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Chip Kelly defends decision to kick late field goal

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Chip Kelly has earned his reputation as one of the game's most forward-thinking offensive minds. A somewhat conservative decision late in Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals left the Eagles coach open to criticism.

With two minutes to play and the game tied at 17, the Eagles had a fourth-and-1 from outside the 1-yard line. There were two positive outcomes possible: A touchdown or a first down. Kelly chose to kick the field goal, a decision that backfired minutes later when Carson Palmer threw a game-winning 75-yard touchdown pass to John Brown.

"Yeah, I thought about it," Kelly said of the possibility of going for it on fourth down, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We got the two-minute warning and talked about it. I thought our defense to that point was playing really, really well. I had confidence in them. I told them that we were kicking the field goal because I had confidence in them."

Kelly's decision to kick the field goal came on a day in which the Eagles had found success running the football against the NFL's top run defense entering Sunday. Kelly said he believed Arizona's defense "may have been a little gassed" on the final drive.

"I felt like we could beat them in the run," said LeSean McCoy, who was stuffed for a short loss on third down. "Obviously they were getting tired, but we were gashing them and I don't think it had anything to do with them wearing down. I thought our guys up front were better than those guys up front."

Kelly was asked why he didn't ask Nick Foles, his 6-foot-6 quarterback, to simply plow ahead to pick up the first down and/or touchdown.

"I tried that against Dallas last year and it got shoved up our tails, so I wasn't going to run that again," Kelly said.

It's hard to kill Kelly's decision-making for the simple reason that you can't put yourself at risk of coming away with no points in that situation. Kelly trusted his defense. The coach's faith was not rewarded.

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