Every time I think about the Eagles playing the Redskins I think back to when Michael Vick had that outstanding game on “Monday Night Football”. Vick had 6 TD’s, 4 passing and 2 rushing, while completing 20-of-28 of his passes for 333 yards. This game literally went down in the history books and was even called the game of the century. Vick was quoted as to saying “I easily could have been 28-of-28.”
But that was 2010 and this time when the Eagles play the Redskins on “Monday Night Football” it will be under the new direction of head coach Chip Kelly. It will be interesting to see how Kelly will be able to transition his style to the NFL and if at all his style will work. Also, how will Kelly make adjustments in game as well as when he game plans further into the season with teams having film on the Eagles to watch.
If you look at the quarterbacks who played under Kelly (Kelly was the OC for the 2007 season and the HC from ’08-to-’12 at Oregon) you will see that they were all pretty effective. As I stated previously in my “Why Vick Will Have Success This Season… Or Could“ Vick should thrive or at the least have a very good season. Now no one can predict how a coach and new scheme will translate to the NFL, just like we can’t predict ACL injuries, but you can look for coaches who in the past have had a similar or what projects to be a similar style offense. Most recently you have the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, and the Carolina Panthers who all have used the read option or the pistol formation with some variation of the option in it. Teams have tried this before such as the ’04 Atlanta Falcons, who were at the time led by Michael Vick at quarterback. The Falcons ran the full-house formation as well as some other option plays in which Vick was able to rush for an NFL record, by a quarterback, 1,039 yards on just 123 carries.
There are a couple of issues here. One being that this style of offense has come and gone in the NFL before and hasn’t been able to stick just like the wildcat. Most people think it is just a fad that will soon fade. Reason two being that the Eagles have Vick at quarterback. Vick has only made it through a 16 game season once, while missing 39 games in his career due to injuries.
The weapons are there for Vick. Even with the lose of Maclin, Vick still has McCoy, Jackson, Avant, Celek, Ertz and some decent role players. He also will have what projects to be a much improved offensive line with the return of Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and with the addition of rookie first rounder Lane Johnson.
On the defensive side of the ball the Eagles have talent up front will Cox, Curry, Logan, Thorton, Square, and even Geathers. Growing pains are to be expected with these guys but they have potential to become one of the better d-lines in the NFL.
As you get further away from the d-line more questions arise for the Birds. Ryans, Kendricks, and Barwin are all familiar with the 3-4 and should be fine but it’s the ROLB spot and the depth at LB that is concerning. The Eagles only kept 3 OLB’s two of which are 4-3 defensive ends converted to linebacker; Cole and Graham.
The secondary is a complete overhaul but I am in the minority, if there are any others, that think this secondary will be a much improved unit and will finish this season ranked as high as 12 and as low as 18 but somewhere around the middle. If that is the case then the Eagles will be just fine. Chung has shown to be able to come up into the box and help against the run. Hopefully rookie Earl Wolff will soon emerge to take over the SS position from Nate Allen. Wolff thinks he will get a “50/50 split” of reps on Monday Night with Nate Allen. The communication between the safeties and corners needs to get better. That was my only concern coming away from the preseason while not expecting much as I know this isn’t the most talented secondary.