"We were moving the ball on the ground and we were starting to
enforce our will on them," said Kelce, the Eagles' starting center.
"You could see their defensive guys getting frustrated, then you
could hear them start yelling at each other, and that's when I knew
we were going to win this game."
The Eagles won 34-20 on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, even
though they trailed 14-0 late in the third quarter and the field
conditions were terrible. That's when the Eagles offense and
especially running back LeSean McCoy took over the game.
McCoy scored on fourth-quarter runs of 40 and 57 yards en route to a
record-setting day — he rushed for 217 yards to break the Eagles'
single-game record of 205 yards, set by Hall-of-Famer Steve Van
Buren against Pittsburgh in 1949.
"The guys up front gave me a chance to go one-on-one with some
defensive guys, and if I get somebody one-on-one I'm usually going
to win," McCoy said. "But it all starts with those guys up front —
they gave me so much room and all credit goes to those guys."
The victory gives the Eagles (8-5) a half-game lead over Dallas in
NFC East, while the Lions (7-6) are a half-game ahead of Chicago in
NFC North. So, both teams will be tuning into "Monday Night
Football" tonight to watch the Cowboys play the Bears on another
McCoy's two long TD runs offset two long TD returns by the Lions'
Jeremy Ross, who scored on a 58-yard punt return to give Detroit a
14-0 lead in the third quarter and a 98-yard kickoff return to give
the Lions a 20-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
But the Lions' offense went into hibernation in the second half and
their defense got worn down by the Eagles' relentless pressure and
frustrated by McCoy's elusive moves.
"We made some plays, but we didn't make enough of them in the second
half to win the game," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "And
we can't use the snow as an excuse — they had to play in it, too."
[to top of second column]
Detroit took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter on a
2-yard run by running back Joique Bell, although Bell — subbing
for injured starter Reggie Bush (calf) — also fumbled the ball
away twice inside the Eagles' 20 in the first half and those
mistakes would come back and haunt the Lions.
That was all the scoring in the first half, before Ross broke
free on his 58-yard punt return to make it 14-0 with 6:37 left
in the third quarter.
That's when the Eagles' offense snapped out of its funk. They
scored their first touchdown on a 19-yard pass from quarterback
Nick Foles to wide receiver DeSean Jackson and McCoy's 40-yard
TD run tied it.
Ross then stunned the Eagles' special teams again, this time
with a 98-yard kickoff return, but after that it was all Eagles
as they kept handing the ball to McCoy and he kept gaining
yardage against the Lions' defense, which came into the game
ranked third in the NFL against the run.
"In the second half we allowed them to run inside and that was
the difference," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "Our interior
run defense needs to be better."
The Eagles were running the ball so well in the second half,
even third-string running back Chris Polk got in on the action,
scoring on a 38-yard run to give the Eagles a 34-20 lead with
2:58 left toput the game away.
NOTES: WR Calvin Johnson caught a 33-yard pass in the first
quarter to move past Herman Moore as the Detroit Lions' all-time
leader in receiving yards. Moore finished his career with 9,175
yards. ... QB Nick Foles had thrown 238 consecutive passes
without an interception before he was picked off in the second
quarter. That's the eighth-longest streak in NFL history. ... RB
Reggie Bush was supposed to play, but aggravated his calf injury
during pregame warmups and was a late scratch. Bush refuted a
report that he slipped before the game, but wouldn't disclose
how he wound up inactive.
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