Chip Kelly defends going for two after Eagles’ first touchdown


Chip Kelly’s unique approach to coaching extends beyond just the nature of his offense and also to a belief in going for two after the first touchdown of the game. Kelly did that several times at Oregon, and he did it on Thursday night against the Chiefs.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work on Thursday. But Kelly still thinks he made the right call.

“If you get a chance to steal a point here or there, in the long run, it can really benefit you,” Kelly said, via “That’s always been our philosophy. Does it mean we’re going to do it all the time? No, I think you pick and choose it.”

The “swinging gate” play the Eagles used looked awkward from the start, but Kelly said it would have worked if everyone had done their assignments properly. Kelly also said he believes that just as it worked for him in college, going for two in unorthodox situations can work for him in the NFL — as long as everyone gets blocked.

“It’s not a tactic that worked at one level, but doesn’t at another level,” Kelly said. “I know whether you play Pop Warner football, high school football, college, or the NFL, if you don’t block your guy at the point of attack, he’s probably going to make the tackle.”

So even though it didn’t work, don’t be surprised to see Kelly try it again.

76 responses to “Chip Kelly defends going for two after Eagles’ first touchdown

  1. I agree.
    If it worked and if the defense played better it might have been a whole different game.
    A lot of ifs…

  2. steal a point? a CHANCE at stealing a point, WHILE giving yourself a much higher chance of LOSING a point you would have had in the first place.

    I’m sorry, but at one point, you are down 14. if you had just kicked, you are down 13, and two td’s, WINS the game.

    this will come back to bite him in a close game in the future. you don’t leave points on the field in the first quarter.

  3. There are no Washington State’s and San Jose State’s in the NFL. Too many of these games are decided by 3 points to play around with stuff like this. Chip Kelly is either in over his head or just plain dumb. You’ve got to take the free point.

  4. Amazing how much pressure this dude is already under, although it comes with the territory when you don’t follow the norm. I imagine his game management will improve as he gains some experience at this level.

    Chill out Philly fans–it’s 3 games.

  5. NFL Head Coaches have been afraid of going against their traditional charts for ages, even though everybody knows those charts are useless. If you think you catch a defense off guard and you can convert those more than 50 % of the time, you gain points. Don’t judge after one blown play, judge after a season.
    Look at the Panthers. Rivera personally lost at least (!) 3 games directly because he did not go for it on 4th and short with a QB who converts short yardage 80 % of the time. He’s now 2-14 in close games because he is a slave of tradition to not go for it on 4th down. Screw those traditions. You go Chip Kelly.

    (And I don’t like the Eagles. Just sayin’)

  6. seems like Chip just threw the team under the bus for not executing the play, while not taking credit for bad play call. pointing fingers has begun in Philly already.

  7. I like that he sticks to his guns and doesn’t let anyone influence his decisions. This eagles team couldn’t put up 20 points a year ago. Never went quick. Never went for two or for it on fourth down. This team played 3 games in 10 days. They’re not a contender however they play in the worst division in football an te playoffs are a real possibility. Just have to win the division games

  8. Belichich has often gone for 4th downs when no other coach would do so. While there were a couple of high profile attempts that failed they’ve gotten the first down something like 90% of those attempts.

    I like Kelly and think he’s going to do well over time, especially after he gets a few drafts of his own, dumps Vick an gets the personnel shaped the way he wants.

  9. As others have mentioned, I don’t see this guy lasting very long at the NFL level. Even the weakest team in the NFL is going to give you trouble if you make mistakes like this coach does in all phases of the game. Game management/time management are real skills that you don’t see so much at the college level, yet are a premium at the NFL level.

    Maybe Chip will learn, but I am guessing that he won’t. Someday he’ll realize that the talent level is a lot more equal in the NFL than college and you can’t run the same stuff you did at Oregon and expect it to work.

  10. I agree with Kelly in principle. I like when coaches go for 2. The success rate is higher than 50%, so it makes more sense than the free-point kick except when you are about to tie it or bring the game within 3 or 7 points. After 14 years of Reid, Chip Kelly’s unorthodox approach is a breath of fresh air here.

    I disagree with the play he called Thursday night. It was a stunt that the Eagles clearly weren’t ready for and the Chiefs were. With Vick at QB he should’ve run a sprint left option instead of going for the swinging gate.

