Eagles' high-speed style works just fine
September, 9, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
LeSean McCoy had one of the best games of his career on Monday.Chip Kelly promised a much different look for the Philadelphia Eagles' offense in his first season as head coach.
His team’s first half may have halted the comments of any doubters regarding whether Kelly’s style could work in the NFL.
Let’s run through the highlights of Kelly’s first win as an NFL head coach, a 33-27 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Key to the game: Pace of play
After a hiccup on the opening drive led to a Redskins score, the Eagles’ turbo-speed offense caused the Redskins problem after problem in the game’s first 30 minutes.
The Eagles had 21 first downs at halftime, matching the number of plays run by the Redskins in the first two quarters.
The Eagles had 53 plays by halftime. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that is the most plays in a first half of an NFL game since the Vikings had 56 on December 13, 1998, against the Ravens.
The Eagles' 26 first-half points matched their high for points in a game from 2012.
Difference maker: LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy had 31 carries for 184 yards, one yard shy of his career high.
McCoy's 34-yard touchdown run was his sixth rushing touchdown of at least 30 yards since 2010, tied with Chris Johnson for the second most in the league during that span.
Only Adrian Peterson has more such rushing touchdowns since 2010 (seven).
McCoy had 178 of those yards on runs that were inside the tackles, his most such yards in any game.
McCoy’s 184 yards rushing were the most in a season opener on the road since Duce Staley ran for 201 for the Eagles in 2000 against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Eagles ran 49 times (their most in a game since 1997) for 263 yards (their most since 2002). They gained 245 yards using the zone read, more than any other team in a game in the past five seasons.
RG III with a rough welcome back
Robert Griffin III had a brief run of success in the Redskins' late comeback, but struggled through much of the game. This marked the first time in his career that he threw multiple interceptions in a game.
Our video-review crew had Griffin III with 11 throws judged to be off-target, the most in any game in his first two seasons in the NFL. His previous high was eight against the Bengals in Week 3 last season.
Griffin was was off-target on 15 percent of his passes in 2012, the fifth-lowest rate in the league.
The Vick-Jackson connection
DeSean Jackson had a huge start to the game for the Eagles, finishing with seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.
It was Jackson’s 16th game with 100 or more receiving yards, fifth-most in team history. The franchise record is 23 by Pete Retzlaff, who played for the team from 1956 to 1966.
Michael Vick threw for two touchdowns ran for another (the 35th of his career, matching the total of another former Eagles quarterback, Randall Cunninghgam) and had an interception-free game. The last time Vick accounted for three scores and didn’t throw an interception was in 2010 against the Redskins, also on "Monday Night Football."
Did You Know?
The Eagles’ safety was the fourth in the NFL in the opening week of the season. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that this is the first Week 1 in NFL history in which there were four safeties.
The Eagles-Redskins game was the 11th game this week decided by seven points or fewer, tied for the most in Week 1 since the merger in 1970. There were also 11 in 2011.