Eagles-Chargers: What we're watching
How fast can they go? The Eagles ran 30 offensive plays in the first quarter Monday night and 53 in the first half, huddling only at the beginning of possessions until after they had built a 33-7 third-quarter lead. But Chip Kelly said that the pace was "slow" and that his team can do a better job of speeding up the process between plays. The pace took its toll on the Redskins, whose defensive linemen often were still getting down in their stance when the Eagles were snapping the ball.
Ground Chip: Chip Kelly isn't afraid to run the ball early and often. The Eagles had 49 rushing attempts against the Redskins, 30 in the first half. In the last 5 years of the Andy Reid era, the Eagles averaged only 12.7 first-half carries. LeSean McCoy had a career-high 31 carries for 184 yards. The Eagles, who finished with 263 rushing yards, gained most of that yardage against the Redskins' five-DB nickel package, which they used to counter the three-wide-receiver sets the Eagles used most of the game.
Response after turnover: Chip Kelly says the only statistic he ever looks at is response after turnover. Maximizing your takeaways and minimizing your giveaways. His team had mixed results last week, scoring touchdowns on two of their three takeaways, but giving up a TD following Jason Avant's fourth-quarter fumble. Last year, the Eagles gave up 100 more points off turnovers than they produced.
Secondary concerns: The Eagles did a very good job against Robert Griffin III for three quarters, intercepting him twice and holding him to 5.7 yards per attempt. But he completed 15 of 21 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Redskins put up 20 unanswered points. With starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher possibly out Sunday with a concussion, the lack of depth in the secondary, a concern going into the season, could be an issue against Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
DeSean and Mike: For various reasons, DeSean Jackson has been pretty much a nonfactor in the Eagles' offense for the past 2 1/2 seasons. But with Jeremy Maclin out for the season, it was clear Monday that Jackson will be Mike Vick's go-to guy this season. Jackson had seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins. It was only his third 100-yard receiving performance in his last 22 games. Vick targeted Jackson a team-high nine times on a variety of routes, including bubble screens and the deep crossing route that resulted in his 25-yard touchdown catch.
- Paul Domowitch