Notes from the North
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Monday night's game might be the worst thing that could have happened to Chip Kelly's new offense in Philly.

The Eagles' complete domination of the Washington defense over the first 30 minutes of the game will make everyone in Philadelphia feel pretty good about the high-speed offense Kelly has installed; the Redskins' defensive bounce-back in the second half will give other teams an easy-follow blue print on how to stop it.

Let's face it: everything bounced right for the Eagles from the opening whistle, including the 'Skins' defensive touchdown that had the ironic impact of putting the tiring Washington defense back on the field for yet another Philly offensive drive with no rest at all.

The only offensive play Washington ran in that frantic opening sequence turned into a fumble, giving the ball right back to Mike Vick and friends and putting the 'Skins defense right out there again.

By the 10-minute mark of the first quarter, the Washington D had played a full half of football. They were tired and, when you're tired, your physical performance isn't the only thing that suffers. The 'Skins defenders were mentally tired and making mistakes, unable to keep up with the pace.

So Philly's offense looked pretty darned unstoppable.

Then look at the second half. The Washington D has gotten a bit of break, the 'Skins' O has put some things together and suddenly Kelly's attack doesn't seem so unstoppable.

Washington defenders caught their breaths and started thinking again, missed fewer assignments and understood what was coming at them. The defensive line and linebackers started battering the Philly offensive wall and Vick looked vulnerable.

If Chip Kelly is any kind of coach, he will ignore the first half entirely in the coming week and focus all of his attention on what didn't work after the intermission, on what the 'Skins were able to do to shut down his attack.

The Eagles won their first game, yes, but they almost lost it. And they almost lost it after everything bounced their way in the first half and they had the 'Skins on the ropes.

Their biggest error will be if they let the win, and that torrid first half, blind them to the fact that Washington won the second half in a big way and pummelled the Philly offense en route to a near epic comeback win.

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