Published September 10, 2013
| Sports Network
Landover, MD – With people questioning how his high-paced offense would translate to the pro game, first-year Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly took a big step toward silencing his critics.
And Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy made sure their new bench boss left FedEx Field a winner.
McCoy rushed for 184 yards and a score on 31 carries, while Vick accounted for three touchdowns, as the Eagles spoiled the return of Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III with a 33-27 triumph over reigning NFC East champion Washington in the season opener for both teams.
Kelly had spent the last six seasons at Oregon before replacing current Kansas City head coach Andy Reid, whose 14-year tenure in Philadelphia ended after a 4-12 finish last season and a second straight year of not making the playoffs.
The Eagles (1-0) embraced the fast-paced, high-octane offense of Kelly, racking up 443 total yards and 26 first downs en route to the victory.
"I had a lot of fun tonight and I think our guys had a lot of fun," Kelly said of his debut. "But you're always going to say that when you win."
Vick finished 15-of-25 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing nine times for 54 yards and a score. DeSean Jackson hauled in seven passes for a game-high 104 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Griffin, meanwhile, showed plenty of rust in his first game action since sustaining a torn LCL and ACL in his right knee during Washington's wild card loss to the Seattle Seahawks last January.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I was rusty," Griffin said. "I have to be accountable and I'm going to be accountable for that...didn't play well in the first half. We came back, played better in the second half, we just have to do it for 60 minutes."
The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year completed 30-of-49 passes for 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Alfred Morris rushed for 45 yards and a score on 12 carries for the Redskins (0-1).
Vick moved the Eagles down the field quickly on the game's opening touch before McCoy converted a 4th-and-1 from the Washington 21 with a 4-yard run.
After McCoy's 13-yard carry two plays later gave the Eagles a 1st-and-goal from the 4, Vick tried to flip a pass out to McCoy in the right flat that was batted down at the line by Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.
With most of the Philadelphia offensive thinking the throw was a forward pass, DeAngelo Hall scooped up the ball and waltzed 75 yards into the end zone.
After video review, the ruling on the field stood, giving Washington a 7-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.
Vick again led the Eagles into Washington territory on their ensuing touch, but the drive stalled at the Redskins 29, forcing Philadelphia to settle for a 48-yard field goal from Alex Henery to make it 7-3.
Washington gave the ball back to the Eagles on the first play of their ensuing possession, as Morris took a carry off the right side and was stripped, with Mychal Kendricks pouncing on the loose ball at the Washington 25.
Vick quickly capitalized, finding Jackson dragging across the back of the end zone for a 25-yard score and a 10-7 lead just over six minutes into the game.
Griffin was picked off by Brandon Boykin early in Washington's next touch, but the Eagles failed to do anything with the turnover and were forced to punt.
With the Redskins pinned at their own 5-yard line, Griffin tossed a pitch to Morris, who had the ball slip through his hands. Morris was able to jump on the loose ball, but was touched down in the end zone for a safety to give the Eagles a 12-7 lead with 4:50 left in the first.
After an exchange of punts, Philadelphia padded its lead midway through the second, as Vick capped a 5-play, 62-yard march with a 28-yard scoring strike to Brent Celek to make it 19-7 with 6:10 remaining in the half.
Following a Washington three-and-out, McCoy converted a pair third downs to move the Eagles inside the Washington 5 before Vick carried it in from three yards out to send the visitors into the break with a 26-7 cushion.
Cary Williams made a diving interception on a Griffin pass on the opening touch of the second half and two plays later, McCoy gashed his way through the Washington defense, jumping over a defender en route to a 34-yard TD run to make it 33-7 just over 90 seconds into the second half.
Griffin appeared to find his rhythm on Washington's next touch, leading the Redskins into Philadelphia territory, but Kai Forbath missed a 40-yard field goal to keep the margin at 33-7.
After a Philadelphia punt, Griffin guided the Redskins on an 8-play, 66-yard march that Morris capped with a 5-yard TD surge to make it 33-14 with under a minute left in the third.
Washington got the ball right back early in Philadelphia's ensuing touch, as Jason Avant fumbled the ball at the tail end of a 6-yard catch and Perry Riley pounced on the loose ball at the Philadelphia 29.
Back-to-back catches by Pierre Garcon moved the Redskins into the red zone and after an incompletion, Griffin hit Leonard Hankerson for a 10-yard touchdown to bring the Redskins within 33-20 early in the fourth.
Washington forced a quick punt from the Eagles and Griffin went right back to work, converting a 3rd-and-2 with a 5-yard toss to Santana Moss down to the Philadelphia 37.
Three straight incompletions followed by a false start penalty forced the Redskins into a 4th-and-15, and Griffin fired incomplete deep down the field to turn the ball over on downs.
The Eagles ate up over three minutes of clock and forced the Redskins to use their final two timeouts on their next touch before punting the ball away with under four minutes left.
On the ensuing march, Griffin converted a 4th-and-3 with a 4-yard toss to Jordan Reed before hitting Hankerson for 27 more down to the Philadelphia 26.
Two plays later, Griffin went back to Hankerson, finding him in the back of the end zone for a 24-yard TD to make it a six-point game with 1:14 left.
With no timeouts and little time remaining, Washington attempted an onside kick, but Avant was able to corral the bouncing ball and the Eagles ran out the remainder of the clock to hang on for the victory.
Philadelphia improved to 11-6 at FedEx Field ... McCoy's 184 rushing yards were the most by an Eagle in a road opener since Duce Staley racked up 201 yards in 2000 against Dallas ... Jackson recorded his 16th 100-yard receiving game, moving past Fred Barnett for fifth-most in Eagles history ... Hankerson finished with five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns ... Washington finished 2-for-10 on third-down efficiency.