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Chip Kelly: Did Pope Help Us? 'One Hundred Percent'

By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It was the first time the Philadelphia Eagles won a meaningful game since Thanksgiving Day last year. Coincidence?

The Eagles, who beat the Jets 24-17 in North Jersey on Sunday, were forced to Monmouth County for three days because of Pope Francis' arrival in Philadelphia. So did the Pope actually help the Eagles?

"That the Pope helped us? That's one hundred percent true," Kelly said Monday on the 94WIP Morning Show. "And if you were watched what we did in the second half, we were trying to get the game over quicker so we can come back and see him."

Listen: Chip Kelly on the 94WIP Morning Show


Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans agrees with his coach.

Listen: DeMeco Ryans on the 94WIP Morning Show


"It was good for us to get away and kinda clear our heads a little bit and all we had to do was just focus on the game," Ryans told the 94WIP Morning Show. "There wasn't any distractions for us. Everybody was, you know, we were around each other. We were able to just hang out together as teammates."

Blessed or not, the Eagles won the game improving to 1-2 on the season. It may not sound that good on paper, but after a Dallas Cowboys loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the Birds find themselves just a game back in the battered NFC East.

"I think you have a challenge each week in who you play and what they're like as a football team," Kelly said. "And I think some people's expectations before the season starts---people don't really know. No one knows. Did you know Atlanta was going to be 3-0? You know what I mean? I felt like when we played Atlanta and I talked about Atlanta the week of Atlanta, everybody was like well---we thought after watching them in the preseason that was a really good football team. And when I said that everybody was like, 'Well they weren't really good last year?' Well it's a whole different team. And [Falcons head coach Dan Quinn] Quinny is doing a good job with them. So, you don't know. That's the great part about it is, until the season gets rolling, you don't really have a feel for what teams are and what teams aren't.

"The one thing I know---here's the theory I know, is that nobody knows."

One thing everyone knows, is that Darren Sproles is electrifying. Sproles caught four balls for 19 yards, rushed for 17 yards and a touchdown, and sparked the Eagles with his 89-yard punt return touchdown against the Jets.

"It's simple. Very, very simple. I've never been around a player that trains as hard as Darren Sproles," Kelly admitted. "And I pointed him out numerous occasions to everybody on this team. When Darren catches a punt in a walk-through practice, he sprints 60-yards to the end zone. Every single time."

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