After Chip Kelly and the Eagles held on to beat the Redskins 33-27 in week one, everyone quickly rushed to the box score looking for an area to knock the rookie coach, because that’s what people do, look for the negative.
Someone, at some point, went this route: Hey, Steve Spurrier put up some big numbers in his first game! Check it out, eerily similar to the Eagles Monday!
Kelly’s Eagles: 77 plays, 443 yards, 33 points.
Spurrier’s Redskins: 73 plays, 442 yards, 31 points.
So let’s pump the brakes on the props for Kelly! He didn’t reinvent the gosh darn wheel!
That’s, of course, some delicious cherry-picking. The 2013 Eagles were playing a Redskins team coming off a playoff appearance. The Eagles were on the road. The Eagles were underdogs. The 2002 Redskins were playing at home, as 6-point favorites, against a pathetic Cardinals team.
And nobody bothered to mention two significant differences: Spurrier’s offense was pass-happy; Kelly’s is predicated on the run.
Chip Kelly, when he was at Oregon, was all about the run.
2012: 3rd in the nation in rushing (315 ypg)
2011: 5th in the nation in rushing (299 ypg)
2010: 4th in the nation in rushing (287 ypg)
2009: 6th in the nation in rushing (231 ypg)
The Eagles will be a top three running attack this year. Steve Spurrier was a pass-first guy at Florida, and also when he failed in the NFL.
The number nobody has mentioned when referencing Kelly/Spurrier: The Eagles gashed the Redskins for 263 yards in the opener on 49 carries. Worth noting: The Redskins were 5th in the NFL (ypg) against the run last year.
Spurrier’s Redskins? Just 32 carries for 132 yards in the 2002 opener, and they finished 2002 13th in the league in yards per game (118) and 15th in the NFL in attempts (442). A year later, in 2003, the Redskins fell to 23rd and 22, respectively.