Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles Sharper, Smarter in Win Over Washington Redskins
Remember the Philadelphia Eagles from last year?
The team placed close to last in nearly every major measure of team efficiency, including Scoreability and Bendability. They were No. 31 league-wide on the new CHFF Intelligence Index, which measures how well each team performs in situational football.
That poor efficiency represented new coach Chip Kelly's biggest obstacle here in 2013.
After being labeled underdogs by just about every analyst and oddsmaker, the Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins 33-27 on Monday Night.
Chip Kelly started his NFL career on a positive note, and we finally got the answers to some burning questions regarding how the offense would look.
It was, let's say, an exciting start to the game as the Kelly's Eagles methodically and quickly marched down the field on the game's first drive.
But that drive ended like so many in 2012: after marching 74 yards down field, Michael Vick's lateral pass was botched, ruled a fumble and returned for a long touchdown the other way by the Redskins.
It seemed the Eagles would never regain momentum in FedEx Field after such a devastating play. That wasn't the case. Michael Vick rallied the Eagles to put up 33 unanswered points en route to a week one victory.
Not only did Kelly's Eagles win, they put up some surprising numbers in the proccess.
Offensively, Chip came as advertised. The Eagles torched the Redskins defense for 443 total yards and four touchdowns.
Kelly seems to have made a huge impact on this Eagles team in only the length of an offseason. The players have taken to his schemes and beliefs, and so far it's paid them dividends.
The same offense last year averaged 17.5 points per game, but thanks to the "Chip Effect" they put up 33 points in their 2013 debut.
After the Week 1 games were through, the Eagles already look much more efficient on both sides of the ball. We compared the offensive (Scoreability) and defensive (Bendability) efficiency of each NFC East team after the first game of the season to their year-end 2012 performances.
Here are the numbers on offense measured in terms of Scoreability, or Yards Per Point Scored (YPPS), in order of most efficient, followed by their 2012 number :
1. Cowboys: 9.1 (15.9)
2. Eagles: 13.4 (20.2)
3. Redskins: 14.1 (14.0)
4. Giants: 15.4 (13.2)
As you can see, both the Eagles and the Cowboys were 6.8 YPPS better in Week 1 than they were overall in 2012. The Redskins and Giants took a step back.
For the Eagles, improvement came from all angles. DeSean Jackson put up over 100 yards and a touchdown in his 2013 debut, while LeSean McCoy had his best game since 2011, racking up over 180 yards and a touchdown.
Most importantly, Kelly helped Michael Vick regain his confidence as a prolific NFL quarterback. The 33 year old passer went 15-for-25 for 203 YDS, 54 rushing yards, and 3 total TD's with only one turnover, which probably should have been reversed.
When we switch sides to defense, we see this Eagles team has made some improvements. They aren't the best just yet, but they're making steps in the right direction thanks to the guidance of Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
When measuring the Bendability of team in terms of Yards Per Point Allowed (YPPA) things looked about the same for the NFC East:
1. Cowboys: 15.4 (14.2)
2. Eagles: 14.1 (12.3)
3. Redskins: 13.4 (15.5)
4. Giants: 9.1 (17.8)
When it came to defense, the Eagles surprisingly improved the most from their 2012 numbers.
They may have given up 27 points, but they also managed to cause three turnovers in the process. From the three turnovers, the team put up 14 points, which is far better than it worked out last year for the Eagles (the 2012 Eagles forced just 0.81 turnovers per game).
Trent Cole the eight-year defensive end turned linebacker, found all sorts of success at his new position causing a forced fumble on his first impact play and later causing a safety.
And 2012 Draftees DT Fletcher Cox, LB Mychal Kendricks and CB Brandon Boykin proved to be monumental pieces to the defense. Much to the surprise and delight of Eagles fans, the secondary played exceptionally well at times, notably free agency acquistion Cary Williams who made his first INT with the team.
Kelly has instilled his beliefs with the Philadelphia Eagles in only six months, and they are sure as hell buying into it. It will be interesting to see how this team moves forward from here on out.
For this week however, the Philadelphia Eagles are not the dumbest team in football. And that's a big step in the right direction.