Bradford, Matthews Impress Kelly In Win
The play that lifted the Eagles to a 33-27 win over Dallas late Sunday evening, the play that sprung Jordan Matthews for a demon-shaking 41-yard touchdown, had worked earlier in the game.
Chip Kelly liked what he saw when Matthews caught the ball with just under nine minutes to go in the third quarter, catching a crossing route headed towards the right sideline and picking up 28 yards.
So when the Eagles received the ball in overtime and started driving towards their eventual victory, Kelly decided that if his offense passed the 50-yard line, he was going to call the play again.
A fallen defender, a good blitz pickup, and a sprint down the right sideline later, Matthews delivered the winning touchdown that capped off a banner night for the second-year wideout.
After a few drop-riddled games early in the season, Matthews had a big game against Dallas.
“I’m extremely happy for [Matthews], like I’m happy for everybody,” Kelly said after the game. “I think it was a team victory, and I’ve got full confidence in Jordan.
“The great part about Jordan is he doesn’t pay attention to it, either. Just like we talk about, he’s been great. I think if you have a work ethic like he has, your work ethic will help you get out of a slump. He did a great job.”
Kelly said he was equally impressed with the pass by Sam Bradford on the final play of the game.
“It was a heck of a throw,” Kelly explained. “[Bradford] threw it before the [Dallas cornerback] fell down, but he gave Jordan an opportunity to catch it and run.
“Sometimes those throws, if you’re not accurate, it’s a tough route to kind of turn up. You may catch it, turn around, and you get a good gain, but you don’t have the chance to have a great gain. He gave Jordan an opportunity to run and get a great gain.”
Bradford finished the evening with nearly 300 yards of offense, and saved his single touchdown for the final play of the evening.
Kelly said he’s always had confidence in Bradford, but he was impressed with the way his quarterback threw the ball Sunday night in Arlington.
“He was really accurate in his throws today,” Kelly said of Bradford. “He put the ball on guys in the right spot.”
Here are a few more highlights from Kelly’s press conference.
— On the Eagles’ offensive line, playing without Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters.
“I thought they did a good job,” Kelly said. “Obviously, without [Peters], we had to shuffle some guys over. We had [right tackle] Lane [Johnson] playing on the left side, [backup lineman] Dennis Kelly the first time he’s started since he’s been here out at tackle.
“I thought those guys did a really nice job against a formidable front. We knew going in that it would be one heck of a matchup.”
— On a perceived reliance on Bradford in the second half.
“I’ve always had confidence in [Bradford],” Kelly said. “I just think it’s the way the game played out. I thought we were pretty balanced in being able to run the ball, and the once we kind of got moving, we had a lot of long drives. There were a lot of long fields for us.”
— Kelly was asked about a pass interference call that put the Cowboys in field goal range late in the fourth quarter, which led to overtime.
“[The referees] made it,” Kelly said dryly. “That’s what I thought.”
— On why DeMarco Murray, who finished with six catches for 78 yards, was so successful in the passing game against Dallas.
“Just some of the match-ups with the linebackers, and then after [Dallas linebacker] Sean Lee went out, we thought we could exploit that,” Kelly said.
— On whether he felt like Bradford showed something new in the win.
“I know Sam, and I’ve got total confidence in Sam,” Kelly said. “I’ve always had total confidence in Sam. I didn’t learn anything new about Sam today.”