Philadelphia Eagles News

Kelly: We're Coming Together Offensively

Talk about playing with rhythm.

The Eagles' offense exploded for 483 yards Sunday afternoon, riding backup quarterback Mark Sanchez's 202 yards through the air and running back LeSean McCoy's 117 yards on the ground to a 31-21 win over the Houston Texans.

Head coach Chip Kelly was a big fan of what he saw from his offense Sunday, essentially to a player, and it started with the backup quarterback's composure and preparation.

"I thought he had really good command of what we're doing," Kelly said of Sanchez.

"I've said since day one, you'd better have two quarterbacks in this league. We were fortunate that, when Nick did go down, we could bring Mark in.

"I don't think we missed a beat offensively."

Kelly is right. When Sanchez entered the game at the start of the second quarter, Eagles fans may have wondered what would come with starting quarterback Nick Foles out with a shoulder injury.

What came was success from all involved, including an explosive running game that compiled 190 yards on the afternoon. In the third quarter, the Eagles ran four plays for 70 yards, all run plays, capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run from running back Chris Polk.

Kelly said the drive wasn't designed that way, but it made sense to keep calling the run plays when they kept working. He said he felt the Eagles' up-tempo offense wore down the Texans' defense and opened up running lanes for the Eagles' rushers in the second half, and the backs stepped up to the plate.

"I thought we wore them down a little bit with our tempo," Kelly explained. "The one drive we had four runs for 70 and a touch. I think you could see the cumulative effects of it.

"I thought all three running backs ran really hard today. There wasn't a lot of dancing going on there. I thought they hit the hole, I thought we blocked really well."

And as the run game opened things up, Sanchez was able to find a groove through the air, helping Jeremy Maclin rack up his second straight game with at least 150 receiving yards.

Kelly said games like today - six catches, 158 yards and two touchdowns - were a big part of why the Eagles felt they needed to re-sign Maclin coming into this year.

"Just running big deep for us, we had a few good shots at (Maclin), and then he made a big catch (for the final score of the game)," Kelly said.

"I think he's made some real good sideline catches, clutch catches for us during the course of the year, and I think that's what we're coming to expect out of (Maclin)."

The all-around offensive success stretched essentially to the end of the game, when the Eagles engineered the most dominating drive of the season. The offense composed a 15-play, 8:01 magnum opus that ended with Maclin's second touchdown of the afternoon to give the Eagles a 10-point lead with less than four minutes to play.

It was a masterful drive from Kelly and coordinator Pat Shurmur's offense, as the unit worked in running plays from McCoy and Polk before finding Maclin on an 8-yard toss with a perfectly-placed ball.

Kelly said the Eagles' final scoring drive of the game was a huge message from the offense.

"It was huge," he said. "We talked about it, when you're a good football team you've got to be a good four-minute football team, and I thought that we did a great job of not only taking time off the clock but coming away with a touchdown to make it a two-score game.

"I thought that whole drive just kind of told you about how we're coming together a little bit offensively, and I think it bodes well for the future."

The Eagles are in Houston to take on the Texans at NRG Stadium. Philadelphia is looking to bounce back after last week's loss in Arizona ...

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