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Darren Sproles sparks Eagles' turnaround

9/7/2014

PHILADELPHIA -- Darren Sproles, like the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles, did very little offensively in the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Sproles, whom the Eagles acquired in the offseason from New Orleans, provided the spark the team needed to mount a 34-point second half and overcome a 17-0 halftime deficit.

It was fourth-and-one at the Jacksonville 49-yard line. There was no hesitation. The Eagles were going for it. Before the Jaguars' defense could get set, Philadelphia center Jason Kelce snapped the ball. There was no safety deep. Sproles hit the hole and ran virtually untouched 49 yards into the end zone for the longest run of his career.

“We knew that they were getting tired, so we tried to hurry up on them,” Sproles said. “They were not even set and left a big hole in the middle of the field.”

Said Kelce: “I remember they were running to get lined up, and usually when they’re running to get lined up, a lot of times they won’t be set. ... From my perspective, that’s a little scary. Sometimes when they’re not lined up right, it screws up the blocking assignment, and it’s a bad play. Usually, it goes either way: It’s a bad play, or it’s a huge home run play. Luckily, it went that way. ... That was a big one for us.”

It certainly was big for Sproles, who had 11 carries for 71 yards, caught four passes for 14 yards and returned four punts for 62 yards, with two fair catches.

“It was big,” Sproles said. “People ask if I still have it, being 30 years old. I wanted to come out and prove I still have it.”

And he did.