A disappointment in one season with the Patriots, Kelly was released in August as a 34-year-old veteran coming off ACL surgery. Now he's making plays on a weekly basis, filling three-time Pro Bowler Darnell Dockett's shoes on an overachieving defensive line that became the first this season to shut down DeMarco Murray.
"Tell Bill (Belichick) I said, 'Thank you,'" defensive line coach Brentson Buckner told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver Sunday night. "Kelly's been great for us. One man's trash is another man's treasure."
"They say everything happens for a reason," Kelly explained to Silver. "I'm happy -- they work me hard but they treat me nice ... and no snow! It's a great group. We believe in each other. We believe in our scheme. And even with some big-time losses, we still feel we've got enough to get it done."
That team-first attitude is pervasive throughout the roster.
"We're just a band of brothers," Fitzgerald said Sunday. "We really believe in each other. We fight for each other. This is one of the most unselfish groups I've ever been around. We don't care who gets the glory. We just want to win."