PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chip Kelly preached since his arrival in Philadelphia that he has an equal-opportunity scoring offense.
The numbers support him.
Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are on their way to setting team records in passing, running and receiving. Of course, all that matters for the Eagles (9-6) is winning the NFC East title. They need a win or tie at Dallas (8-7) on Sunday night to do it.
But whenever the season ends, guys can reflect back on a successful season filled with several impressive individual accomplishments.
Foles has a 118.8 passer rating that leads the NFL and is third best in league history. He’s thrown for 25 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in only nine starts.
“He’s having a heck of a year and it’s a credit to him,” Kelly said Thursday. “That’s one thing about him is each week he keeps improving and he does little subtle things where you’re like, ‘Yeah, he’s got it.’ He did a couple things yesterday in practice where you just get excited to see him play again. I think he deserves the credit for what he’s doing because I think he’s having a great year.”
McCoy leads the NFL with 1,476 yards rushing and needs 37 yards to break Wilbert Montgomery’s single-season team record (1,513) set in 1979. He’ll become the first Eagles player to win the rushing title since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949. McCoy has 2,012 yards from scrimmage and needs just 93 yards to break Brian Westbrook’s team record (2,104) set in 2007. Jackson has 1,304 yards receiving and needs 106 to break Mike Quick’s club record (1,409) set in 1983.
“They are really good players,” Kelly said. “We knew that coming in. I think they are both talented. You can see that the first time we stepped on the practice field with them for a training session. They both have got a real unique skill set that not a lot of people have in this game. It’s a credit to those guys in terms of what we’ve asked them to do and how they have been able to flourish in what we’re doing here.”
McCoy already broke Van Buren’s single-game record when he ran for 217 yards in a blizzard against Detroit on Dec. 8. He has six 100-yard games, and the 2011 All-Pro has thrived in Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
“Coach Kelly is a mastermind when it comes to offense, getting his playmakers the ball in space, giving us an opportunity to make plays, especially one-on-one opportunities,” McCoy said. “There are times when I’m DeSean’s decoy or he’s my decoy. With Nick playing the way he’s playing, the way we’re running the ball, the way DeSean is a special talent, when you play the Eagles, there’s so much to you have to watch for.”
Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, has set career highs in yards, receptions (79) and is tied for his best with nine TDs. He averaged 50 catches, 906 yards and four TDs the previous three seasons.
Like his teammates, Jackson couldn’t wait to play in Kelly’s fast-paced, attacking offense.
“Since Day 1, I felt this offense was very dangerous,” he said. “We have guys who can do special things. It’s times when things aren’t going to work our way, but I’m very confident in the guys I go to work with every day. This was a big year for myself and for my team and everything happened the way we wanted it to happen, but we have to finish this story with a great run, make it to the playoffs and go as far as we can go.”
Having McCoy and Jackson at their best has certainly helped Foles develop into an MVP contender in only his second season after losing the competition for the starting job to Michael Vick in training camp.
“They’ve had great seasons,” he said. “When you have playmakers like that, it’s awesome. You try to get them the ball. It has a lot to do with the other guys, offensive line opening up holes, tight ends making plays and everyone else. It’s a credit to our entire offensive scheme. That’s why they’re having success because guys around them are playing well and playing together.”
NOTES: LG Evan Mathis (illness), S Colt Anderson (knee) and backup OL Julian Vandervelde (back) didn’t practice Thursday. Vandervelde is the backup center to Jason Kelce, so Mathis would likely assume that role if he can’t play. ... S Earl Wolff is expected to start after missing four games, returning to play last week vs. the Bears and leaving the game early.