There was no shortage of storylines when the Washington Redskins played host to the Philadelphia Eagles in the first Monday Night Football game of the 2013 season. Robert Griffin III was returning to the field for the first time since his knee surgery, Chip Kelly’s new offense was going to be seen for the first time in the NFL, it was going to be a battle of the spread offense, oh and it just happens to be a rivalry game.
The Eagles started the game in true Kelly form, looking like they were at a track meet. Their first drive was averaging 15-20 seconds between plays. But things took an interesting turn of events on their first drive. Defensive lineman Ryan Kerrigan tipped a pass intended for LeSean McCoy, and it was ruled a backwards pass and returned for a touchdown.
From that point until late in the third quarter, it was all Philadelphia. The Eagles dominated with their fast pace offense, and their defense made RG3 look like a rookie quarterback. He couldn’t seem to get the ball to his receivers with the normal velocity we have become accustomed to seeing. But he wasn’t the only player who had a lackluster start to the game.
Fellow sophomore Alfred Morris coughed up the ball twice early on leading to even more offensive plays for Kelly’s offense.
The Redskins came back late to make the game interesting, but they were never really in the game to begin with. If they want to be a contending team this season they have to do a better job holding on to the ball.
The biggest take a ways from the game or the Redskins has to be the play of both Griffin III and Morris. They can’t have their star players put forth such a poor game and still win. The Redskins defense looked decent, but they had a tough matchup being the first ones to see the new Eagles offense. At the beginning of the game they were able to keep the Eagles from capitalizing on the mistakes of Griffin and Morris. But as the game drew on the defense was gassed and began to give up big plays.
For the Eagles the game was a complete offensive success. Chip Kelly’s offense thrived, and seemed to work without any major hiccups. The three stars of the offense, Vick, Jackson and McCoy all seemed to love the new system. Each of them had a good game, and McCoy looks like he could be in for an amazing possibly record breaking year. Yes it is still early and it is only one game, but 31 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown is a great start. The Eagles defense didn’t look spectacular, but they made plays when they needed to.
Both teams have a long season ahead so don’t read too much into a week one performance, but if the trends continue, the Eagles could land on top of the NFC East this season.
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