Commentary

Philadelphia freedom

Chip Kelly's offense arrived with a bang in week one of the NFL season.

Originally Published: September 11, 2013
By Rick Reilly | ESPN.com

Rob Carr/Getty ImagesEagles coach Chip Kelly had a lot to smile about after watching Michael Vick against the Redskins.

TheNewPhiladephiaEaglesplaysoUsainBoltOnDoubleEspressofastitfeelslikethis.

I watched their blurry coming-out party from the sideline Monday night during their hit-and-run 33-27 sprint past the Washington Redskins, and I'm still not sure what I saw. But I know:

1. This is a revolution.

This is not going away. This is not a gimmick. Chip "Machine Gun" Kelly is in the NFL to stay. This isn't No Huddle. This is No Blinking. This is Nowhere to Hide.

The Eagles ran more than 30 plays in the first quarter, 53 in the first half. The play-by-play guy needed to be an auctioneer. I could see the Redskins' flushed faces. They didn't seem to know whether to make soup or do their taxes.

"Once you get tired, the mind goes at times," Redskins LB Brian Orakpo explained. "Guys start missing assignments and missing tackles."

2. This is not replicable by scout teams.

Practice against weak facsimiles all you want. Until you're out there and the Eagles are blowing by you like autobahn traffic, you can't know. Ask the Redskins.

"They had us off-balance all game," veteran DB DeAngelo Hall said. "A couple of times, we thought it was one thing and it was something else. I didn't think that offense would be like that. I didn't think they'd be able to jump on us like that."

It all comes at you way too fast. What are coaches going to say to their gassed defenses?

Damn it! We've GOT to work on our spasming!

3. This is a whole new headache for Roger Goodell.

In the past, with concussions, guys would pretend they weren't injured. Now, against the Eagles, they pretend they are. You're going to see more injuries than on "Grey's Anatomy" during Eagles game this season, all as fake as the ones Patrick Dempsey operated on.

(And by the way? The Redskins are the worst actors this side of January Jones. I swear I thought I saw Kedric Golston grab the wrong leg in the first quarter. Guess we know who the Designated Diver is on the Redskins.)

There is a solution: If the refs have to stop play to check on you, you cannot return until the next quarter. If there's less than two minutes left in the next quarter, you sit the following quarter.

What's the alternative? Send refs to med school?

Sorry, DeMarcus, I'm going to need to see bone

4. This is going to be fun.

Unless you're on defense. Then you'd better have oxygen ready.

5. This changes everything.

Philly will have to double-lock the door to keep free agents away this offseason. Turns out young fast men in their 20s love to have fun.

And why not? Football is still a game, after all. Why can't it be fun? Why can't practices be set to really loud, cool music? Why can't it be crazy and freewheeling and nuts? Who likes field goals? "I never thought football has to be like a business," Kelly said Monday night. "We don't treat it like one. It's a game.

"Oh, man," DeSean Jackson said, beaming, a man who looked as if he'd forgotten to take his Xanax the past two seasons. "I felt like a kid in a sandbox."

6. This might be the year LeSean McCoy wins the MVP.

He's going to touch the ball more than the center. He took over the NFL rushing lead this season -- by halftime. (He had 115 yards by then, 184 in the game.)

Last season, McCoy averaged 16.7 carries a game. Monday night? He carried it 31 times. The Blur gave him so much alone time, you'd have thought he had measles.

"There's so much room and so much space to make plays," McCoy said afterward. He was grinning like a teenager whose dad just gave him a new Porsche.

[+] EnlargeLeSean McCoy
Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesLeSean McCoy ran -- a lot -- in Week 1 of Chip Kelly's game plan.

7. This is worth keeping the kids awake for.

For instance: I saw something in the first quarter I'd never seen before. The Eagles had just come up short on third down and immediately went for it. There wasn't a thought, a notion, an inkling, a pause, a blink, a nothing. WR Riley Cooper was even motioning for them to go faster. No looking at coaches. No asking upstairs. They were going for it absolutely and unequivocally and every guy on the team knew it. Vick converted it three seconds later. Cool.

8. This is going to blow through your DVR settings.

"It was a crazy game," Vick said. "I've never been a part of anything like it ... When the first quarter was over, I thought we were about to go into halftime. It was unreal. The only thing I can say is, it's gonna be a long season."

Especially for 300-pound defensive ends.

9. This is dangerous.

Kelly had better find a Kevlar jersey for Vick. The Blur is so Big Sky-open that Vick often had nobody in front of him to block. He took a black-and-blue truck full of hits. "Ahh, it's OK," Vick tried to say. "That's why I weigh 220 pounds now."

That's your plan?

10. This was history.

It must be what it felt like when professional football's first legal forward pass was thrown in Massillon, Ohio, in 1906.

And before you ask -- I was off that day.

11. This is going to make a lot of smart guys look dumb.

The week before the Monday night game, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was playing Niagara Falls to Chip Kelly's little candle.

"I've watched 23, 24 [University of] Oregon films," Haslett said. "I watched what [the Eagles] did in preseason. If they can do anything else, God bless 'em."

Consider them blessed.

12. This is just the start.

Vick said they showed only 60 percent of their offense Monday. And Machine Gun Kelly didn't think it was fast enough.

"I felt like it was slow," Kelly said. "I'm not joking ... We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn't get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up ... between plays. That's something we need to work on."

Ican'tfreakingwait.

Rick Reilly | email

Columnist, ESPN.com