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Kelly proves flexible in signature win with Eagles

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The Philadelphia Eagles were often inflexible in the Andy Reid era. In recent weeks, it looked like the Eagles might be just as inflexible under Chip Kelly, as it seemed impossible to succeed without being fast paced for 60 minutes. That seemed especially true in Philadelphia's first 40 snowy minutes against the Detroit Lions on Dec. 8, until Kelly proved to have more tricks after all.

LeSean McCoy may have done more to bail Kelly out, with his 217 rushing yards and two long touchdowns to fuel a 34-20 win. Yet no matter how the Eagles did it, they actually won without hurry up offense, or much offense at all for the first 2 1/2 quarters.

For once, an Eagles team grinded out a victory, even if the snow gave them no choice. For the first time in a few weeks, Philadelphia ended a game hotter than when it started. And unlike so many games in the Reid era, the rushing attack and offensive line saved the day.

With Foles limited by the blizzard, the Eagles reminded everyone that McCoy is their true No. 1 star. However, without the line opening up so many holes for him in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia would have stayed stagnant. If Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Brian Westbrook had that kind of protection in years past, a lot might have turned out differently.

For Kelly's sake, he proved he could actually adjust in the middle of a tough game. Because he couldn't adjust with a big lead, the Eagles almost blew their last two victories when they didn't just run out the clock. As such, Kelly chose the right time to show versatility beyond his trick plays.

Despite their past victories that saved their season, this was the Eagles' signature win under Kelly. Now that they are 8-5 and will at least stay tied for first place, the chances for more signature wins this season are still alive. What's more, now that Philadelphia knows it can win under the harshest circumstances, without doing business as usual, its opponents have to be even more worried as well.


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