jackson, 104 yards) in Week 1.
» Piled up more yards (341) than 15 teams totaled in their Sunday games.
» Recorded 21 first downs, just five shy of their 2012 season high for an entire game.
Although the Eagles raced out to a 26-7 halftime lead with a balanced attack that had Vick on pace for nearly 400 passing yards, the tides turned in the second half.
With a comfortable lead and Vick limping through an apparent groin injury sustained at the end of a 36-yard scramble, Kelly admittedly took his foot off the gas pedal too early in the third quarter.
While Griffin finally was regaining a semblance of his 2012 form, Kelly shelved his own innovative passing schemes to saddle up McCoy as a workhorse.
For all the hype about Kelly's approach to football aeronautics, the Eaglesrushed more times (49) than they did in any game during the 14-year reign of Andy Reid.
Side-stepping would-be tacklers like a joystick, McCoy set a career high with 31 carries while coming within 1 yard of his best rushing total. Philadelphia's 249 yards on the ground were nearly 80 more than its previous best Week 1 effort.
The Redskins' ill-fated comeback taught the otherwise hyper-aggressive Kelly not to trifle with minor concerns, such as running up the score. We can't wait to see what he does for an encore against another up-tempo play-caller who can match wits for four quarters.
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