On a cold, crisp night in Wisconsin, a deck of cards were used to help decide the fate of the Minnesota Vikings. That night, replacement quarterback Joe Webb was sacked three times. Minnesota’s offense was overwhelmed by a swarming Green Bay Packer defense. The end result? A 24-10 sendoff from the 2013 NFL Playoffs.
That evening, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and the Vikings relied on a read-option offense. The gameplan was tailored around replacement quarterback Joe Webb, who is known for his speed and agility. To operate such a high-octane offense, the Vikings used cards to communicate with the offense. Many fans thought they would never see Joe Webb again after his nightmare performance One year later, however, the same “game of cards” will appear on Lincoln Financial Field.
Whether it be Michael Vick, Nick Foles, or Matt Barkley, the offense will filter through Kelly’s deck of cards. Once the offense commences, two cards will be shown. One coach will hold up a “fake” card, designed to trick the opposition. Another coach will hold the true card that conveys the desired play.
As far as the quarterback race goes, this step will bode better for Foles and Barkley. Both of these candidates excel in the mental aspect of the game. These cards will help them run the offense at a quicker pace, because they can receive the information quicker. The proverbial elephant in the room, Michael Vick, may face trouble using this process. Upon deciphering the play, Vick will have to adjust the offense on his own pre-snap. The fact that Vick has yet to prove that he can consistently do this may play a role in Chip Kelly’s quarterback decision.
Outside of the quarterback position, the cards add yet another threat to this offense. The offense possesses lethal speed, from the backs and receivers to the offensive line. The cards will inject an added boost into the no-huddle offense. They could potentially overtake Tom Brady and New England as the fastest offense in football.
If these cards induce their desired effect, the Eagles offense will prosper. No defense can match the team speed post-snap, nor can it keep up with the no-huddle pre-snap. Chip Kelly is known for his ingenuity, and if these cards work as expected, they could transform the conventional NFL offense. The NFL may soon become a different game, a game of cards.