Well, we all knew it was coming at some point.
Chip Kelly proved during his time at Oregon that he is not a conventional football coach. Time of possession? Who cares. Read-option a gimmick? Nope. Always punt/kick on 4th and longer than 1? I don't think so.
And of course the topic of Chip's propensity to go for 2 after a TD in College Football for seemingly no other reason than to play mind games with his opponents.
It's important to state that Chip did this often in Oregon. However, the philosophy was to go for it when you roll out a formation that works and puts the numbers in your favor. If you have a great match-up, why not take an additional point than the norm?
That was the premise he used in Oregon for the Swinging Gate Formation. This whacky formation we all saw last night on Thursday Night Football was a staple on Chip Kelly's special teams in Oregon. He would line up in this formation an awful lot after a TD. The key is the read. If the unit has the right numbers and looks in the formation, they are going to go for it, and there are plenty of options on the play. The swinging gate formation and it's multitude of options is detailed very well here.
So last night we saw it for the first time from Chip Kelly's Eagles. And it failed. I think Chip is awfully lucky that Michael Vick and the OLs poor performance last night will dominate the headlines today and that we didn't lose a 1 point game.
I don't want to get into the logic of why or why not to do this or what Kelly is thinking when he decides to go for it. In the end, it is an option play. They show the formation and if the look is not there, they will quickly line up in the standard way and kick the point. The curious point was why to break that out for the first time in week 3 with a score of 10-6?
In the end, it didn't work. Therefore, it was the wrong call. But after reading the fishduck piece, let's break it down to see if the players made the right call to run it, rather than revert to a standard formation and kick the football.
When they line up, look at how things end up. The key is to focus on the left side of the field. You have Ertz behind a 5 man line, with 5 defenders. That's one-on-one blocking. That means Dorenbos made the "right" play by snapping to Ertz. This is the look Kelly and Fipp want:
Unfortunately, as you see it unfold, as has been a theme so far in the Chip Kelly era, the execution breaks down. For some reason, Lane Johnson decides to double-down on a man with Evan Mathis and Tamba Hali is left unblocked.
You can see here, Mathis is blocking no-one. I think he was responsible for Lane's man, and Lane should have clearly kicked out. If Lane even gets in Hali's way, it's probably a successful 2 point conversion
So it seems, schematically, they got what they wanted and if executed properly, probably would have converted for 2. But unfortunately, they didn't execute the play properly.
For the record, I hated the call. I like the idea of doing something unconventional and taking free points when you can get them...but the Eagles were just so unbelievably flat last night in several areas of the game. We finally get on the board with a TD and gain momentum and get the crowd into it, and you immediately give them something to get upset about.
In the end, it didn't mean much. It was cool to see this look...but I didn't get the circumstances. Why not roll this out in the Redskins game when we were blowing them out?