EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Sunday's 24-17 victory over the Jets wasn't pretty. But with the Eagles coming into the game 0-2 on the season, appearances were the last thing on head coach Chip Kelly's mind.
The Jets were undefeated entering Week 3 and had surrendered just 17 combined points through two games. New York's defense is one of the most talented units in the NFL. In the opening weeks of the season, the vaunted group had already forced 10 turnovers, a number just three shy of their total from the entire 2014 season and three more than any other team in the league.
Kelly knew to win the game, his Eagles needed to control the pace of play via the ground game and win the turnover battle. That's exactly what they did, ending the day with a 3 advantage in takeaways after surrendering the ball just once on a late-game fumble by running back Ryan Mathews.
"I thought it was gritty," Kelly said of the road win. "You knew going in, to use a boxing analogy, that two guys were just going to stand in the middle of the ring and start swinging at each other, and that's what happened."
The Eagles threw for just 118 yards on the day and completed exactly half of the 28 passes they attempted. On the ground, though, they were able to break the century mark for the first time this season, rushing 39 times for 113 yards. Defensively, Philadelphia allowed just 47 yards on 16 carries and forced quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw the ball 58 times for 35 completions (60.3 percent), into three interceptions.
"We kind of just went back to basics," Kelly said. "What we really talked about was creating turnovers on our side of the ball, and it's something (we) talked about last April, that we turned the ball over too much and we had to create more on the defensive side. Obviously, it had a huge impact on this game."
The Week 3 contest wasn't necessarily "must win," but with the Eagles in danger of opening a season 0-3 for the first time since 1999 the pressure was certainly on. Now, at 1-2, the Eagles boast a record identical to that of both Washington and New York and sit one game back of the 2-1 Cowboys, who lost to Atlanta on Sunday, in the NFC East.
But Kelly won't let his team begin to look too far into the future, nor too far into the past for that matter. With the Eagles set to travel to Washington next week, he's stressing to his team the importance of turning its full attention to the task at hand, improving to 2-2.
"It's got to be the same mentality (next week as it was this week)," he said. "Obviously, you've got to make your adjustments on Tuesday and just go, because what happened the week before in this league sometimes really doesn't have a real big impact on the next week. Every week's going to be kind of a street fight, and you've got to be prepared. We still have a lot of corrections to make, but it's obviously easier on Tuesday when you're talking to a team after a win than it is after a loss."
The Eagles traveled to New York to face the Jets in Week 3 of the regular season. View the full gallery here...