LANDOVER, Md. - The Eagles' Chip Kelly Era began with a victory Monday night.

The offense and defense both delivered solid performances in a 33-27 win over Washington at FedEx Field in the season-opener for both teams.

Kelly became the first Eagles' head coach to earn a win in his first regular-season game since Rich Kotite in 1991. Both Ray Rhodes and Andy Reid lost their openers in 1995 and 1999, respectively.

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There was an air of mystery surrounding the Eagles entering the game. Kelly showed very little of his creative, high-energy offense during the preseason while the defense appeared to be having trouble making the transition to a 3-4 alignment under new defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

They responded by dominating the Redskins for the first three quarters before Kelly took his foot off the offensive accelerator. The Eagles owned a 33-7 lead before the Redskins scored two touchdowns.

Running back LeSean McCoy, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and quarterback Michael Vick led a well-balanced offense that operated with such energy and precision that the Redskins' defense had trouble catching its breath.

McCoy churned through the Redskins for 184 yards on a career-high 31 carries. He came up 1 yard short of tying his career high in that category.

Vick showed why Kelly elected him to be the starting quarterback over Nick Foles, throwing two touchdown passes and running for one. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 196 yards with no interceptions.

Jackson showed the explosiveness that makes him one of the NFL's most exciting receivers, catching seven passes for 104 yards and a TD.

The Eagles' defense was just as impressive in the early going, creating three turnovers, three sacks and registering a safety, before Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III led two TD drives.

Cornerback Cary Williams, who had drawn his share of criticism for fighting with opponents and teammates in recent weeks, came through with an acrobatic interception and sack.

Outside linebacker Trent Cole, who is making a transition from defensive end, forced an intentional grounding penalty and also downed Redskins running back Alfred Morris in the end zone for the safety. Cornerback Brandon Boykin snared his first career interception. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans and defensive end Fletcher Cox also had sacks.

The Eagles jumped on the Redskins at the outset, using a dominant performance by their offense and defense to take a 26-7 halftime lead.

McCoy and Jackson led the offense in the first two quarters. McCoy rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries as part of Kelly's fast-break, read-option offense.

When  Vick opted to throw, he usually found Jackson. Jackson snared seven passes in the first half for 104 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown. Vick also threw a 28-yard TD pass to tight end Brent Celek and scored his 35th career rushing touchdown - tying him with Randall Cunningham and Steve Grogan for eighth place among NFL quarterbacks.

The Eagles amassed 322 total yards and 21 first downs while running an incredible 53 plays in the first half.

Defensively, Cole and cornerbacks Williams and Boykin sparked a charge that left Griffin bruised, battered and frustrated at halftime.

The Eagles' only mistake came at the beginning of the game, when Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall scooped up a backward lateral and ran 75 yards for a touchdown to put the Redskins ahead 7-0.


Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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