How will Chip Kelly attack Defenses? (part one: misdirection)


The great Greg Cosell summarized Chip Kelly’s offense in five words (via @caplannfl):

cosell tweet

Last night, Doug Farrar (@SI_DougFarrar) from Sports Illustrated published a fantastic article about Chip Kelly exploiting defenses with play fakes and misdirection. These wrinkles are expansions of some classic plays, but with the speed that Andy Reid built up the last few years. This combination could be deadly and cause numerous problems for defenses.

I noticed some of this while watching the Eagles-Panthers game. Here’s a play by play:

  • Nick Foles keeps the ball on a read-option fake…
  • Foles rolls out to his left and…
  • Right before being tackled, Foles fakes a lateral to a receiver behind him.

He ran the play earlier that drive and actually threw the ball. Personally, this play is a little two cutesy/risky. Perhaps it could succeed if the DBs crash on the runner but if the lateral is off target, one bad bounce can change the outcome of a game.

Kelly also seems to be a fan of running play action horizontally (rather than downhill/towards the line of scrimmage). Farrar’s article showed Carolina’s linebackers frozen in the middle of the field, leaning in opposite directions.

Foles Farrar

Screen grab from Farrar’s full article – check it out!

These kinds of freezes are why the read-option makes deadly play action passes and why RGIII had such huge passing windows.

Maybe it is just me, but Chip Kelly appears to be showing his hand a bit. Let’s see how things look in the third preseason game when both teams game plan a bit.


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