  11. Chip Kelly is the next Steve Spurrier.Great in college a disaster in the NFL.Texas will be his new home soon.

  12. Chip Kelly is Steve Spurrier 2.0. This college crap not going to work in NFL. You have 53 players not 80 plus. These guys get hit a lot harder than college yet you expect them to pop up and run this offense at a frenetic pace. The injury bug is going to wipe your offense out.

  13. Going for 2 when you are ahead 6-0 could make some sense.
    But doing so when you are down 10-6 is just plain idiotic and amatuerish.
    I knew the hiring of Chipper was an overhyped joke!
    In Andy Reid I trust and my Eagles were morons to fire him!
    Big Red was never the problem: when Asante Samuel called out the front office for playing “fantasy football” he was talking about Roseman not Reid.

  14. On the one hand I like Kelly’s “go against the grain” approach. OTOH, he’s starting to remind me of Josh McDaniels when he was a head coach. Maybe things will straighten out for Kelly after he gets more NFL experience. But some folks are just not meant to be NFL head coaches.

  15. whoa whoa whoa. this is NOT at all like the pats head coach going for it. he is playing the percentages that actual go in HIS FAVOR!!!! he was right to go for it in that sense.

    as for chip Kelly, the percentages do NOT play in his favor, and going for 2 there leaves points on the field, which bill did not do by going for 4th and 1 on his side of the field

    TOTALLY different situations.

  16. And for the inevitable Reid critics who claim single handedly built the Eagles roster you couldn’t be more wrong. He had a major say but he did not want to trade McNabb. He was forced to by Lurie and Roseman. Also you always gripe about the small, speedy guys on the roster but they are the stars in the team! From Trent Cole to Desean Jackson to Lesean McCoy. Mike Vick is small, (not that he is a star by any means). Bigger doesn’t equal better despite what Chipper and his legion of mindless fan boys may think.

  17. In the script that Chip has written up is not matching the current players skill set. It sounds really interesting Hopefully Chip is given a few years to get this close to what he is talking about.

    Side note: the sooner HGH testing is passed the more this will help Chip’s plan. The Defenses around the league will not be as big or quick. Chip could then find these faster players that he needs.

    Even as a Giants fan, I’d like to see his game plan executed perfectly. Preferably not against the Giants tho…

  18. “If you get a chance to steal a point here or there, in the long run, it can really benefit you”

    Works both ways Chip. If you lose a point here or there then it can really deter you from winning. Prior to the Thursday night game 22 of the 32 games played had been decided by a TD or less.

  19. It’s High School Harry nonsense. I’ve had a “wait and see” approach to Kelly in the NFL. But if he thinks going for two in the first quarter in the NFL is just as okay as going for two in high school then that’s all you need to know about him. He’s going to fail at this level.

    Sometimes I bash Eagles fans because, well, it’s fun. We all know it’s fun. But currently I’m feeling something else. Sympathy. Poor sad sack fans with an empty trophy case. This College coach is not going to bring a shiny hunk of metal to your team.

  20. “If you get a chance to steal a point here or there, in the long run, it can really benefit you”

    Of course, if you fail to convert, you just fumbled a point away, that in the long run can really hurt you.

  21. Of course Kelly is going to defend the call……he made it…….but that doesn’t make it right. I agree with other posters that Kelly’s tenure in the NFL doesn’t look bright. Gimmick plays etc. don’t usually work in the NFL over the long haul. Kind of goes with the age-old saying, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”.

  22. I love how so many Eagles fans are trying to absolve Andy Reid of blame for the horrible personnel decisions and pin it all on Roseman.

    Roseman wasn’t the one that hired Jim Washburn first, and then hired his offensive line coach to be the new defensive coordinator. Roseman wasn’t the one that failed to change up the hand signals when they played the Cardinals, and Kevin Kolb was standing on the other sideline, reading the hand signals and calling out the offense’s plays to his defense. Roseman wasn’t the one that whiffed on virtually every high-round D-line draft picks. Roseman wasn’t the one calling an extremely lopsided pass-first attack when you clearly have an OL and RBs better suited to a ground-and-pound attack. Roseman wasn’t the one on the field that screwed up so many critical game/clock management decisions.

    I appreciate Andy Reid for the things he did during the first half of his tenure in Philly, but if you want to pretend that Andy Reid wasn’t the reason the Eagles fell into sharp decline thanks to a slew of bungled drafts, you’re only kidding yourself.

    KC is going to get more success out of Andy Reid because they are limiting his duties to head coach duties, rather than allowing him to have too many irons in the fire and having him dealing with so many personnel decisions that should be left to the front office.

