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And what a way to kickoff the 2013 NFL Season and the Chip Kelly Era in Philadelphia with a huge 33-27 victory on the road in primetime against the 2012 NFC East Division Champions, Washington Redskins. We finally got to see the Eagles dynamic offense at work and a struggling defense going up against one of the most exciting players in the game today with Redskins QB Robert Griffin III. There were positives to take away moving forward but also some issues. Here are my thoughts on last night’s victory over the Redskins.

Eagles Notebook

Chip-ping Away ... Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly earned his first win, joining Rich Kotite (1991), Nick Skorich (1961), Jim Trimble (1952), and Bert Bell (1936) as one of five rookie Eagles head coaches to win in his NFL head coaching debut.

Opening Night ... Since 2004, the Eagles own a 7-3 record in season openers, including wins in five out of the last six seasons ... The Eagles opened the season on the road for the third consecutive year and fourth time in five seasons. They are 3-0 in those contests ... The Eagles now own a 28-25 all-time record on Monday Night Football. Their last win on Monday Night came in a 59-28 victory over the Redskins in 2010 … In the team’s seven prime time visits to FedEx Field, the Eagles have outscored the Redskins 214-117.

Vick-Tory ... QB Michael Vick threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns (112.6 passer rating) and added 56 yards and a touchdown on the ground ... It was Vick’s 35th-career rushing touchdown, tying Randall Cunningham and Steve Grogan (35) for the eighth-highest total in NFL history by a QB. It was also Vick’s eighth rushing touchdown in eight games as a starting quarterback on Monday Night Football ... Vick owns a 5-1 record in six career starts against the Redskins. His career passer rating of 110.9 against Washington is the best by any quarterback in NFL history with at least 110 attempts.

McCoy’s McNuggets ... RB LeSean McCoy rushed for 184 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 31 carries. It was McCoy’s 13th-career 100-yard rushing game, tying Duce Staley for fourth-most in team annals. The Eagles are 11-2 in those games. It was also the second-highest rushing output of his career ... McCoy moved past Pete Pihos and into 10th on the team’s all-time scrimmage yards list with 5,643. He also now ranks seventh with 866 career carries.

Jaccpot ... WR DeSean Jackson racked up 104 yards on seven receptions and scored the team’s opening touchdown of the season, his seventh (five receiving, one rushing, one punt return) in 10 career games against the Redskins ... The Eagles are 21-7 in games when Jackson scores a touchdown ... This was Jackson’s 16th-career 100-yard receiving game, eclipsing Fred Barnett for the fifth-most in team history ... Jackson also moved past Duce Staley and into 12th on the all-time receptions list with 281 .

Defensive Nuggets ... The Eagles defense forced turnovers on each of the Redskins first two possessions, including CB Brandon Boykin’s first-career interception and LB Trent Cole’s 15th-career forced fumble ... The defense collected a safety for the first time since 12/11/11 at Miami... CB Cary Williams notched his second-career sack and his fifth-career interception. He’s just the third Eagles cornerback since 1960 with a sack and a pick in the same game (Sheldon Brown on 12/19/04 vs. Dallas and Lito Sheppard on 9/18/05 vs. San Francisco) ... LB DeMeco Ryans posted his second sack as an Eagle (10.5 for his career) ... DE Fletcher Cox tallied a sack and now has 5.5 in his last 8 games.

Tightening Up ... TE Brent Celek scored his 21st career touchdown, which is the third-most ever by an Eagles tight end. He now trails only Chad Lewis (23) and Pete Retzlaff (47) ... Celek (3,529) also moved past Harold Jackson and into 13th on the team’s all-time receiving yards list.

New Kids On The Block ... 18 total players made their debut in an Eagles uniform, including seven players who played in their first NFL game: TE Zach Ertz, T Lane Johnson, LB Jake Knott, DT Bennie Logan, CB Jordan Poyer, DE Damion Square, S Earl Wolff.

Birdseed ... K Alex Henery’s 48-yard field goal was the third-longest of his career ... T Lane Johnson became the first rookie offensive lineman to start at tackle on opening day for the Eagles since John Welbourn in 1999 and the second rookie offensive lineman to start the season opener in the last three years (C Jason Kelce in 2001) ... DE Cedric Thornton made his first-career start ... P Donnie Jones placed four of his six punts inside the 20-yard line, including a 61-yarder ... The Eagles ran 53 offensive plays in the first half and outgained Washington 322 to 75. They also racked up 21 first downs, compared to the Redskins 3 en route to a 26-7 halftime lead.


