Eagles Score 34 Unanswered to Down Jags in Opener
PHILADELPHIA -- Whatever Chip Kelly said to his players at halftime worked.
Down 17-0 to the Jaguars at home Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles dominated the second half, taking the lead in the fourth quarter when Nick Foles threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin on their way to a 34-17 victory.
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.
The Eagles scored TDs on their first two possessions in the third quarter to get within 17-14. Cody Parkey hit a 51-yard field goal on his first career attempt in the fourth quarter to tie it at 17-17.
Then Foles made a perfect deep throw to a wide-open Maclin for the longest pass of his career to put the Eagles ahead 24-17. Fletcher Cox returned a fumble yards for a TD to seal the win.
Darren Sproles had a 49-yard TD run in his debut with Philadelphia. Zach Ertz caught a 25-yard TD pass from Foles.
Hurns, a rookie free agent from Miami, became the first player with a pair of touchdown receptions in the first quarter of his NFL debut. He got both on his first two catches.
Foles rebounded from an awful first half to finish with 322 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception.
Foles had three turnovers (two fumbles, one pick) in the first 20 minutes after he had only four (two fumbles, two INTs) in a breakout season last year that ended with him being offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl.
Early on, the Eagles barely resembled the offense that set several team records in 2013. The Jaguars (0-1) stifled Kelly's up-tempo attack, limiting the Eagles to only 129 yards in the first half. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley nearly became Philadelphia's coach after Andy Reid was fired. He had two interviews, but ended up in Jacksonville after Kelly changed his mind about staying at Oregon.
Sproles made a one-handed catch and turned it into an 8-yard gain right before he burst up the middle for a 49-yard TD run on fourth-and-1. The longest run in Sproles' nine-year career cut the deficit to 17-7.
After the Jags went three-and-out, Sproles returned a punt 22 yards to the Jaguars 40. On third-and-5, Foles hit Ertz over the middle for a score to get the Eagles within 17-14.
In the first half, Foles looked nothing like the guy who posted one of the best statistical season in history last year. He had 27 touchdown passes and only two interceptions, setting an NFL record for best TD/interception ratio. His passer rating of 119.2 was the third-highest ever.
Foles lost fumbles on Philadelphia's first two possessions, setting up both of Jacksonville's touchdowns.
First, Chris Clemons, making his debut with the Jaguars, beat All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters and sacked Foles to force a fumble that was recovered by Ryan Davis at the Eagles 44. Henne then connected with Hurns on a 34-yard TD pass to make it 7-0.
Andre Branch sacked Foles on the next series, forcing a fumbling that was recovered by Ziggy Hood at the Eagles 21. Henne then hit Hurns for a 21-yard score on slant pass to make it 14-0.
Josh Scobee nailed a 49-yard field goal to put the Jaguars up 17-0 in the second quarter.
The Eagles were at the Jags 5 when Foles threw an interception to Alan Ball in the back of the end zone.
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