  23. Memo to Chip. This isn’t College. You are now facing real defenses. You don’t chase points until you have too.

    Rookie coaching error.

  24. Notice to Chip: Nice in theory but you will be on the loosing end of that more times than not. This is the NFL! You get as many points on the board early in games as you can! Save the cutesy plays for later in the game when its necessary. Can’t wait to see him loose a game by a point where he tries this again!!

  25. This buffoon has a massive ego that developed in kiddie ball, where he was considered a genius.

    The fact that he’ll only coach for a year or two at the most in the NFL will only tell him that the whole NFL is wrong and grandmaster Chip is right.

  26. Not an Eagles fan here. I like Chip’s offense. Vick is not very smart with a good defense. The decision for two is not smart at the beginning of the game. Maybe when you’re whipping them and the offense is rolling, though.

  27. Actually – I think coaches should go for two more often, and I *loved* it when Coach Marrone called for it during the third quarter in the Bills game against the Panthers.

    Score was 12 to 14 after the touchdown run. A successful extra point kick STILL would’ve had them down by 1 point. There’s no real difference being down by 1 point or 2 at that point – you’ll still need to make a score at some point. So the *downside* if it fails is pretty darn low.

    BUT – tying the game makes a HUGE difference in options going into the fourth. And in this case – that extra one point was the difference between tying it to force overtime and winning the game…

  28. Do your top tier teams run gimmicks? No. Your poorer teams run misdirections to try and steal wins from better teams. Concentrate on getting better talent and teach them how to be the best X or O in your scheme. There’s nothing new under the sun for football. There’s nothing Kelly can think up that no one else has thought of.

  29. eagles didn’t play well thurs nite. thurs nite. short wk. return of andy reid. they weren’t ready to play. gave up a quick 10 pts via a fumbled punt and pick six, and…hey…they lost by 10 ! all things being said, i thought they played ok despite those 2 glaring, early game gaffes. and the muffed snap was also inexcusable.

    frankly i think the SD loss is a bigger issue.

  30. I love all the arm chair experts that are already dubbing Kelly as Spurrier 2.0 as if he was supposed to completely 180 the hot mess that was the Eagles last season already after 3 games. Spewing typical tagline crap that makes them feel witty. He may fall flat on his face but I’m sure if he is successful once he has the right roster those same geniuses will be real quiet.

    That said the guy has a lot to learn but is clearly not “the old ball coach” idiot that Spurrier was, trying to spend 2 days a week on the golf course.

    Jimmy Johnson was an innovative college coach too who went 1-15 his 1st year & 7-9 his second year. After that he had HIS players & rolled.

  31. He made the right call, every team should go for two every time if they want to win. I can’t wait for the day when the xtra point kick is phased out.

  32. The average NFL play is around 5 yards, logically 2 point conversions should happen far more often. It isn’t that bad of a call using given stats. Let him work the kinks out, its been 3 games and he is fresh from college.

  33. I’m an Eagles fan and this guy is already getting under my skin! First, it’s allowing the Redskins to catch up because he doesn’t know how to manage time, than its calling all the timeouts at the end of the Chargers game when he shouldn’t have and now going for 2pts “Just Because” he can. REALLY????

  34. “I agree.
    If it worked and if the defense played better it might have been a whole different game.
    A lot of ifs…


    The defense played much better. It was just at the end that they were gassed because of the offense putting them on the field too much via turnovers all game.

  35. that’s the excuse? eagles had a short week and didn’t play well? KC had a short week, were on the road, and guess what? they didn’t play very well. KC was what, 1/4 in the red zone scoring td’s? wasn’t a good week for them either. they just didn’t leave points on the field.

  36. Chip Kelly is anything but a smart football strategist. I wrote him up for not playing the odds on taking the 10 yard penalty in the 3rd quarter that would have made the play 3rd and 35. That’s a better time to gamble to try and pick up an extra edge for a small risk. But he declined to gamble there, instead takes bad math odds on a 2 pt conversion attempt? I don’t get it, other than to say this is the kind of stuff that happens if you don’t have a smart coach.

  37. How about don’t turn the ball over 5 times and get 0 turnovers. Vince Lombardi didn’t win alot of games like that I bet. Micro-analyze anything else irrelavant that you want about that game/ the eagles situation..

