The Eagles showed America what the Chip Kelly offense is capable of Sunday in a 35-30 win against the Giants to wrap up the regular season (at 7-9).
At least, the Chip Kelly offense as run by Pat Shurmur.
Philly saw formidable contributions from all of its key offensive players, such as Sam Bradford (30-for-38, 320 yards, two touchdowns), DeMarco Murray (12 rushes, 69 yards and a touchdown), Darren Sproles (scored arushing touchdown), Zach Ertz (nine catches for 152 yards) and Jordan Matthews (seven catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns).
The defense was its usual unreliable self, but held its own in a few key spots in the win,highlighted by an 83-yard pick-six by Walter Thurmondon a tipped pass to give the Eagles a 28-27 advantage.
It was the last time we’ll see the Green and White on the football field until minicamp begins next spring, and here are three of the memories we’ll take with us to help ease what is sure to be a painful offseason.
No Kelly? No problem
The Eagles did the least Chip Kelly thing they could possibly do during their first Chip Kelly-less possession of the year — they scored 35 points and even boasteda 54-yard rushing touchdown.
Even more ironic,DeMarco Murray scored it. After failing to really create anything on the ground for 15 games, the Birds went 80 yards in five plays to put them ahead of the Giants 7-0 in less than two minutes.
Later in the first, Sam Bradford found Zach Ertz for a 60-yard catch and run to lead to a Darren Sprolessix-yard touchdown dash, putting Philly up 14-3 after the first 15 minutes.
In the second quarter, another fast-paced drive took the Eagles 80 yards in 16 playsyards to go ahead 21-13 after a Jordan Matthews 4-yard touchdown catch (which saw Matthews do his best Rocky impression after scoring).
Matthews did the same in the fourth, snagging a Bradford pass on a corner route to put Philly up 35-27.
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Same self-inflicted wounds
Still appearing like themselves, the Eagles made a few costly mistakes that made onlookers recall the reasons why they were battling for second place and not a playoff spot. On a key third down against their own end zone in the first quarter, Bradford threw a perfect over-the-shoulder toss to Jordan Matthews that would have had the Eagles close to midfield. Of course, as so many other drops have, the throw fell through Matthews’ hands. The Birds’ defense bailed them out on a short field holding New York to a field goal.
After a Bradford interception (on a tipped pass), Mychal Kendricks missed an open field tackle on Will Tye in the red zone, allowing him to score to cut the Eagles’ early leadto 14-13.
In the third quarter, Murray fumbled the ball to halt a promising Eagles drive–leading to a 45-yard Manning-to-Reuben Randle touchdown pass one play later. It would all me for naught though, as the Eagles were able to just barely hang on to a five point lead with a Manning two minute drill ending with an incomplete pass.
Don’t wanna go to London
There really wasn’t much to play for in Week 17 except for pride, but there were some pretty strong schedule implications. The 2015 Eagles ultimately hurt the 2016 Eagles with their victory Sunday, finishing second in the NFC East.
They did avoid a trip to London in Week 7 to face the Rams, but will instead have to face the NFC West’s second-seeded Seahawks — a much tougher draw next year to be sure. They will play other conferences second-place teams instead of third place teams next season, likely a much tougher schedule.
The Birds also hurt their draft positioning by gaining another win, and without a second round pick next year (they surrendered it in the Sam Bradford trade) their position in rounds one and three will be key.