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The Read-Option: Kelly Committed to Eagles


Good Morning, Eagles fans! The team has the day off from practice after yesterday's thrilling 35-28 victory over the Patriots. Want to relive the excitement? Take a look at all the highlights in the December 7th edition of the Read-Option ...

Eagles Surge To Save The Season - Dave Spadaro

"It's OK to be dramatic, because that's the way Sunday was for the Eagles. Edge-of-the-seat stuff. Big plays everywhere. A heart-attack final few minutes. And in the end a massively important 35-28 win over the New England Patriots that, really, saves the season for the Eagles.

'We didn't finish up like we wanted to,' linebacker Connor Barwin said, smiling, in a super-upbeat Eagles locker room after the win, the Eagles' first at New England since 1987, 'but it was a really big win. Great win. I think the feeling in here is a good one, so now let's see what we do with it.'

The Eagles ended a three-game losing streak and raised their record to 5-7 and nobody is bragging about that. But in the muck of the NFC East, the Eagles are tied with the Giants and half-game behind Washington, which hosts Dallas on Monday night and ...

OK, enough of the division talk. Sunday's win was one to savor.

Certainly, it was a remarkable performance. The Eagles scored 35 straight points after a 14-0 deficit, scoring touchdowns on a blocked punt return of 24 yards, a 99-yard interception return by Malcolm Jenkins, an 83-yard Darren Sproles punt return and two Sam Bradford touchdown passes.

The defense clamped down on the weapon-challenged Patriots offense, harassing quarterback Tom Brady with four sacks -- two each from Barwin and Brandon Graham -- and a bunch of hits and pressures. Brady threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns, but he needed 56 pass attempts to do so and his passer rating of 71.4 was the lowest he's had in five games against the Eagles and his 51.8 percent completion percentage was the third lowest of his storied NFL career.

It was a win that, let's be honest, saved the season. The Eagles couldn't afford to fall to 4-8, even in the really-bad NFC East. Now they're 5-7 with three consecutive home games ahead."

Tweet Of The Day

Use #BARWINWPMOYCHALLENGE to help Connor Barwin's Man of the Year campaign ...

Players Of The Game Vs. New England

A look back at some of the key players against New England that helped lead the Eagles to victory. View the full gallery here...

Resilient Eagles Rally Around One Another - Alex Smith

"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.'"

Eagles Win, You Win

Other Views

Eagles-Patriots, The Day After - Tim McManus, Birds 24/7

"Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe it was a direct response. But Chip Kelly gave Malcolm Jenkins exactly what he was looking for.

'Chip really doesn't coach the defense, so this has really been the first week where he's actually coached me up,' the safety said. 'I dropped one or two [interceptions] earlier in the week in practice, and so all week he's been coaching me up on catching the football. I'll be jogging from one drill to the next and he'll just call my name and throw a ball at me, all week. He told me earlier in the week: 'If you continue to just focus on this, you'll get one this week, I promise you.' For it to show up is obviously big on his part.'

With the game tied at 14-14, Tom Brady hit James White for a 24-yard pick-up that gave the Patriots a 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line. Jenkins made the first of two big plays by shooting into the backfield on first down to drop White for a loss of four. Two plays later, he turned the game on its ear.

'I just have to catch the ball. That's the biggest thing,' said Jenkins, who has had his share of would-be picks slip through his fingers. 'Every time I touch the ball I think I can score, to be honest. But that one, I caught it and it was a lineman and Tom Brady and I'm like, 'I think I can get that.''

Though it got interesting down the stretch, the Eagles never trailed from that point forward."

The Upset Of The Season - Peter King, Monday Morning Quarterback

"The game of the weekend, on the football weekend of the season, didn't change Chip Kelly's mind about the pro game, or his place in it. If you can believe what this son of New England told me on Sunday night from Foxborough, after a ridiculously unlikely and raise-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck win—Philadelphia 35, New England 28—over the team he respects more than any other in America, he's entrenched.

'I made a commitment to this organization when they hired me,' Kelly told me, 'and I will see it through.'

Kelly, a pragmatist, knows he's not convincing anybody who's convinced he'd leave for the next perfect college job, where there will be four or five JV games on the schedule and he can go recruit the next Mariota. Or three of them. 'I don't have to convince people I'm staying,' he said. 'I can't. Everyone says, 'He's a college guy.' It's going to take a while for people to look at the ticker across the bottom of the screen without my name on it for people to understand.'

To understand he's staying, he meant. In fairness to Kelly, I'm the one who brought these things up to him. He came to the phone to talk about this game, one of the strangest of this or any season. Kelly knows that no matter how long he coaches, and wherever the coaching road takes him, this breezy 52-degree Sunday will be an indelible memory. How often do you visit the toughest venue in the league, with your own squad severely wounded, and pull the upset of the year?"

How Jeffrey Lurie Fired Up The Eagles - Marcus Hayes, Daily News

"'He was fired up today! I'd never seen him like that in front of everybody,' said left tackle Jason Peters, an Eagle for seven years: ' 'Play with a fire! Play angry! Go out there and let it rip!' '

Lurie, said Peters, was out of control. ...

'I understand the history between the Eagles and the Patriots,' said Eagles linebacker Conner Barwin, who registered two of the four sacks. 'It's unusual, but it's always nice to hear that sort of intensity from your owner.' ...

'You fired me up!' linebacker Brandon Graham shouted at Lurie as Graham bounded up the tunnel. Graham had the other two sacks and was beaming, ear to ear."

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