New Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly put Eagles fans into a state of pure bliss with his up-tempo, no-huddle offence in a big Week One upset of the Washington Redskins.
Yesterday … not so much.
While the offence was efficient, Philly’s defence couldn’t get off the field on third down in a last-minute 33-30 loss at home to the San Diego Chargers.
After the game, Kelly admitted that he messed up and probably shouldn’t have slowed down his team’s feverish pace to milk the clock in the final minutes.
The Eagles were down 30-27 and had the ball on the San Diego 14-yard line with 2:09 left. Since they were virtually guaranteed at least a field goal, they probably should have run down the clock so that they wouldn’t give the ball back to the Chargers with enough time to win in regulation.
Instead, Kelly threw the ball three-straight times. The Chargers got the ball back with 1:51 left, drove down the field, and kicked a field goal to win it 33-30.
Kelly took responsibility for it after the game. Here’s what he told Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“I was trying to score; that’s all on me, that’s my call. I didn’t want it to leave it in the hands of, it’s a tie ballgame. If you score, you’re up four. You got to drive a length of the field to try to score a touchdown. When you look at it in hindsight, maybe we should have bled the clock and not giving them enough time to come down and do it. You learn from those situations.
“But we were trying to score seven, not three. We felt like we had three, and just thought we had the opportunity to put one in there, and we didn’t get it. We didn’t capitalise.”
Fast tempo is the signature element of Kelly’s offence. But there are times when the situation calls for a more traditional pace, and it’ll be interesting to see how he tweaks his system in those situations as the season goes on.
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