Friday, August 16, 2013

What we learned from Game 2 of the Chip Kelly Era

Here's a few things we learned from Game 2 of the Chip Kelly Era, otherwise known as a meaningless exhibition game between the Eagles and Carolina Panthers:

• This guy might know something about offense. Once again the Eagles first-team offense moved the ball at will. And it didn't make much difference who was quarterbacking. Both starter Nick Foles and Mike Vick looked sharp. I'm still giving Vick a slight edge here. Take away a meaningless 'Hail Mary' at the end of the first half that got picked off and Vick was a perfect 9-for-9 for 105 yards after taking over in the second quarter.

After smartly marching the Eagles down the field on his opening drive, Foles made a bad mistake when he failed to get a throwaway out of the end zone and instead had it picked off, costing the Birds a scoring opportunity.

But here's the really big news: LeSean McCoy is going to have a monster year. Chip Kelly's offense is a perfect fit for McCoy, who performed some eye-popping cuts in his limited duty in the first half. In one run that featured several cutbacks, McCoy looked like the second coming of Barry Sanders. If he stays healthy (and did anyone else notice that McCoy seemed to take an awkward step at the end of one of those runs, and hold your breath the way I did) McCoy could light up the league this year.

• Second, the Eagles much-malinged defense might not be as bad as they looked against the Patriots. Let's face it, Tom Brady is going to make a lot of defenses look silly. Billy Davis' troops looked much better last night, bottling up Cam Newtown and keeping the Panthers out of the end zone.

• And one other thing that not many people are talking about. The Eagles' special teams, in particular their kick coverage teams, which have been a sore point the last couple of years, look to be much improved.

In his two games Vick is now 13 of 15 for 199 yards. He seems to be quickly developing an understanding of Kelly's offense, including the ability to make quick decisions and get the ball out of his hand, something he did not always do the last couple of years.

And don't discount that whoever is behind center for the Eagles, he will do so behind a vastly improved offensive line, one that was ravaged by injuries last year. And Jayson Peters hasn't even gotten on the field in the preseason yet.

Things are looking up for Eagles fans. And just in time, too. Tonight we get to watch the Dodgers come to town across the street vs. the Phillies. They've only won about 1,000 games in a row.

The Eagles regular season can't start soon enough.

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