By Lesley Le Platte
PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Eagles played the New England Patriots on Friday night in the first game of the NFL preseason for both teams. Chip Kelly led the Eagles for the first time as head coach. The Eagles had the home field advantage and implemented Kelly’s new offensive style, but ultimately fell to the Patriots, 31-22.
After the Patriots took an early lead, the Eagles bounced back to tie the game, 7-7, with a 47-yard touchdown thrown by Michael Vick to wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Vick, who started the game, played in the first quarter and completed four out of five passes, for a total of 94 yards for the Eagles. The Patriots scored again, leading 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Eagles started the second quarter with an 8-yard rush by running back Bryce Brown, evening the score at 14. The Eagles did not score again until the fourth quarter. The Patriots took a huge lead, scoring 17 straight points. Many Eagles fans left during the third quarter.
Near the end of the game, the Eagles tried to make a comeback. Matt Barkley threw a 12-yard pass to wide receiver Greg Salas, who scored a touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter, leaving them only nine points behind the Patriots. Eagles fans danced and cheered, with the hope that the Eagles could win.
With 13 seconds left in the game, and the Patriots leading 31-22, the Eagles tried to score one last touchdown. G.J. Kinne threw a 35-yard completion to Salas, putting the Eagles just three yards away from a touchdown. Both teams took time outs, leaving two seconds on the clock. The Eagles ended the game exactly one yard away from a touchdown.
Five quarterbacks played for the Eagles during the game. One of them, Dennis Dixon, implemented Kelly’s signature offensive style. This method is designed to reduce reset time between plays, and was a key part of his success as head coach at the University of Oregon.
Dixon, who graduated from Oregon, is certainly familiar with Kelly’s method, since Kelly was his college coach.