September 20, 2013

Is Chip Kelly really a good coach? + Week 3 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

With the Eagles sitting at 1-2 after Thursday night’s loss to former coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, you have to ask if the Chip Kelly experiment is really working for Philadelphia.

Nobody will ever deny that watching the fast-paced offence with some neat read-options looks built in is anything less than entertaining, but it’s not winning games.

In the Eagles’ two losses, their defence has been on the field for two-thirds of the game. And this isn’t exactly a good defence either.

Commentators have started putting a premium on number of plays run in a game this season thanks to coaches like Kelly and these high-speed offences. But on Thursday night it was the Chiefs who dominated that stat, 77-63. You can’t run plays if you don’t have the ball.

At Oregon, Kelly relied on the program’s amazing recruiting power to stay strong on defence while he worked his innovative offence. You can’t do that in the NFL, where ever offence – except the Browns now – is capable of finding the end zone giving enough time.

Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy can pile up all of the yardage they want, but it is points that matter and those aren’t being put up on the scoreboard.

If Kelly is going to be a successful NFL coach and more than just a gimmick, he needs to start winning games and he needs to figure out how to keep his defence off the field, even if that means slowing down his warp-speed blur offence.

The lines are straight from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

TENNESSEE -3 over San Diego

Both of these teams are doing better than expected, but I still can’t back the Chargers at 1 p.m. EDT, even if they did win in Philly.

MINNESOTA -7 over Cleveland

The Browns are already down to their third-string QB, starting Brian Hoyer this week and traded away their best player for a pick next year. And you thought Cleveland’s offence couldn’t get any worse.

Tampa Bay +7.5 over NEW ENGLAND

This pick would instantly change if Gronk suits up. And how bad could Kenbrell Thompkins be if Darrelle Revis locks him down?

Houston -1 over BALTIMORE

The Ravens are a better team at home, but the Texans are a better team overall.

St. Louis +3.5 over DALLAS

The Cowboys had trouble moving the ball against the Chiefs and the Rams are just as good. This one should be a low-scoring affair, so why not take the points?

Arizona +9 over NEW ORLEANS

The Cardinals have their problems, but also have some really good assets. I don’t see the Saints winning by double digits.

Detroit +1 over WASHINGTON

There is something seriously wrong with the Washington defence. RG3 still doesn’t look 100% either.

Green Bay -1 over CINCINNATI

A short week for Cincy and the Packers are coming off a blowout win.

New York Giants (pk) over CAROLINA

It’s time to start up the “Fire Ron Rivera” chants. And the Giants can’t possibly go 0-3, right?

Atlanta +1 over MIAMI

The Dolphins have impressed so far, but Falcons are a far better team than what they’ve faced.

SAN FRANCISCO -11.5 over Indianapolis

The 49ers are going to be pissed after that shellacking in Seattle. Plus, coach Harbaugh knows all about Andrew Luck and the Colts offence.

SEATTLE -19.5 over Jacksonville

At what point would you actually consider taking the Jags? I would be willing to give up to 21 points.

Buffalo +1.5 over NEW YORK JETS

A battle between the top two rookie QBs. Though EJ Manuel vs. Geno Smith doesn’t have the same lustre as a Luck vs. RG3 matchup.

Chicago -1.5 over PITTSBURGH

It’s getting pretty bad for the Steelers while the Bears are a team on the rise.

DENVER -15.5 over Oakland

Another case of ‘this line can’t be high enough.’ I’d give up to 20 taking Manning on a Monday night at home against these Raiders.

This week: 1-0
Last week: 9-7
This season: 16-16-1

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