When asked about it after the game, Kelly told reporters that it was due to the Patriots' significant size and strength at linebacker. Smaller and shiftier was the way to go.
"It's as big a group of linebackers as you're going to face," Kelly said, via The Philadelphia Inquirer. "And then we just kind of -- as the game expressed itself -- (went) with the hot hand. And we used all three. DeMarco had a big run on the inside zone on that 13-play drive."
Schematically, it makes sense. Plus, the Eagles were in a bit of a shootout all game long. Sproles and Barner lend themselves to non-blocking passing plays more than the 6-foot Murray (although Sproles is an excellent blocker).
"Every week is an evaluation. Every week is you get an opportunity to show us what you can do," Kelly said. "We brought Jonathan Krause in there for a reason. We thought he was a really good player. We brought him up for a reason, too. It wasn't just, 'Let's reward a guy.'"
Then we will get to see if this is the new norm.
If it is, kudos to Kelly for almost doubling down on his initial belief in the scheme. He has endured a truckload of criticism for getting rid of excellent players, but if he has the fortitude to leave a $40 million player on the bench to kick start his offense, he'll earn every win that comes from it.