The Armchair Quarterback's Guide To The NFL: Week 2

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Aug 24, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly reacts after a fumbled snap during the second quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Armchair Quarterback Take Of The Week

Chip Kelly is a true innovator, but he’s going to run Michael Vick and Lesean McCoy into the ground.

When Chip Kelly made his NFL coaching debut on Monday night he took the NFL by storm. The question of wether or not Kelly would try to run his high octane Oregon offense in the pros was quickly answered as the Eagles ripped off 53 snaps in the first half. That’s more than the Carolina Panthers had in their entire first game. The Redskins looked shell shocked and when the Eagles came out in the second half and ran the lead up to 33-7 the entire NFL universe was swooning at Kelly’s feet.

Here’s the problem, it’s not sustainable.

Kelly is a genius and an innovator who may end up leaving a permanent mark on the NFL, but if he uses Michael Vick and Lesean McCoy in the same way in every game he will destroy them. Vick has a long list of injuries that have sidelined his career almost as much as his dogfighting activities. By the end of his first game under Kelly he was already limping around. Nick Foles may have a little upside, but when Vick goes down it will force Kelly to alter his entire game plan. Kelly needs a QB with a build more like Cam Newton if he is going to subject him to hits from NFL defenders on a regular basis. There may be more and more athletic QBs entering the league every year, but athletes like Cam Newton are a rare breed, especially ones that can play QB at the NFL level.

Then there is Lesean McCoy. McCoy may be one of the most talented players in the NFL. He’s a great weapon. However, at 5’11″ and 208 lbs you’re not talking about a guy that’s built to absorb 30+ touches per game. His previous career high for carries is only 273, and his career touches is 321. By the time Monday night’s game came to a close McCoy had 31 carries. If you averaged 31 carries over 16 games that would be 496 carries. That would shatter the record for carries in a season by 80 carries.

Does that seem like a good idea to anyone?

Even if McCoy was to stay healthy for 16 games while shouldering such a load, history shows that backs that carry the ball that many times don’t last long in the NFL. McCoy is only 25 years old and should have another 4-5 years of being a key player for Philly. Kelly has to realize that this isn’t college where he’s running a 19 year old kid that’s going to graduate in a year or two. These are players that organizations invest millions of dollars in.

In order for the frantic pace of Kelly’s Oregon teams to work full time in the NFL he is going to need a bigger and sturdier QB to absorb punishment and a stable of talented running backs to split the work load. Until he has that, he had better adjust his strategy. Otherwise he’s going to find himself trying to run the spread with Nick Foles and Bryce Brown as the key players, and I’m guessing that won’t work out quite as well.

Now on to this week’s game predictions…..

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  • Jake

    You say the Eagles need a QB who is tough, built like a monster and knows how to run the spread/option offense. Hmmmmm, sounds like it’s time to give Tebow a call.

    • Paul V. Suffriti

      The QB must also be able to throw the ball and complete passes…….put the phone down, Tebow can only run with the ball.

      • Jake

        In the spread a QB only needs to be able to complete passes 5-10 yards long with the occasional shot down field, Tebow can do that pretty well. He’s actually the perfect QB for Kelly’s offense, more so than Vick because he’s bigger, and tougher. Honestly Vick is not any better a passer than Tebow.

    • Lyle Graversen

      The better hurry, I hear Gene Simmons is recruiting him to play QB for his arena league team. That would be quite the pairing, wouldn’t it?

  • loverpoint

    Fortunate for Chip Kelly he does not have to play any of the coaches he faced in the Pac-12 in the regular season this year.

    My question to all College football pundits. If the SEC is supposed to be the gold standard of college football, then why has the Pac- 12 sent 3 coaches to the NFL and each one of them has shown success?

    The SEC is not about good coaching, it is about recruiting. And we are seeing how certain schools and coaches rely more on recruiting that coaching ability. Even in the Pac- 12 we can see how a master recruiter such as Lane Kiffin has failed at USC, a recruiting magnet, because of his poor coaching abilities.

    • Jake

      That doesn’t make the SEC any less a powerhouse. You may find good coaches in the PAC-12 but the SEC teams are still routinely the champs.

    • JoeDaBeast

      Maybe the SEC compensates their coaches well enough that they don’t want to leave. And over the past few decades, no other successful college coach has been better than one ACC coach, Jimmy Johnson (HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS?!?!?!?!)

  • Modesto Koczwara

    The real test for the Titans will come this week vs the Texans. Hopefully, JJ Watt and company do not make the Titans OL look like a joke!

    • Lyle Graversen

      I think the Titans OL is legit. I don’t know if they can shut down Watt, but they can do enough if Locker can keep the defense honest. If they don’t have to fear the pass, then no OL is going to be enough.

  • Chris Schroeder

    Hey Lyle…. If the Raiders don’t beat the Jaguars by 30′points ill be shocked. Are you even paying attention? They could’ve put the Colts away three different times in that game. It was the Colts that put up a hard fight to compete with the Raiders if you were paying attention. The fact that all the bias raider haters think the Raiders will do no good this year doesn’t mean that you need to jump on the bandwagon with them. Observe and witness the Raiders will compete in every game this year and I’m sure will upset several teams along the way.

    Also, no offense but you have a screw loose if you think the Kansas City Chiefs will beat the Cowboys even at home.

    I’m shocked you’re giving the steelers 17 points in the game after proving to the NFL in week one just how badly beat up they are.

    And you have the Seahawks only beating the 49ers by three points in Seattle. Are you insane? First of all, Green Bay has no defense end of story. The Seattle Seahawks have the number one defense at the end of last year and into this year. The last time the Seahawks 49ers faced in Seattle the Seahawks beat the 49ers so bad that Jim Harbaugh is still having nightmares. Expect this game to be a lopsided victory for the Seahawks once again

    • ……ChiefsFan……

      Actually the Chiefs have the #1 D so far this year… So there’s that.

  • Vicki Smith

    Kelly’s system will be sustainable when a couple of things happen 1) the current crop of college players/QBs in uptempo enter the draft I.e. Marcus Mariota 2) conditioning to play that type of offense for 4 quarters does not come in one season. The Ducks are now in their 5th season of practicing fast & are now noticeably faster than last year. Look forward to watching that progression in Philly

    • ……ChiefsFan……

      Will Kelly still be in the NFL coaching ranks when his system can be sustainable? GMs are often quick to jump the gun when it comes to firing coaches. Not saying he is going to be fired anytime soon, just raising the question.

    • Lyle Graversen

      How big is Mariota? Do you think he could take the abuse of lots of NFL hits?

      • Vicki Smith

        6’4″ 215# he’s a big boy & he can take some hits…but Chip will build a great O line to protect him

  • Larry Nones

    Good advice on the beers. I can’t believe some American beers actually advertise that theirs is a better can! (?)

    • Lyle Graversen

      I hear you, I’m the type that would choose one bottle of Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout over a 12 pack of something cheap.

  • JoeDaBeast

    “The home field advantage at Arrowhead combined with both Romo and Dez Bryant being a little banged up will give the Chiefs a slight edge (at least that’s what I’m hoping).”

    Not impartial in the least, are you?

    • Lyle Graversen

      Hey, at least I am open about it, right? I did preface the entire section on that game with “Homer Alert”.

      • JoeDaBeast

        Didn’t know what Homer Alert meant. Thanks for the education.