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5 Things: Reaction To Sproles' Performance


Look, every morning is a special morning to be an Eagles fan, but Monday night's thrilling comeback makes the lack of sleep worthwhile. Now, if you happened to go to bed after the Eagles fell behind 20-6 in the third quarter, hopefully you've realized by now what you missed. Fortunately, we have all of the highlights from the game in one spot for you to binge watch this morning as you talk around the water cooler. Head coach Chip Kelly addresses the media at 1 PM and we will stream that press conference live online and on our app. Until then, here's some of the top storylines from Monday night:

Shout out to the Saints! #FlyEaglesFly — Connor Barwin (@ConnorBarwin98) September 16, 2014

1. Foles Explains When He Learned About Sproles

The dynamic performance Monday night by running back Darren Sproles left Eagles fans in awe and Colts fans in disbelief. Sproles accounted for 152 yards receiving and an additional 26 on the ground. In total, Sproles finished the night with 203 all-purpose yards. He took two screen passes for more than 50 yards - 57 yards in the first quarter and 51 in the fourth. He bulldozed his way into the end zone for a 19-yard score in the third quarter. Quarterback Nick Foles has not played with Sproles for very long, but has known about his talents for quite some time.

"I used to always play with him on the video games back in the day, so yeah, I know what he can do," Foles said. "He got me a lot of points when I played with him, but he's a talented guy. He's very, very talented. We've just got to make sure we keep getting him the ball where he can keep doing the things he does."

2. Ertz Explosive Once Again

Second-year tight end Zach Ertz called his performance on Monday night probably his "most complete game" as a pro. Ertz hauled in four receptions for 86 yards, including a 21-yard reception on a third-and-11 in the third quarter to keep a scoring drive alive. In the two games this season, Ertz has seven catches for 163 yards. All three of his catches in the season opener were plays of 20 yards or more. He had three more explosive plays against the Colts.

And, he's most bothered by the play he didn't make.

"Obviously I'm still upset about that one drop that I had. It probably would've been a touchdown," Ertz said. "I want to make plays for this team whether it's in the pass game or the run game. I think I was able to do that tonight. Hopefully instill some more trust in the coaches and myself. All that matters is the win, and hopefully we just continue to do that."

Foles has trust in Ertz because of his tremendous body control and catch radius.

"Zach has been doing a great job since he got here, really getting open, running good routes," Foles said. "He's a big target, and he can make the catch any which way. If it's at his shoelaces, he's going to make the catch, and he does a really good job of that. And I have good protection to get the ball out, and the other guys are doing their job to run routes to move the defense. It was definitely a big play in the game."

3. A Perfect Start For Cox

Defensive coordinator Bill Davis had the perfect line to describe defensive end Fletcher Cox's performance Monday night.

"He had a great game like he did last week. That's two in a row now. Two in a row that he's just dominated in there," Davis said. "We're lucky to have him and glad to have him."

The Eagles may be lucky to have Cox, but it took more than luck for Cox to push out Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and save a first-down conversion. Luck scrambled up the left side on a third-and-5. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Cox showed his tremendous athleticism as he took the proper angle and pushed Luck out of bounds short of the first-down marker. The Colts settled for a field goal and kept the Eagles' chance for a comeback alive.

Cox also forced the first fumble of his career that was recovered by linebacker DeMeco Ryans. The strip of running back Trent Richardson resulted in Sproles' 19-yard touchdown run.

4. Jenkins Delivers For The Defense

Safety Malcolm Jenkins has been lauded as the "missing piece" and the leader of the back end of the defense since he signed with the Eagles as a free agent in March. Jenkins recorded his first interception as an Eagle in the fourth quarter as the Colts were driving to put the game away. On third-and-9 from the Eagles' 22-yard line, Luck's pass intended for wide receiver T.Y. Hilton went into Jenkins' waiting arms. Davis said the play "turned the game."

"Brandon Boykin did a great job of holding his leverage inside so that once the receiver went back outside that's where I was to jump the route," Jenkins said. "I was able to get my hands on the ball. I don't think the quarterback saw me because the defensive linemen had their hands up and there weren't too many windows to throw. It was a big play right on time when we needed it. Obviously, a big spot to help us win."

5. McCoy: We'd Be In Trouble Without Sproles

Running back LeSean McCoy accounted for over 100 yards from scrimmage with 79 yards rushing and another 23 receiving in Monday night's win, but his numbers are lost in the shadows of Sproles' outstanding performance. And as long as the Eagles win, that's just fine with him.

"To be honest, he's helping me out. Without Sproles, we'd be in some trouble," McCoy said after the game.

In fact, McCoy feels like he needs to take his game to another level to help the Eagles.

"I need to get my thing together. I feel like I'm not playing to my level where I should be playing," McCoy added. "(Monday night) it was an average, above average game where he carried us again It's good to have that because when you get that type of attention from the defense, other guys are making plays, and he's doing it. I don't mind at all, and the other thing is I don't feel as tired or as beat up. I had about 20 carries, two passes, not too many carries, just enough to be effective."

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