Again it seemed like the offense couldn't put anything up, couldn't get first downs, couldn't get the clock down for you; how did you see that?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they did a couple things I think that we're trying to run the ball a little bit there. We took some shots early. We've just got to convert and do a better job. We've done it in a couple games and against that stout defensive line it's tough to line up and run the football on them. It's a good group over there. So again, it's something we need to continue to work on and we've got to get better at.
Three touchdown catches by your tight ends, going into this game, did you feel there were things you could specifically exploit with them?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I don't know if exploit, but we thought they have got some really good corners, starting with Peterson. So trying to get matched up on some safeties and some linebackers. Felt like, you know, Brent and Ertz, and then obviously the big play by Casey there. Just thought we had some plays in there to the tight ends, get them in base personnel and then try to take advantage of that and those guys did. Ertz ran a great route and Nick threw it on time. The first one was a play action, and was actually we ran the again right at the end of the game and they held Casey to kind of get us to be able to run the clock out. Those guys contributed and we feel like we have three that are talented and when the matchups present themselves, we can exploit it.
What can you say about Ertz's development 12 games into the season?
COACH KELLY: I think Zach's getting better and better each week. He came off a break, obviously if you're a rookie, this season's a lot different than the college season. You have four preseason games which you don't have and we've played 12 games, so he's got 16 games underneath his belt. But I thought he came back after the break with real fresh legs, rejuvenated, had a good week at prepping and was excited to see it show up on the field today and I thought he had some big catches for us today.
On Foles interception that was overturned.
COACH KELLY: It was an interception but they were holding. I thought it was the right call.
What did you think of the way the secondary played?
COACH KELLY: I thought they did a really nice job. This was such a big match up for us coming in with Fitz and Floyd and it's a tough group. He had the one long run where he bounced off him a couple times but besides that I thought they did a real good job of kind of limiting him throughout the game. We knew it was going to be a tough matchup for us but we were excited to see. I thought Cary played really well and I thought having Fletcher back really helped us.
Why do you think this year offensively when you've lost your edge, you've so consistently had a hard time getting it back?
COACH KELLY: I don't know. Good question.
How about the defensive holding call down at the end?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they held the crap out of him. It was a great call. (Laughter) they did. Watch it on film. He's supposed to run a route into the flat and there was no one else left. If they didn't hold him, he would have been in the flat. I thought Nick made a good decision with the ball because he wasn’t going to force it, we still wanted the clock to run unless we had a clean, guy, clean, wide open. We were just going to try to run to the edge with Nick and at least make sure we take some time off the clock but if we had a clean shot at throwing we were going to throw it. But they grabbed Casey and didn't let him get out into his route.
On Foles trying to get rid of the ball instead of being sacked.
COACH KELLY: Besides the one that he threw that Patrick caught, I don't have any issue with what he was doing today.
On what the defense is doing to turn the ball over?
COACH KELLY: Everyone is different. But you know, I think obviously they generated a pass rush, which was huge for us today. I think Brandon had two and did Trent have two? I think we're starting to get a consistent pass rush and not letting the pocket collapse around guys like that and then forcing the ball to maybe be thrown a little bit quicker. I think we're getting more opportunistic out back. Guys are catching balls. Maybe sometimes maybe they went through our hands earlier in the year, and I know we talk about it, sometimes it comes in bunches. But again, when you win the turnover battle in this league, it's huge. And when we're not turning it over offensively and we continue to create them on the defensive side of the ball, it's a positive for us.
What did you think of the way the offensive line protected Nick throughout the game?
COACH KELLY: By and large, we were pretty good. I think they obviously present a lot of challenges. I think that's as good a front as we faced and they do some really good job with their pressures and getting after them. We had one miscommunication early where we had a guy come clean but for the most part, we picked up everything they brought. You know, sometimes they did a decent job in coverage on the back end so we had to hold the ball a little bit. Nick is still doing a real good job on making good decisions and not forcing the ball in there but overall I thought we did a decent job.
How much of the decisions are Nick as a quarterback and the way he plays and how much are you kind of hammering?
COACH KELLY: You know, I think Bill Lazor does a really good job with all the quarterbacks and just making sure they have got a really good grasp and understanding. I think the big thing for Nick is his experience in that he's still getting better and better and making really good decisions. That's why at the end of the game on third down, we're calling a pass play but it's got to be clean because you trust him because he's such a good decision maker; that you're not in there saying, hey, we've got to run it because I'm afraid he's not going to throw an incomplete pass, stop the clock or whatever. I think each week he gets better just because he's a by‑product of the experiences that he's getting out there in the game and you're starting to see him grow.
Did the Cardinals offense change much without Ellington?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't think so. I was kind of surprised they ran as much empty as they did but didn't seem like they changed from what they did. They just kind of replaced him.
Given where you are guys, the playoffs, division standings, how big of a game was this in terms of your you mentally rose to the challenge today?
COACH KELLY: I think any game right now, you're playing meaningful games in December. Really the same thing I told the team in the locker room, it's one down, one to go and that's our philosophy. We took care of business today. Our only focus right now is getting ready for the Lions and that's it, because you're not in a situation where there's any comfort in terms of leads or anything like that. So it's just focusing on the next opponent and I thought those guys did a great job coming back from the bye of doing that, just, let's get ready for the Cardinals, and let's just worry about that and we took care of business today. And we'll get back to work on Tuesday and get ready for Detroit coming in here.
Why the wildcard play with
COACH KELLY: It was not a wildcat play. It's just Brad Smith plays quarterback. So let's straighten that out right now. We don't run the wildcat. It's just a play. He played quarterback; Nick played receiver because Brad's really good with the ball in his hands.
COACH KELLY: Brad has practiced more than Mike. So we're just trying to get everybody back in. Mike's first week back in practice was this week, so Brad can do some different things and you can run a couple different plays with Brad I think than you can run with some other guys. He's pretty diverse ‑‑ he can do some different things. And I think he's different than anybody because if do put him back there, a lot of times when people put a running back back there, there's not a threat of a pass; but Brad can throw the football, too.
On DeSean’s punt return what did you see?
COACH KELLY: I didn't see it. I was watching the return. I didn't see it. I saw the flag at the end. You know, so, I'll wait till we can look at the film to see exactly what happened. But I don't know, I didn't get a number, either. But then they said 21, and I know Roc's playing gunner, so that was confusing to me.
Thoughts on DeSean going over 1,000 yards today and his play?
COACH KELLY: He's been fantastic all year long and has worked extremely hard in everything we've asked him to do from OTAs to the off‑season and every day in practice. And what we're seeing on the field is the time he's invested in himself and I'm real happy for him.
How did McCoy and Brown do against the Cardinals run defense?
COACH KELLY: I thought overall we did a decent job. That is a really, really good run defense. They are very stout and we knew that, that was going to be a battle coming in. I think they gave up 80 a game and we were averaging 150; I think we fell somewhere in the middle of that or something, I don't know, did we get over a hundred or something? It was close. I thought we did a decent job. A couple things we could have done a little bit better but overall I thought we were decent.
When you have a significant lead and you're trying to milk the clock, but also not have them comeback on you, just talk about the balance.
COACH KELLY: I didn't really think that was the situation today until late in the fourth quarter. We got the ball on the turnover there, we took two shots and right at the end of the third there and just, you know, probably should have checked it down maybe a little bit and kept the clock running. But we tried to take a couple shots there until we finally got it back on that last one is when we were really trying to milk it.
On the next to last drive the ball was snapped with like ten or 12 seconds left. Why not run it down further?
COACH KELLY: We were just trying to get the proper looks. I think there was going to be plenty of time if we didn't convert in those situations.