The Colts and Eagles both fell behind by large margins in Week 1. This has been a common tendency for the Colts, but what about the Eagles?
It was a bit of a stunner, actually. Last season, the Eagles could move the ball and score at will early on; maintaining that sort of punch in the fourth quarter was actually more difficult. It wasn't at all uncommon for the Eagles to go into the half with a healthy lead, and still win, albeit by a much narrower margin. In that sense, Sunday's win over the Jags was a 2013 win, inverted.
I've read a couple of stories about quarterback Nick Foles getting off to a slow start after committing three turnovers in the opener. Do you see it that way, or is it too soon to rush to judgment on this?
Too soon. The Jags presented a brand new look to their D with Chris Clemons and Red Bryant pounding the edges, and Foles found it difficult to keep comfortable in the pocket. After halftime, with a chance to adjust, Foles played brilliantly, deftly side-stepping any pocket collapses, and no longer hesitating on his throws. As the season grinds on, and every team has shown their cards, they'll be easier to gameplan for, and by bet is more of comfortable-early Foles.
Much is made of Chip Kelly's offense, particularly the up-tempo emphasis and maximizing plays. Is it still the same way, or do the Eagles ease off the throttle at times depending on the game situation?
Kelly had to adjust to the NFL. He had a rude awakening in Week 2 last year against the Chargers when the Eagles scored with too much time left, and San Diego drove down for the winning field goal. Kelly started playing more conservative in appropriate times, notably against the Packers in November. There, the Eagles were up 14 points with nine minutes left, and ran down the entire clock with LeSean McCoy and seldom-used James Casey. Kelly's not so arrogant that he'd insist on up-tempo all the time, and he's adjusted when necessary.
In life after wide receiver DeSean Jackson, how does the position look now? Is there an obvious pecking order, or is there still a lot of sorting out to do?
Maclin and Cooper can switch off at no. 1, with both being quality all-arounders. Cooper became surprisingly effective as a deep ball receiver last year, while Maclin, when healthy, can do pretty much anything Jackson can do, with less of the straight-line speed and more of a better attitude. Jordan Matthews is being counted on to be a sizable slot target, although he's had some growing pains. Fellow rookie Josh Huff has been sidelined for a month with a shoulder injury, but with a full quartet, it's a corps that any of them can thrive in. For now, Maclin's a clear alpha.
The Eagles allowed five sacks in Week 1. Was this a surprise or does Philadelphia have similar O-line issues as the Colts, who allowed three sacks in their opening loss and have let Andrew Luck get sacked 76 times in 33 career regular-season games?
As I said before, the Jags new look created confusion in the line, but adjustments at halftime minimized further damage. Admittedly, the Eagles line is stronger at second-level run blocking than anything, and Foles has been known to take sacks. It's not a severe issue, and when he's confident and displaying a quick release, it's almost no problem at all.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.