The Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from an ugly 53-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a big offensive effort in a 43-24 home win over the Tennessee Titans. Josh Huff set the tone with a 107-yard return touchdown on the opening kickoff, and the Eagles churned out 462 total yards on 83 plays to improve to 8-3 with a big Thanksgiving Day contest at Dallas looming on Thursday.
“Obviously, we talk about starting fast, but I don’t think you can get a faster start than that,” coach Chip Kelly said. “Both teams obviously, and you’ve been on both sides, you’ve been there. Teams are excited, they’re ready to go. They’ve got a game plan in, [say] ‘Let’s execute it, let’s go play,’ and then you take the opening kickoff, I think that’s got to take a little wind out of your sails if you’re the opponent.”
Philadelphia scored 17 points in the game’s first 12 minutes, but the Titans managed to hang around, at one point cutting the deficit to 20-14. Turnovers were again a theme for Chip Kelly’s offense, including a Mark Sanchez interception in his own territory that helped set up Tennessee’s first touchdown, a 40-yard touchdown pass from Zach Mettenberger to wide receiver Justin Hunter.
The Eagles found symmetry in their offense with 164 rushing yards on 38 carries, highlighted by LeSean McCoy’s 130 yards and a touchdown. McCoy’s performance to date has been less than inspiring, but he now has as many 100-yard performances (three) this season as he does games with 25 or fewer yards.
“I don’t know [about people questioning him] and it doesn’t matter,” McCoy said after the game. “Obviously you guys and everyone else are going to make their own opinions and write what they want so I am fine with that. As long as the guys in the locker room, they know what’s up, we are a team. If the running game isn’t going, I’ll take the blame or whatever, it doesn’t really matter, as long as we are winning games. And that’s what we’ve been doing this year.”
The Eagles have a short week to prepare for the Cowboys, a key game that kicks off a challenging three-game stretch that includes Dallas twice and the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Sanchez called four days of preparation “a race against the clock” that began for Kelly and the coaching staff immediately after the game.
“It’s just a race against the clock,” Sanchez said. “The good thing is that we’re finished up and now we can make really good decisions and study and get some rest tonight. We’ll watch the Dallas game tonight and see how that goes and get into our prep tomorrow.”
Dustin Hockensmith and Jon Ritchie talked about the Eagles’ turnovers, the importance of their running game and their prospects on Thanksgiving Day and beyond on this week’s Keystone Sports Network podcast. Check out audio from the show in this post and get plenty more podcasts and analysis on KeystoneSportsNetwork.com and by following @KSNSportsNet on Twitter.