PHILADELPHIA (AP) Nick Foles played so poorly in the first half that Chip Kelly was asked if he was close to benching him for Mark Sanchez.
He never considered it.
Foles threw two touchdown passes in the second half and the Philadelphia Eagles rallied from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17 Sunday.
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”All of it from the offensive standpoint is always a combination of everything,” Kelly said. ”It’s the protection. It’s the decision-making of the quarterback. It’s receivers being in the right spot at the right time. So we all contributed to that.”
Foles overcame three turnovers in the first half and threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin early in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles their first lead. Fletcher Cox returned a fumble 17 yards for a TD to seal the win.
Philadelphia is the first team to win by 17 points after being blanked and trailing by 17 points at halftime.
Chad Henne threw two touchdown passes to rookie Allen Hurns in the first quarter as the Jaguars (0-1) jumped ahead of the defending NFC East champion Eagles (1-0) early.
But the Jags couldn’t sustain their success.
”I told the team in the locker room we’ll celebrate victories,” Jags coach Gus Bradley said. ”Now there was great growth that took place. I think we raised the bar, the standard of what’s acceptable and we just have to keep raising it.”
Here’s what we learned from the Eagles’ comeback win:
SPRY SPROLES: Darren Sproles gave the Eagles exactly what they needed in his debut with the team. His 49-yard TD run on fourth-and-1 kickstarted the rally. He had a pair of 22-yard punt returns and nearly outrushed teammate and defending NFL rushing champion LeSean McCoy. Sproles had 71 yards on 11 carries; McCoy ran 21 times for 74 yards.
”People ask if I still have it, being 30-years old. I wanted to come out and prove I still have it,” Sproles said.
MAC IS BACK: In his first game since returning from ACL surgery, Maclin had four catches for 97 yards, including the 68-yard go-ahead TD in the fourth. Maclin flew past the secondary and was open by more than 10 yards when he caught Foles’ pass and raced into the end zone.
”A lot of the time, those are some of the toughest catches to make when you are that wide open,” Maclin said. ”Just being able to play football was what I was looking for. I’m blessed, I’m fortunate.”
HURNS MAKES HISTORY: Hurns, a rookie free agent from Miami, became the first player with two touchdown receptions in the first quarter of his NFL debut. He scored on his first two catches. Hurns finished with four catches for 110 yards.
”I’m not too excited about it at all,” Hurns said. ”I feel like I can improve even more. There was two catches that I know I could have caught that is getting to me a little bit but I know I can learn from them.”
BRINGING PRESSURE: The Jaguars got five sacks and two fumble recoveries from their defensive line. The five sacks came in the first half and were a franchise record for most in a half. Ryan Davis had two sacks and recovered a fumble forced by Chris Clemons. Andre Branch forced a fumble with his sack and Ziggy Hood recovered. The Jags scored TDs off both of those turnovers.
”We came out and jumped on them,” Clemons said.
IT’S NOT 2013, NICK: Foles had two fumbles and one pick in the first 20 minutes after he had only four turnovers (two fumbles, two INTs) in a breakout season last year that ended with him being offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl. But Foles rebounded with a strong performance in the second half and finished with 322 yards passing.
”You just have to keep your composure,” Foles said. ”It’s very critical to recognize what went wrong. We came in at halftime and made corrections and just knew that it was a new game in the second half.”
NOTES: Eagles All-Pro LG Evan Mathis sustained a left knee injury in the first half. RT Allen Barbre injured his right ankle. Kelly had no updates. … Jaguars SS Johnathan Cyprien and LB J.T. Thomas left with head injuries. … Eagles DE Brandon Bair blocked Scobee’s 36-yard field goal to keep it at 17-0.
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