The Eagles of course did a tremendous job on the road to get a huge win on Monday night. No one knew what to expect with this team, and Chip Kelly & Co. gave Eagles fans a lot to be excited about.
BUT in the NFL, you can never get too complacent and the Eagles have to continue to improve if they want sustained success. So while they looked great to open the season, here are 5 areas the Eagles can improve upon in Week 2:
In College, after amassing a large lead, Chip Kelly could slow down his team’s tempo and not look like he was running up the score. In the NFL though, when you do that, you leave yourself open for comeback opportunities by the other team. In the 2nd half, the Eagles offense lost some of their momentum and it led to mistakes that cost them and allowed the Redskins to get back into the game. If the Eagles find themselves up big this week, they need to keep with the original game plan and not deviate to slow them down.
McCoy obviously had a tremendous game Week 1 and is a dynamic weapon in this offense. The Eagles though did fail to utilize him in their passing attack. While that didn’t impact the outcome of the game, going forward having him as a bigger threat in the passing game will wreck havoc on opposing defenses. He can also be a better hot route/dump off option when Michael Vick gets into trouble.
For as great a game as Vick had Week 1, one area he could improve is not making as many risky decisions when he’s under pressure. The Eagles can help him out by having an extra shorter route option that should be safer for Vick to throw to when he’s in trouble. This could be a running back like McCoy (see above), a tight end or a possession receiver like Riley Cooper.
The Eagles found a lot of success blitzing the Redskins in between the tackles, but as the game wore on, the Redskins starting picking them up a little more often. The Eagles should try to look mix it up a bit more and bring more blitzes from the outsides as well as a coule all-out cover zero blitz packages. This will help keep opposing offenses guessing and should allow more blitzes to hit home with a sack.
Similar to #1 on offense, the Eagles need to have the same killer instinct on defense. Not to say you can’t ever go into prevent, but the Eagles played soft too soon in the game. They had a lot of success when they were challenging receivers & tight ends more and they should have continued that longer.
The Eagles have a fairly easy test at home this week with the Chargers, but if they can work out these kinks and improving, this can be a big season for Chip Kelly in his first year.