Well, the first two questions of the 2013 off-season have been answered: Will RG3 be ready for the beginning of the season and can Chip Kelly be effective in taking the University of Oregon offence and make it work in the NFL? And the answers are clear: No and yes.
It is amazing how the best in the NFL can always be humbled at a given moment. I think back to Baltimore at Denver and Peyton Manning throwing that cross-body interception. He was humbled.
Advance from that playoff game to the opening of the 44th season of Monday Night Football and maybe the most popular charismatic athlete in football, Robert Griffin III and on this night, he was humbled. Heck, the quarterback on the opposite side, Micheal Vick is someone that has definitely been humbled.
Now I am sure that the Redskins and Griffin will win games and, as long as he stays healthy, the Griffin we saw of last year will emerge again this year. But he was not ready and the risk that Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan took by not playing him at all did not work out. Practice, practice and more practice and Robert Griffin will be back. But in the present, there is still one major problem. Washington's next game is against the Packers at Green Bay and they are coming off their own loss in San francisco.
In the extreme opposite, how about Chip Kelly and his fast-paced, play-after-play offence? It worked! What surprised me was the perfection of execution considering the new personnel and only four exhibition games. They ran 30 plays in the first quarter and another 23 in the second. In some games, 53 plays is an entire game. And this offence is so entertaining. Yes, you need success to make it entertaining but as someone who watches football for a living, it sure was refreshing.
The other aspect of Chip Kelly is that he is very active with his quarterbacks. When Vick would come to the sidelines, he talkes directly to his quarterback with no assistants around, peering over his shoulder trying to make a contribution.
There were many surprises in Week 1, including New England not dominating Buffalo with rookie starter EJ Manuel and Tampa Bay losing to first game starter Geno Smith. But of all the winners and losers, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked like they were still playing exhibition games.
Congratulations to both Marc Trestman with the Chicago Bears and Chip Kelly of the Eagles. First game, first win. Well done.