Chip Kelly says he doesn’t look at games from first half/second half perspective


The Eagles, who have done very well in the second halves of games this season, face the 49ers, who haven’t, on Sunday.  But Philly coach Chip Kelly claims coaches don’t view games that way.

“I guess the best way for me to say it is, we don’t look at what quarter or what half or whatever,” Kelly told reporters on Thursday.  “We look at red zone, we look at third down.   Part of some of the things that happened to them – and [49ers head coach] Jim [Harbaugh] will say the same thing ‑‑ are more self‑inflicted wounds.  They’ve got eight or nine first downs that people have converted against them in critical situations because of penalties.  You know, it’s been kind of just tough.  They’ve got them off the field and got them in a situation, but all of a sudden, they get a stop on third down, but then there’s a flag.  There was an illegal contact once in the Dallas game that was hard to see, where you could even see where it was on film, but that extends the drive, and it’s another first down, so they’re on the field.  So I think some of the things are self-inflicted in terms of what they’re doing from a penalty standpoint.   That is the one thing that kind of stands out when you look at it.  But we don’t say, ‘Hey, let’s just look at what’s going on in the third and fourth quarter with those guys,; because we’re still [asking], ‘What’s going on in the red zone, what’s going on on third down, what are they doing in short-yardage situations, what are they doing on the goal line?;  That is kind of how we approach our game, not change our game plan [with] one game plan for the first half and a different game plan for the second half.”

As to his own team’s first-half struggles, Kelly said each game has unfolded differently.

“I don’t see a common thread,” Kelly said of his team’s games.  “Indianapolis did a really good job of running the ball against us, the Washington Redskins did a good job of throwing the ball and controlling the clock against us and [they were] two entirely different approaches.  You come out of the Indianapolis game, I thought we did a good job of defending Andrew Luck, but they ran the ball on us.  From a defensive perspective, you come out of the Redskins game and say, ‘We did a really good job against Alfred Morris and the run game, but we didn’t do a very good job in the passing game.’  There is a difference right there.  In Jacksonville, we put them on a short field in terms of turning the ball over offensively.  So they didn’t have to go very far to get up and get in the lead.  We really weren’t successful offensively in the Jacksonville game early.  [In the second half] we were better.  I thought we moved the ball.  In the Colts game we stalled in the red zone offensively.  In the Redskins game we just didn’t have the ball very much.  They scored, and then we returned a kickoff for a touchdown, so we’re still sitting on the sidelines.  I think we had the ball for only seven minutes in the first half, but you’re up 21‑20.  So, every game is kind of different.  Every game takes on a life of its own.”

While that explanation makes sense at a certain level, it doesn’t account for the possibility that, as the game wears on, one team is performing better than the other.  Whether it’s because one team is in better shape or has better mental focus when the game is on the line, it’s likely not an accident that some teams do better in the third and fourth quarters, and that some don’t.

It’s also likely not an accident that Kelly wouldn’t acknowledge that he has figured out how to make his team perform better in the second half.  That’s a trend that any coach would want to embrace, and it possibly reflects one of the benefits of Kelly’s unconventional methods.

Basically, whatever he’s doing seems to be working as the game wears on.  It makes plenty of sense for him to tiptoe around addressing the possibility that he has figured out how to harness one of the most elusive variables in the sport — the ability to get the most out of his players when the stakes are the highest.

25 responses to “Chip Kelly says he doesn’t look at games from first half/second half perspective

  1. Hes lying. Obviously game planning is a huge issue as to how you start the game – Or even how you adjust in the 3rdQ – Also, what about getting worn down in the 4th?

    Once again, he wants to conceal what his teams advantages and disadvantages are, so he gets really wordy and tells lies. Smart.

  2. It such a small sample size this season that I really don’t put too much stock into it. Pointing to sports science just seems like easy connect-the-dots media analysis at this point.

    They were winning at halftime vs Washington and falling behind in the first two games was more about Foles struggling in the first half than anything else.

  3. Well… that’s a bit foolish, he should.

    At some point, their first have failures will be too much to overcome and it will cost them some games.

  4. Oh Chipper, you’re much smarter than that. Lesson one of the WWFL is -never never never- even indirectly criticize Goodell’s game fixers…er, I mean referees. I hope you’re ready for a year or two’s worth of screwy penalties costing juuuuust enough losses to give Goodell’s good friends Jerrah and/or Mara some NFC East championships.

  5. I think too much of a deal is made about “halftime adjustments”. I mean, you spend all week putting in a game plan, and then you go in at halftime and put in another one? In 15 minutes? I think you adjust during the game to whatever is happening at the time. If you’re behind by 10, you’re probably going to pass more. If you’re not stopping their running game, you can make those changes on the fly.

