By Art Beitchman

Two morning ago, the lame-ass Philly media had the Eagles’ season over, done, kaput.

After all, they had lost their first two games, and you know Chip Kelly is charting where he might go back to college coaching.

Then, 32-year-old running back Darren Sproles, whom Kelly had the good sense to trade for two years ago, jump-started the Eagles season for the second year in a row with an electrifying 89- yard punt return for a touchdown, sparking the Birds’ must win victory over the NY Jets, 24-17.

Sproles also had a 1-yard rushing TD as the second quarter wound down, giving them a 24-0 lead.

Getting the run game going was paramount, having not established any kind of ground success in the first two losses.

RB Ryan Mathews took the bull by the horns, banging out 108 yards on 25 carries — he also took a perfect pass from Sam Bradford for a 23 yard TD pass, giving the Birds a 17-0 lead.

Bradford looked calmer in the pocket delivering the ball, going 14-28 for 108 yards, a QB rating of 73.2.

Even though the Birds left quite a bit of meat on the bone in a scoreless second half — too many dropped passes, and underthrown balls by Bradford — getting 24 off a Jet defense is still a success — it is one of the top rated D’s in the NFL.

Two of the Birds young guns on the defensive side of the ball came up huge — second-round pick Eric Rowe had a critical break up, and recorded his first career interception, halting a Jets drive. DE Brandon Bair also had two big blocked passes, one good for an interception, the Birds won the turnover battle, 4-1.

Third-round pick LB Jordan Hicks got his first NFL start and took full advantage, recording 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. The defense’s overall performance is getting better each week with more snaps together.

After getting in the win column, the Birds travel to Washington next Sunday to take on the Redskins, October 4, @ 1pm/FOX-29.



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