-Offense: B+: Over 400 yard of offense in the game and 50 plays before half time! This offense had no problems moving the football on this Redskins defense because of the up tempo scheme not allowing the D to catch their breath and wear them down. The only ones that really stopped them were themselves with penalties and costly turnovers which need to be limited. The Redskins were able to produce 14 points off of the two Eagle giveaways. QB Michael Vick looked comfortable in the offense throwing 15/25 for 203 and three total scores(1 Rush) and a QB Rating of 112.6. We saw what Vick can finally do behind a healthy offensive line. He was a guy standing in the pocket, going through his progressions delivering nicely thrown balls. RT Lane Johnson struggled a big but going to take time to build continuity with a new piece up front. And we saw the open lanes in the running game.

The Eagles as a team gashed the Redskins for over 250yds on the ground including RB Lesean McCoy going off for 184 yards, 1 shy of his career high and a TD on 32 carries which tied a career high for him. It’s only week 1 and we can already see who is going to be the focal point in this offense and why shouldn’t he be? You should always find ways to utilize and get the ball in your best player’s hands which is exactly what Chip is doing with McCoy showing his elusiveness and ability to make plays out there.

Also one man who has said he wants to make a statement is WR Desean Jackson. And boy did he make an early one with 7 grabs for 104 and a TD. Strong route running from the 6th year vet and get open early for his 7th career touchdown vs the Redskins. He sort of fell off towards the end of game like the rest of this offense.

This offense was able to produce 26 points in the 1st half and 323 yards of offense. They then let their foots off the gas pedal and could only manage a touchdown which would be the eventual game winner. We have seen too many times from this team a strong start but a weak finish, hopefully history doesn’t repeat itself! But overall a solid performance and will only improve if they can limit the amount of mistakes. They were able to take advantage of opportunities(i.e defensive takeaways, short field). And with this up tempo offense wearing down defenses, opponents on the Eagles schedule better look out because as the Wyatt Family says in WWE, “We’re Coming!”

-Defense: B: I was one who criticized this defensive unit heavily heading into this ball game and boy did they prove me wrong. The defense recorded three takeaways and a safety which would lead to 16 points. Yes they were facing an injured Redskins QB Robert Griffin III who threw for a career high 329 yards, 2 TDs and turned it over twice for a 77.7 QB Rating, but it wasn’t the injury that cost RGIII. It was the decision making which will happen when he doesn’t practice or play a down in nine months. He was very erratic early throwing into double and triple coverage and not making smart decisions with the football. Who knows what could of happen if he plays how he played in the 4th quarter but he and this offense were not able to get in any type of rhythm because of the pass rush in Griffin’s face and the inconsistency on the ground.

The Eagles were a team coming into this game vulnerable against the run and going up against an offense that had one of the top running back’s a year ago with RB Alfred Morris. The Eagles contained the running game for only 74 yards on 18 carries as a team. Morris could only manage 45 yards and a TD on 12 attempts. LB Mychal Kendricks was all around the back making plays in the running game for a team high 10 total tackles, a tackle for loss, a fumble recovery, and a couple of QB hits.

CB Cary Williams also with a strong game finally backing up his talk with some nice plays in coverage on Pierre Garcon with also 2 tackles, a stellar interception, a sack, and a couple of pass deflections. And his presence was missed in a weak secondary when he came out for a few series which allowed Griffin to tear this defense through the air. They can’t let up like that and expect to win ball games but they got some gifts thanks to the Redskins and three shutout quarters from this defense, they made enough plays to keep the offense and the Eagles in this game for the win.

-Special Teams: A+: P Donnie Jones is looking like stellar pick up this offseason. In a game where field position is so critical, he really came up big for the Eagles with 4 of his 6 punts pinning the Redskins offense deep in their own 20 yard line. The kickoff and punt coverage were solid and the Eagles didn’t get many opportunities in the return game but when they did, they made the most of them.

-Overall: B: Great showing from the Eagles and most importantly they got the W. There are a lot of positives from both sides of the ball and still a few things that need fixing. But really it comes down to it’s not how you start but it’s how you finish. They made things interesting and allowed the Skins to get back in this ball game as they could only manage 7 points in the 2nd half. The good teams will find ways to take advantage of the opportunities the Eagles give them and we have seen too many times in the past this team let their guard down. Hopefully Chip can make the adjustments. But right now they are 1-0 heading into week 2 when they host a desperate San Diego Chargers team who had a meltdown of their own.


Box Score



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