  6. The NFL’s smartest coach doing what he does best:

    Chip keeps it simple. Chip looks at the little pieces. If you win the little pieces over 60 minutes you will win the only piece that matters. THE FINAL SCORE.

    In Philadelphia we have ZERO Super Bowl victories. I don’t know any other city that deserves a ring. Now that CHIP is here the vibe is alive that we will get one, if not many with KELLY. This is real. This guy is real.

    Oh and does anyone need a mouthy average cornerback with poor practice qualities!!!

    In Chip We Truse


  7. Philly definitely does a lot of running and other various workouts in the offseason that are meant to help them not get worn out as the game unfolds, but I don’t think the Eagles’ 2nd half success can be chalked up simply due to their ability to stay fresh. It’s almost always a lot more complicated than that. Chip Kelly has an extremely bright football mind and I believe that a lot of the 2nd half success has more to do with him and his game plan than it does with the player’s overall stamina. Coaches generally have a decent idea as to what the opponents’ gameplan will be like before the contest starts, but it’s not until the game begins to unfold that they get a more thorough glimpse into the overall approach their opponents are taking to succeed against them. Chip has done a masterful job at identifying weak points and areas in which he can exploit his opponent after having seen their approach to the 1st half, as well as the optimal ways in which he can utilize the various weapons he has it his own disposal. Teams would be wise to take note of the fact that Chip Kelly is going to find chinks in your armor without fail, and changing your gameplan and various personnel heading into the 2nd half is paramount if you wish to succeed against this evil genius of a coach.

  8. Andy Reid is quite possibly the worst in-game adjustment coach I’ve ever seen. From abandoning the run when it was working, to making adjustments to blitz packages, he was down right awful. I can’t remember how many games the Eagles would be winning at halftime, only to get blown out in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

    As I watched Desean jackson return that punt for a TD against the Giants I remember the guy next to me saying, “wow, this is what it feels like”. Yup. Reid was the worst at adjusting to other coaches adjustments.

    Chip is a heckuva lot more fun to watch…

  9. 1. eagles defense plays vanilla in the first half, and dials it up/blitzes/stunts more in the 2nd half.
    2. phila defense got HUGE stops late to win indy and wash gms
    3. foles has played better in 2nd half vs 1st half so far.

  10. The guys ahead of his time, within 5 years a majority of teams will adopt his “sport science” perpetration and training methods. It’s not a coincidence his team is FLYING late in games

  11. logicalvoicesays says:
    Sep 25, 2014 4:37 PM
    Here’s how many Superbowls the Philadelphia Eagles have ever won :

    Here’s how many more seasons RGKNEE will be the starter:

  12. A coach that actually says something worth listening to in interviews. That certainly is refreshing. Wish this guy were the coach of another team that wears green.

  13. He needs to start looking at it from a defensive perspective. Since he has the worst rated defense in the NFC East. Everyone is so preoccupied with calling him a genius for some reason that they don’t even pay attention to that.

  14. logicalvoicesays says:
    Sep 25, 2014 4:37 PM

    Here’s how many Superbowls the Philadelphia Eagles have ever won :

    – –

    but , , the Philadelphia Eagles own 3 NFL Championships . . .but what’s in a name ?

    by your logic .. ‘Skins own no NFL Championships

  15. I don’t think this is all that complicated. They run a fast pace no huddle offense. In the 2nd half defenses are worn down by it. The Eagles offensive players have better conditioning and are used to it from playing at a fast pace every week and in practice so they don’t wear down. Seems pretty simple to me. I think they’ve been slow in the first half because when defenses are fresh they can attack what is basically a very simplistic offense, in terms of the number of plays they run.

  16. logicalvoicesays says:
    Sep 25, 2014 4:37 PM
    Here’s how many Superbowls the Philadelphia Eagles have ever won :
    I didn’t see any comments from you on the Redskins articles. Have you already given up on the season? The Redskins are 1-3 and have to face Seattle and Arizona in the next two games.

  17. The serious analysis of Chip’s PC speak is funny to me. Keeps happening. He is smarter than you.

  18. I don’t understand why they play the games.

    As an Eagle fan, I’m more than brainwashed to the following certanties:
    – The Seahawks can’t be beat, not now, and not anytime in the near future
    – The Cowboys will continue to rake in all the money as “America’s Team”
    – The Steelers will physically crush all comers
    – Aaron Rogers is the best quarterback of all time
    – The Washington Redskins are perhaps an “All Universe” team, and RG3 will soon be the first active duty player elected to the Hall Of Fame
    – Tom Brady has never done anything wrong, ever, in any game, ever, not once. And his hair has been perfect the whole time.
    – The Eagles have been doomed by *deity* to never win a Superbowl, along with the Vikings.

    I get it; I’m convinced.

    Why is the NFL bothering to play the games? They should just be awarded the rights to extract money from our bank accounts to pay their Million Dollar Babies…

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