Chip Kelly and the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles took the National Football League by storm on September 9th in the season opener against the Washington Redskins.
In the first half Kelly's squad screamed out to a 33-7 lead. The offense ran 53 of it's 77 plays in the first 30 minutes alone.
Put it simply, the first half of the season opener has been the high water mark for this team.
But was it all a mirage?
Since the first half in Landover, Maryland Kelly's troops have been outscored 131-66 and have allowed the first score of the game in each of the succeeding three games against the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.
The red zone may as well be a 20-yard stop sign for this offense as the Birds are scoring at just a 41% clip inside the 20.
In the wake of Kelly's brilliant NFL debut, the ensuing three games have given the glimpse of a head coach who is learning on the job. Against the Chargers, Kelly didn't realize a timeout would allow injured quarterback Michael Vick to remain in the game during a crucial moment of the Eagles final drive. The following week against the Chargers Kelly elected to go for two with a swinging gate formation that failed while trailing 10-6 in the first half. Finally against the Broncos Kelly bungled a fourth-and-six from the Broncos 37-yard line when the normally aggressive head coach chose to neither go for it, or attempt a 52-yard field goal.
"I trust every decision Coach makes," tight end Brent Celek said Tuesday. "I'm not going to get into that. We, as an offense have just got to play better. We just have to execute better."
Trust is certainly something that is earned and the results of the last three weeks have exposed Kelly's lack of NFL instincts and one has to wonder if there will come a point when the trust of his players wears thin.
For all of this team's faults and it's head coach's gaffes, at 1-3 the Eagles are one game out of the division lead with a showdown at MetLife Stadium looming this weekend as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Broncos. A win launches the Birds to the top of the division.
However, it will have been just shy of a month since we've seen the offense function at full capability. If it stumbles out of the gate again Sunday one will have to wonder if the season opener was the exception rather than the rule.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.