LANDOVER, Md. - Chip Kelly's Eagles made a statement Monday night: The NFL might have to play catch-up if it expects to combat the hurry-up.
Looking a tad rusty, the Redskins were no match on either side of the ball as great anticipation in the nation's capital turned to great consternation. Michael Vick (two touchdown passes, one rushing) and LeSean McCoy (184 yards and a score on 31 carries) combined with an opportunistic defense to turn the much-ballyhooed return of Robert Griffin III into a 33-27 fiasco for the home team at FedEx Field.
The Redskins' big-play offense didn't have a play of 20 yards until the final two minutes when RG3 (30-for-49, 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) connected for 27 and 24 yards to Leonard Hankerson (two TDs).
By the time Alfred Morris scored on a 5-yard run on the Redskins' final offensive play of the third quarter, Kelly's team had rung up 33 unanswered points in his NFL coaching debut.
"We're excited. Our guys played with great energy," Kelly said. "We don't count the number of plays [we run]. But the thing we count is points and I thought our defense did a great job tonight."
The Eagles served notice during their 2-2 preseason that they would attempt to pick apart opponents through the air. But the Redskins never saw McCoy or the defensive truck that hit them with three turnovers.
The Eagles led 26-7 at halftime after Vick threw TD passes to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek, and ran for another.
From the time he took the field, Redskins flag in hand, it took Griffin 32 minutes of real time to even take a snap, and when he did, it wasn't pretty. Washington's first seven snaps included a lost fumble, a 3-yard loss, an illegal shift penalty, an interception, a dropped pass and a fumbled pitch resulting in a safety.
RG3, who had knee surgery in January, refused to use his lack of preseason playing time as an excuse. "I'm responsible for the way I play and I didn't play very well in the first half," he said.
Meanwhile, the first quarter was a smashing statistical success for Kelly, whose teams at Oregon went 46-7 in four seasons, averaging 44.7 points with a fast-paced offense. The Eagles, retooling after a 4-12 season under coach Andy Reid in 2012, ran 30 plays to Washington's nine and collected 11 first downs to one for the Redskins in the first quarter.
"Any time the offense doesn't get going, people are going to try to put it on the quarterback," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "It wasn't the quarterback [tonight]. It was a combination of a lot of guys not working together. We couldn't get a lot going on offense. We put our defense in some tough situations."
The Eagles' opening first drive consumed 76 yards without a huddle in less than three minutes but ended on a bizarre play. On first-and-goal at the 4, Vick threw a pass intended for McCoy in the right flat. Redskins lineman Ryan Kerrigan swatted the pass away and the ball scooted backward several yards. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall scooped the ball at the 25 and trotted 75 uncontested yards for his fourth career fumble return for a touchdown.
After review, the play stood, but Washington's 7-0 lead was quickly gone as the Eagles scored the next 33 points.