Chip Kelly’s Blitzkrieg Eagles Offense Was Too Fast for the Referees Last Night (GIF + Video)
Philadelphia Eagles fans were probably a little nervous when starting QB Nick Foles went down with a broken collarbone—not because Foles has been playing particularly well, but because they feared the second stringer, Mark Sanchez, had spent more time staying abreast of the various culinary delights at CenturyLink Field than learning Chip Kelly‘s playbook.
On Monday night, however, Sanchez proved everyone’s fears were unfounded. In his first start since December 2012, Sanchez stepped in and led the Eagles to a 45-21 rout of the Carolina Panthers, throwing for 332 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
In fact, Sanchez had Kelly’s blitzkrieg Eagles offense working so well and moving so fast, neither the Panthers defense nor the referees could keep up. Like literally. In the second quarter, after Sanchez hit Jordan Matthews with a long pass, he got his guys on the line and snapped the ball so fast, the referees simply were not in position and had to blow the play dead.
The funny thing is, whether NFL referees could keep up with Chip Kelly’s offense was a major topic of conversation when the Eagles hired him away from Oregon in 2013.
The NFL itself has flip-flopped on the issue. Prior to the 2013 season, the NFL’s Vice President of Officiating warned that Kelly may just have to slow the hell down, because in the NFL the referees control the tempo of the game, dammit. However, prior to the 2014 season, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations overruled that other guy, explaining that the game has evolved and referees are expected to be in good enough physical condition to keep up with fast-paced offenses.
Obviously they still have work to do.
Hat Tip – [SB Nation]