COMMENTARY | Down 10-0 just minutes in to the game, the Philadelphia Eagles moved down field in large part due to a 61-yard run by quarterback Mike Vick. The drive was capped with a nice touchdown pass to Jason Avant to cut the first-quarter deficit to 10-6. As head coach Chip Kelly had often done as the head coach at Oregon, Kelly opted to go for two points instead of kicking a nearly automatic extra point. The call for a winging gate failed to pick up two points and quickly became a call that has already been analyzed over and over again.
Had the call worked, Kelly would have been applauded for his approach and aggressive gambling. Because it did not, Kelly left himself open for widespread criticism as the Eagles lost to Kansas City Chiefs 26-16. On a day filled with overreaction over every little thing that went wrong Thursday night, and there was plenty to choose from, the two-point conversion attempt is among the most agonizing to some. My advice to those stressing out over the attempt? Get used to it.
Chip Kelly was not hired by the Eagles to run the plays we have been watching for years, decades and lifetimes. Kelly did not get the job of head coach in Philadelphia because he does things the way everybody else does. The Eagles made a decision to go gambling with a gambler. Kelly was brought to Philadelphia to try new things and go against the grain in certain situations. It is a huge risk implementing Kelly as a coach in the NFL, and everything that happens this season should be considered a work-in-progress. That is nothing new to anybody. Kelly is learning to be an NFL head coach with a team that was certainly in rebuilding mode. Yes, Kelly is going to try some things we are not accustomed to seeing on Sundays. He is going to try things he knows have worked for him before. Kelly is a smart football guy and he is driven to win. He will make adjustments where he sees a need to do so.
In Kelly's mind one point is good, but two points are better if you can pick them up. It really is simple math from that standpoint, and there is no reason to exhaust the point (or two points).
This wasn't Kelly being arrogant. This was not Kelly trying to show how smart he is. This was a football coach trying to pick up as many points as he could. If the Eagles had succeeded, and won the game, fans would be praising Kelly for his innovative mindset that will drastically change the game.
Ultimately, the two-point conversion did not factor in to the outcome. The Chiefs won by 10 points and there were many other factors that combined for a miserable performance by the offense. If the Eagles kicked the extra point, it may not have changed the way the game unfolded. Will the failed attempt prevent Kelly from going for two points again in the future? Probably not, although he may try a different play.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sportswriter and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow McGuire's Eagles commentary on Yahoo and on Twitter @krmcguire. Interested in college football? Follow @KevinOnCFB.
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