Kelly deserves credit for that. He has Foles playing loose, playing well and making, as teammate Jason Avant said, good mistakes. When Foles misses a receiver, he usually misses him long. He doesn't throw behind receivers. And the receivers are doing their part on 50-50 balls, as Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson did when he knocked the ball out of Peterson's hands in the end zone.
Kelly had a wise game plan against Arizona. Given the Cardinals talented secondary and linebackers who are stout against the run, Kelly employed two- and three-tight-end sets to maximize mismatches. And it worked, with rookie Zach Ertz catching two touchdown passes and Brent Celek catching one.
But Kelly was not able to adjust to the Cardinals' blitzing on running plays. After opening the third quarter with an impressive 13-play, 80-yard drive to take a 24-7 lead, Philadelphia managed just two first downs on its next four drives. The Eagles were trying to run the ball to eat clock and give their defense a rest, but it was not working. Not with LeSean McCoy. Not with Bryce Brown. Not with Foles.
On third-and-long, Kelly would put the ball back into Foles' hands. Twice during those four drives, Foles was sacked. Once he threw incomplete. Kelly did not have a viable alternative after the Cardinals took the run game away. It was the second consecutive game in which the Eagles were unable to bury an opponent when holding a double-digit lead.
"We're learning," Avant said. "We have a lot of young players. We have a new coaching staff that hasn't been in the National Football League, all those types of things. We're learning. As the year goes on, we're constantly getting better. We're learning how to win in close situations. That's the No. 1 thing, and also we're learning how the game in the NFL works. So, all of it is a learning process."
Kelly is clearly learning, too. He has had his slips, but he has won over a football-loving town because he has made the Eagles relevant again. And Kelly has found a quarterback. That's a good thing. Moving forward, he needs to remember to leave Foles in at quarterback in the red zone, because given Foles' red-zone efficiency, that's by far the smarter play.