September 11, 2013
It has become only natural for everyone to overreact after Week 1 of the National Football League (NFL) season. For the fans of winning teams, it marks the beginning of their team’s quest for a Super Bowl title. For the fans of losing teams, it means the sky is falling down and it’s time to push the panic button. Regardless of which end of the spectrum the fans are on, it’s important to remember it’s a long season, and no titles have ever been won after the first game. With that said, there were some teams that may have made some profound statements in the season’s opening weekend. One of those teams are the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly was able to go down to our nation’s capital and defeat the Washington Redskins 33-27 on Monday night. The Redskins are the defending NFC East division champions and, in most people’s eyes, favored to win the division this year. Before the game, all of the attention was surrounding the much-hyped return of Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III from a knee injury suffered in last season’s Wild Card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. After the game ended, all of the conversation was about the fast-paced offense introduced by new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. This offense had the Redskins’ defense confused and tired. They didn’t know where the ball was going, as the Eagles were able to put up 332 yards of total yardage in the first half. Eagles QB Michael Vick looked like a guy who has a huge chip on his shoulders, which could be bad news for the rest of the league. Running back LeSean McCoy, who is already one of the best backs in the league, was the best in Week on with 184 yards on 31 carries. Both Vick and McCoy look like perfect fits for this new offense. The defense, which was looked at as a weak link, was able to sack RGIII three times and force three turnovers. Yes, there is a lot of season left and the NFC East is a tough division, but you can help but like what the Eagles are bringing to the table. There are questions marks with Philly, as there are with every team in the league. One question is will Kelly wear his own team out with this high tempo offense. It’s not like college where you have endless players to bring in to keep your starters fresh. You only have 53 players on an NFL roster and 16 games in a season, instead of 12 and a bowl game in college (not to mention the month layoff between final regular season games and bowl games). Question two is can Vick stay healthy throughout the whole season. We know Vick has started all games in a regular season only once in his career (2006 with the Atlanta Falcons). His durability is paramount if the Eagles are going to make the noise they appear capable of making. The Eagles aren’t the favorite to win the division, and that hasn’t changed after one game. What they have done is put the division, and the rest of the league, on notice. Philly will be tough to deal when it’s time to play the games. The Redskins found out in a hurry how exhausting dealing with Kelly’s offense can be. The San Diego Chargers will get their chance to deal with the pace, which doesn’t bold well considering they played late Monday night and they have to travel across the country for the Eagles game. So far, so good for Kelly and the Eagles, and if his debut is any indication, this team will be soaring into the playoffs.
By Charles Taylor