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Records Fall, Jason Kelce's Streak Grows

DeVonta Smith break DeSean Jackson's record, though fell short of another, the center played in his 122nd straight game and an all-time rushing mark went down

PHILADELPHIA – DeVonta Smith was hesitant to talk about his season’s goals when asked about them last week.

The receiver admitted, though, that breaking DeSean Jackson’s record for most receiving yards by a rookie, a record that had stood for 13 years, wasn’t one of them.

“Honestly, this record wasn’t one of my goals,” he said after he did indeed break that record in Saturday night's 51-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “I really didn’t know nothing about it. But no, I didn’t get my goals.”

Finally, Smith said what one of those goals was, and that was to get 1,000 yards. The Eagles haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Smith has time on that one.

“It’s my fault I didn’t get there,” he said. “I left a lot of stuff out there early in the season. So just keep doing what I’m doing this year. Finish this year out, and get back to it.”

The rookie record, though, he had only one season to try to break.

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“Earlier in the week I talked to him about this and asked him how important this record was to him and he said he wanted to do his best for the team, but I know at some point he would’ve wanted that record,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “So, we were able to get it for him without a lot of risk taken right there with him.”

Smith needed 38 yards entering the 17th game of the season to surpass the 912 Jackson got in 16 games back in 2008. He got 41, all in the first quarter, using three catches to get there. He then came out for the remainder of the game.

“I mean, it kind of feels good just to get it out of the way,” he said. “In the beginning, I wasn’t even worried about it, but once it happened, everybody being around me, congratulating me, just kind of felt good.”

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Smith finished his first season with 64 catches for 916 yards and five touchdowns, all team highs for a pass catcher.

Smith’s record wasn’t the only one to fall, or the only achievement Sirianni was cognizant of.

He knew about Jason Kelce’s consecutive starts streak, which grew to 122 after he played one snap then took the night off.

“Wanted to make sure he got his continuous streak,” said Sirianni. “I know that means a lot. Some of the record stuff means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to the guys and I want to make sure when you can reward them and not put them at risk…Jason felt good too, obviously recovered from his COVID, we were able to do that and rest him.”

Another record that fell was the team’s rushing yards for a season.

The Eagles ran for 149 yards against Dallas to set the franchise record of 2,714 rushing yards, breaking the previous mark of 2,607 set in 1949.

The 1949 team did it 12 games, but the NFL was also a run-based league, not the pass-happy one that it is today.

“I get it,” said Sirianni. “We got more games than them, but I think it means a lot, I know it means a lot to us as coaches and it means a lot to those players. No other Eagle team in the history of the Eagles has rushed for as many yards as we have.

“We all know that’s where we really started to play better and better on offense it was because of the way we ran the football, it was because of the guys we have up front, it was because of the guys running the ball, so it was very exciting to get that.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.