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Resilient Eagles Rally Around One Another



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Eagles heard the same questions all week long from reporters in the locker room. They heard questions again and again about slowing down Tom Brady. They heard questions about the three-game losing streak and the morale inside the facility. They heard questions about the coaching staff.

They heard all of these questions, but they didn't listen.

All of the outside voices said the Eagles didn't have a chance to go into New England and defeat a 10-1 Patriots team, but that's exactly what they did, overpowering the Patriots to the tune of a 35-28 victory.

The three-game losing streak is now a part of the past, and while it was an unexpected and challenging time of the season, the Eagles held together and started December with the biggest win of the season to date.

"We just know that there are going to be hard times in an NFL season, said cornerback Byron Maxwell after the game. "The great teams are mentally tough, so it doesn't matter what the outside world says. It's what we believe in inside the room that ultimately matters."

Maxwell was responsible for one of Brady's two interceptions on the game, but much of the defensive success started in the trenches, as the Eagles' pass rush kept Brady uncomfortable all night.

"I guess nobody has ever had that feeling unless you've gone through it, but, man, it felt good because we played against a great team," said linebacker Brandon Graham, who chipped in with two sacks to up his season total to a career-high 6.5. "I don't care who didn't play today, they're still a good team and a great-coached team. We knew we were going to have to play 60 minutes.

"We know what type of team we have. We just have to make sure that we stay together and play together, especially through adversity. ... We made the plays to finish the game. I'm just happy that we stayed together and we just didn't quit on each other."

The Eagles' players weren't the only people in the building who remained confident during the rough times. The coaching staff also knew that the team could turn things around because of the type of players comprising the roster.

"We just put our head down and worked," said defensive coordinator Bill Davis. "The hardest thing is staying together. When you lose three in a row, that's when it gets really tough in the NFL.

"First, you have high-character men. You surround yourself with high-character men, and our guys are high character, and then everyone knows that if you keep it about yourself and you do your job better, than you can come through those hard times."

At the end of the day, the victory still counts for just one game in the standings and there is still a lot of work to get done over the coming weeks, but for now, the Eagles can feel good about the win as they fly back to Philadelphia, before beginning their preparation for Buffalo.

"This is big win for us just to continue to get to where we want to be for rest of the season," said wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who caught what turned out to be his second game-winning touchdown of the season. "Now we have to learn from it, put it behind us, and get ready to play the Bills. The Bills are a really good football team."

"It feels good, but we've got to consistently do it, added Graham. "We're going to have fun with this win today and tomorrow, and then we have to get ready for Buffalo. We played a great team today and I'm just happy we stuck together the way that we did, but we just have to carry that over."

The Eagles traveled to New England to face the Patriots in Week 13. View the full gallery here...

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