Wake-Up Call: ‘I Will Remember This Game Always’

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DeSean Jackson
was the first one  into the tunnel when the clock struck zero. There’s not a whole lot of meat on that 175-pound frame, and he was frozen stiff.

“I can’t feel my feet!” yelled Jackson as he buzzed by. “I can’t feel my feet!”

Chip Kelly came into view a moment later, jogging quickly towards the locker room as a fan’s voice rang down the hall behind him. “Way to go, Chip!”

Then Michael Vick, a giant grin on his face, side-by-side Brent Celek, who let out an emphatic, “Uh!” Roc Carmichael quietly sang the Eagles fight song on his way in. A nearby teammate was not as subtle, screaming, ‘That’s what I’m [expletive] talking about!”

Last was LeSean McCoy, a giant black jacket draped over his shoulder pads like a James Brown cape. “The best running back in the league,” a voice shouted. As McCoy turned the corner, the team grew louder, and started the celebration in earnest as he stepped foot inside the locker room, the doors closing behind him.

“They really enjoyed it,” said Kelly of his team playing in blizzard-like conditions for one half, eight inches of snow the other. “They kind of probably went back to when they were little kids running around out there.”

Hours and hours of game-planning flew right out the window as a projected “wintry mix” turned into a much more significant event. It was a game where it paid to channel your inner child.  Take Nick Foles‘ third-quarter touchdown pass to Jackson. Both Jackson and Riley Cooper were in the area. Who was Foles throwing to? Whoever wanted it, basically.

“It’s like you are in the backyard like a kid,” said Foles. “You just have to make plays and try and give them a chance.”

Word started spreading about 90 minutes before kickoff that snow was coming down. Connor Barwin didn’t realize just how nasty it had turned outside until he went out for warmups in only short sleeves. The reality quickly set it.

“The first quarter, I don’t think anybody will forget the first quarter, you couldn’t even see what was going on,” he said. “With the snow coming down and the white jerseys, it was really hard to tell who had the ball, what play they were running. I think everybody will remember that.”

McCoy took a spin around the field during warm-ups and decided that he needed to change his cleats. That proved to be a wise move.

Lane Johnson, who actually left his his big-studded cleats at the NovaCare facility, had grip enough to help his fellow offensive linemen kick snow towards the Lions’ front pre-snap  to clear some space. But Detroit would just kick it right back at them.

“It was pretty funny,” said the rookie.

For guys like Foles, this was their first time playing in the snow. Every player we spoke with, even those that come from colder parts of the country, said that they have never played in anything like this before. Could be that they never play in anything like this again.

“I will remember this game always,” said Celek.

WHAT YOU MISSED

McCoy delivers in a big way down the stretch.

Kelly gets offensive advice from...Cary Williams?

Sheil provides his observations from the Eagles win.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Geoff Mosher looks at Foles’ performance down the stretch.

From the 4-yard pass to McCoy until the end of the game, Foles completed 7 of 9 passes for 144 yards. He finished with a 73.9 passer rating, but if Brent Celek had scored an easy touchdown late in the fourth instead of intentionally taking a dive to run out the clock, his passer rating would have been 90.9.

Not to worry, he’s still the NFL’s leading passer with a 120.0 rating.

So he didn’t tie Manning’s record, but Foles couldn’t care less about the interception, just how he responded.

Domo handed the Eagles and “A” grade for their overall performance.

After falling behind 14-0, this is a game the Eagles easily could have let slip away. But they battled back and took the fight to the Lions’ vaunted defensive line, scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter, a quarter in which the Eagles’ offense hadn’t scored a point since mid-October.

COMING UP

We’ll speak to Kelly at 1. Should be a fun week.

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