Chip Kelly wanted to revolutionize the National Football League by picking up the pace, wearing opponents down and blowing them out, the way he did in the Pac-12. In his fourth game as an NFL head coach, he got to see a team do it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t his team.
Somebody told Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning that 52 points was a franchise record and Manning expressed concern for the team’s Arabian gelding mascot.
“I did not know that,” he said. “May have to give ol’ Thunder an IV after this one.”
George Will once complained that football combined America’s worst characteristics: violence and committee meetings. The Broncos and Eagles mostly eliminated the committee meetings Sunday at Mile High, leaving defenders on both sides gasping for thin air.
“I’ll tell you, I don’t know if I’ve ever been that tired, as I was in the first and second quarter,” Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe said.
The Broncos don’t huddle up much either, but they take their time snapping the ball as Manning surveys the defense and checks off to another play, or pretends to check off to another play, or pretends to pretend to check off to another play. The result is almost always the right call to counter the defense presented and a frighteningly high level of execution. Manning completed more than 80 percent of his passes Sunday. This has a longer-term effect, which Kelly’s team displayed in the second half, when it became Manning’s chew toy.
“He’s just another offensive coordinator on the field,” Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox said. “If he doesn’t like it, he just checks to what he wants.”
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[ Image by Jeffrey Beall ]