Just about everybody who watched the Eagles’ 33-27 win over the Redskins on Monday night came away marveling at the lightning offense employed by Chip Kelly, Philadelphia’s new coach. The one person not impressed appears to be the offense’s architect himself.
“I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you,” Kelly told reporters on Tuesday. “We put the ball on the ground too much, we didn’t get the ball to the officials, we could have sped things up. … That’s something we need to continue to work on.”
A few Doug Marrone defenders pointed to the Eagles’ second half as proof that the much-maligned Bills coach received undue criticism for continuing to play hurry-up in the fourth quarter on Sunday, allowing the Patriots to win the game in the closing seconds. Once the Eagles let up on Monday, the Redskins stormed back, and the outcome might have been very different had Washington recovered its onside kick.
Kelly, for his part, didn’t like that the Eagles slowed down, either. But he didn’t exactly want them to keep running plays irresponsibly.
“Part of what we do, and our success, is that we get into a rhythm,” Kelly said. “It’s not as much taking your foot off the gas from the standpoint of the tempo you play at [that causes the offense to stall]. It’s just the play selection, some of those other things. …
“You don’t want to go three-and-out and just take 20 seconds off the clock. It’s a fine line. It’s something, as I get a better feel for our guys, and they get a better feel for us, it’s something you’re always going to continually work on. Four-minute offense, so to speak, is just as important as two-minute offense.”
The Eagles ran 77 plays on Monday. If that was “slow” — or if they end up having to play from behind — it might become impossible to track the number of plays they run in the coming weeks.