Sunday's 35-28 victory over the New England Patriots is certainly the signature moment of the Eagles' 2015 season. From Malcolm Jenkins' epic 99-yard pick-six to Darren Sproles and Chris Maragos dominating on special teams, the Eagles put themselves back in the playoff picture with the huge road victory.
On Monday, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly met with the media to discuss what he and the coaching staff saw on film from New England, and while there were many positives, there are also a lot of things to work on heading into Sunday's game against Buffalo.
Here are four takeaways from the head coach …
On What This Win Means
Is this the victory that gets the Eagles back on track? Only time will tell, but while the Eagles are certainly taking some time to celebrate, the big win won't mean much if the Eagles can't follow it up with another strong performance against Buffalo.
"We take each week as an individual season, and we had the same question after the Dallas game – what will that do for you?" Kelly asked. "We went out and lost to Miami, so our total focus and concentration is just on Buffalo. We'll highlight what we did well, but we also have a lot of mistakes that we need to correct, and that's part of what the weekly process is about, but our weekly focus is just lasered into the Bills right now."
On The Running Back Rotation
The Eagles surprised a number of fans on Sunday by featuring Darren Sproles as the team's number one running back. Kenjon Barner also saw his most extensive paying time as an Eagle, while DeMarco Murray received just eight carries.
According to Kelly, the way the Eagles game plan for each opponent dictates how the running backs will be used.
"I think everything is on a weekly basis depending on who we're matched up on and who's healthy has a lot to do with it," Kelly said. "Where does Ryan fit in when he's back healthy? It's a good problem to have when you have some backs and you used all three and all three of them were productive for you. Again, it's always as you figure out the week, who you're playing and who do you have available to you.
"We had a game plan and there were things we were trying to do with their bigger linebackers and with Darren and Kenjon, but (Murray) fits in. It was a strange game offensively, from the aspect of we weren't on the field in the third quarter … It was a different game from that standpoint; I think we only had 50-some snaps total. Hopefully we get back to where we normally are in the 70s and that let us expanded a little bit, especially in our run game.
"All of our running backs knew our game plan going into that game, so it wasn't a surprise to anybody in terms of what we were doing … We have to do what's the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles. We are not trying to win a rushing championship, or a passing championship or a receiving championship or anything in that stretch of the imagination. We're going to do whatever we can do to win football games."
On The Emergence Of Eric Rowe
One of the biggest stories all week long was that of rookie Eric Rowe making his first start at outside corner against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. Brady took his fair share of shots against Rowe, but the rookie responded with a very strong game, as he continues to earn more trust from his head coach.
"Obviously Eric had to step up because losing Nolan was a big blow to us on the defensive side of the ball, so now it's really the whole next man up concept, but for Eric to step up and do what he did, I was happy for him," Kelly said. "He's done it on a limited basis. The first time he got in, they literally (saw) he was in and they threw it on him. For him to make that play, you hope he's gained a little bit of confidence from that. Playing corner in the national football league is very difficult because you are left out on an island, but I thought overall for him to play the way he played … it can help us in the long run that we're developing depth in the secondary."
On The Value Of Positive Reinforcement
According to players in the locker room, Kelly showed the players positive plays that they had made in the past earlier in the week in an attempt to boost confidence heading into Foxborough. According to the head coach, it's something he's always done as a head coach.
"I think positive reinforcement is a productive way to be successful," Kelly said. "I don't believe in negative reinforcement. I don't get a lot out of that. You coach people up, you don't coach them down. That's the philosophy I've used a lot of times, but I've always shown guys positive plays after games at every Tuesday meeting when we talk about what we're doing."