  38. If Chip had not called the timeouts at the end of the San Diego game, the Chargers would have ran the clock all the way down and kicked the FG as time expired. I can’t believe the idiots calling the game kept questioning it. The Eagles actually got to run an offensive play.

  39. He is making the same mistake so many college coaches did before him. These guys actually think it was their play calling that won them games in college. It wasn’t. Football is about the players, not the plays called.

    At Oregon he was able to recruit the best talent west of the Mississippi because Nike poured money into the program and gave them advantage over other schools. This advantage doesn’t exists in the NFL anymore. Every play works when you have top talent that will dominate your opposition. In the NFL you better take the points when they are given to you. You aren’t paying San Jose St anymore.

  40. “crowgora says:
    Sep 21, 2013 12:31 PM
    The average NFL play is around 5 yards, logically 2 point conversions should happen far more often. It isn’t that bad of a call using given stats. Let him work the kinks out, its been 3 games and he is fresh from college.”

    This is very flawed logic. Not every play is at the 2.5 yard line and have the defense expecting a short yardage play. Football isn’t baesball. Stats don’t explain the game. It is about situations. The conversation rate isn’t good enough to go for it. Take the points, especially when it puts you within a FG. It was a stupid move.

  41. If you thought Chip Kelly wasn’t bringing the swinging gate with him to the NFL you haven’t been paying attention

  42. This will only get more entertaining.

    By the end of the year their defense will be tattered, and they may be starting their 3rd string QB.

    Best of all, Vick keeps getting plastered.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  43. Hey Mr. “Offensive Genius”….. it worked at Oregon because your o-line beat the d-line about about 30 pounds per man, and your 6 offensive skill players were literally the 6 fastest players on the field.

    Sorry, Chippy, but in the pros that ain’t the case. Those fellas on the other side of the ball are just as big, strong and fast as your guys.

  44. Going for it on fourth down vs. punting and going for 2 instead of 1 after a TD are two very different things. Failure to execute a 4th down doesn’t automatically lead to the loss of 1-point from your total score. And the upside of converting a fourth down COULD be worth a whole lot more than two points if you score a FG/TD and/or control the clock.

    I don’t think the Eagles are as good as Keely thinks they are, and the poster who mentioned there are no Washinton States in the NFL hit the nail on the head.

  45. Notice now that chip kelly’s college offense is crumbling before our eyes since the 2nd half of the first game, you can’t find that eagle loud mouth fan “4getu” with a GPS.

    Nothing more devastating to an opinion than facts.

  46. The Eagles didn’t lose that game because of the two point try. They lost because of turnovers and because their defense couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down and long. Was the two point try a dumb play? Sure, probably. But people who are focusing on that are focusing on the wrong thing. Watching the Eagles play defense is like watching a train wreck, when they give up 20 yards on a 3rd and 19.
    That’s inexcusable…..and it happened several times (the yardage to go varied). Chip Kelly should probably try to lose as many games as he can so he can get a good pick in next year’s draft and finally get the quarterback that he really wants who will help this team win.

  47. @greenbird1

    I agree.

    One thing about Jimmy though. He started his kids at QB so they could learn & grow with the whole team. He saw Aikman was better than his own boy Walsh. But they PLAYED so it could be seen which was the QB of the future. He didn’t start with a proven loser trying to make him a winner.

    This is the mistake Kelly is making. He isn’t going to reinvent Vick & Vick is never going to be that good. He’s 33 years old! Very slim chance this team is a play off team so why are we starting a career disappointment that is 33 years old knowing he is never going to be any better? The kids need to grow up with the rest of the team.

  48. Chip Kelly should probably try to lose as many games as he can so he can get a good pick in next year’s draft and finally get the quarterback that he really wants who will help this team win.

    Doesn’t appear he has to try too hard.

  49. hey if you have a great team, play the conventional game. take over a team with 4 wins and no defense have fun with the game run the gimmicks take chances as an element of surprise. say what you want but every opposing coach the rest of the year will have to prepare for a 2pt conversion after every score

  50. I moved from Philly to Oregon 35 years ago. I have seen the rise of Chip Kelly from the start. I can tell you he is one arrogant D0uchebag. The only reason his college team won so many games is because they paid off the parents and players to recruit the best they could get. The NCAA is investigating it and that is the main reason he left the school before he got hammered. NFL players will not kill themselves like the eager College players for his want to be hurry up offense. He will not last long in the NFL, and the non-homer Philly fans will drum him out of town.

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