The Philadelphia Eagles averaged a play every 23 seconds, and snapped the ball 53 times during the first half of their win over the Washington Redskins. One of the least noticed parts of that win was their nonchalant way of approaching fourth downs.
During the first drive of the game, the Eagles were faced with a 4th-and-1 on the Washington 21-yard line. There were no looks from the quarterback at the sidelines, or having the offense come off, a timeout called and though process thing going on. Vick knew what he was doing, which was giving the ball to LeSean McCoy for an easy four yards up the middle.
The Eagles did slow down in the second half and when facing a tricky 4th and 7 during their shut-out phase in the second half, when the originality stopped and we stopped seeing two three-stacks on the corners, punting in that situation.
But this offense seems to know what they’re going to do with every play, instead of having their head coach think about percentages and per-situation tactics. There’s nothing new about a team knowing exactly what to do on 4th-and-short, but for some reason it was really refreshing seeing the Eagles going in with such intent to their play.
These are the Eagles from now on, probably – creative, imaginative, even if anyone who has watched Chip Kelly during his College career knows that some of these players aren’t new or specifically designed for his new NFL career.
Most important? Quick. It’s less about slow and heavy thinking about every play. The Eagles want to dictate the pace and style right from the start, putting in the plays they’ve been working on. Maybe at some point a situation will call for some improvising, but they seem to have a good enough skill set on the still-positions, not to mention a very sharp offensive mind on the sidelines, to handle the problems that should be coming at some point.