What we learned from the Philadelphia Eagles' loss in the preseason opener
Matt Rourke, AP
The Philadelphia Eagles suited up Friday evening against the New England Patriots in their first preseason game of the NFL season, in which Eagles' coach Chip Kelly made his NFL coaching debut.
With the hiring of Chip Kelly comes the excitement of seeing a new offense, and the possibility of a championship-contending team.
Eagles fans were disappointed, however, as Philadelphia lost, 31-22.
There were several key points in the game that could be omens for the way the rest of the Eagles' season plays out.
Michael Vick is sharp
Michael Vick started the game for the Eagles and clearly was on top of his game. Vick played the first two offensive drives of the game for Philly, completing 4 of 5 passes for 94 yards against the Patriots' starters. He looked sharp the entire time and looked as though he felt very comfortable in the pocket.
The highlight play of the game for Vick came on his second completion when he found wide receiver DeSean Jackson deep down the field on a 47-yard touchdown pass.
"I'm just trying to bring my 'A' game," Vick told CBSSports after throwing the touchdown pass to Jackson. "I'm trying to make a statement every day and treating every snap like it's my last."
If Vick continues to make statements like that, then the Eagles will be tough to stop this year.
LeSean McCoy has a suitable backup
The Eagles' starting running back, LeSean McCoy, did not suit up for the preseason opener Friday evening. McCoy, who is one of the best running backs in the league, has normally been called upon to carry most of the rushing load for the Eagles.
Last year, Bryce Brown was asked to carry some of the rushing load and responded well. By the end of the season, he had notched 564 yards and four touchdowns. It seems this year he plans to pick up right where he left off.
Brown turned five carries into 22 yards on Friday night, including an eight-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. His strength and agility were on display in full form as he made the most of every chance he got.
If Brown continues to improve, then he and McCoy will certainly be one of the best one-two punches in the NFL.
Chip Kelly will keep defenses on their toes
Much of the excitement of Friday night's game was centered around Chip Kelly's NFL debut, and how the new Eagles' offense would look with Kelly leading the charge.
One word to describe the new Eagles offense? Quick. The Eagles ran 86 plays to the Patriots' 72, despite having the ball two minutes and forty-four seconds less than New England.
The Eagles showcased a "no-huddle" offense that sometimes had a play start in as little as seven seconds. When defending against the no-huddle, NFL defenses must think fast and stay on their toes, both of which require tremendous concentration and durability.
Philadelphia showed many different looks, including a read-option look. The read option gives the quarterback control to either hand off to the running back or keep it himself, depending on how the defense reacts initially.
As the Eagles continue to polish their quick offense and use their weapons at every position, their offense will be lethal.
Overall, the Eagles' starters looked sharp. When they are executing Kelly's offense the way they were early on in the game, they will be very hard to stop. Kelly seems to have an arsenal of plays that will keep the defense guessing, and according to Vick, we haven't seen anything yet.
"We didn't do a third of what we normally would do," he told nj.com.
For additional sports news, you can follow Mitch Kunzler on Twitter at: @MitchKunzler
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