And the jury is still out after that 33-27 squeaker against the Redskins. You might say this game started with the apparently mandatory "tough guy" display between Florida prep school grads Riley Cooper and Cary Williams. The intercession by Michael Vick was his first and most important test of leadership for the coming season.
Chip Kelly's go-go offense can not run without a can-can quarterback. Vick managed it long enough to give the Birds what amounted to an insurmountable lead. As plentifully observed elsewhere, the pace threw the 'Skins off and exhausted their defense early. But the Eagles offense was feeling it too and did little to add to their lead in the second half.
The win may owe as much to the poor play of a still-recovering RGIII as to the deliberately chunky Vick. (He has decided to build out - 220 lbs - rather than up, since he doesn't have much choice, in order to be more resistant to tackle and injury in his determinedly slide-free runs.) But there is a brick wall awaiting the Kelly drive. (Yes the pun is intended.)
Fact one: defenses are less aerobically fit that offenses and tire more quickly. Fact two: there is less glory in playing defense than offense. Fact three: every team will suffer from both facts one and two. But Philly's center Jason Kelce may have made the most telling observation of the game: he claimed the pace did NOT hurt the performance of the Eagles' offensive line and boasted that the other team wanted to slow things down. That is macho football talk for "This is f-ing killing me."
The rest of the season may prove to be a race to the bottom of the lungs of the defenses and the offensive lines; whoever gets there first loses.
Enough of seriousness, and on to the love-spat between the catholic boys:
Riley and Cary get to know each other
Mikey gets jealous and tells his boyfriend to shut it