LANDOVER, Md. -- This is exactly what Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie had in mind when he reached out to Chip Kelly after a rough 2012 season. At the top of his requirements for a new head coach was a man who was innovative, not afraid to make tough decisions and think of new ways to play the game the NFL.
And what Lurie saw in the first half of Monday night's thrilling 33-27 win at FedEx Field over Washington was what we all saw: An Eagles offensive explosion that, despite some flaws and missed opportunities, put 26 points on the board and offered all kinds of possibilities in the big picture.
Chip Kelly's debut as a head coach with the Eagles was a smash hit with Lurie.
"I would say you have great dreams and you have nightmares, and that was a great dream," said Lurie, laughing. "It was awesome. We've seen the team practice at hyper speed, we've seen the players prepare in ways that maximize their energy. It's been since April, and it was wonderful to see it laid out in the very first regular-season game."
Lurie presented Kelly with a special game ball after the victory and told the head coach that the win was the "first of a lot."
"I'm happy for the players and coaches who went and got a road win in a division game against the defending NFC East champions," said Lurie. "It was a dynamic performance in many ways. At the same time, we know that it's just one win and that we have two games in the next 11 days, and that's going to be very challenging."
It took former head coach Andy Reid five games to record his first victory, and at 0-4 that season the Eagles were clearly in a rebuilding situation. What about now for Lurie's Eagles? The performance on Washington's home turf was encouraging, to say the least.
"Everyone is happy to leave here with a win. It's a great start," said Lurie. "We have to come back on Sunday at home and keep it going."