Bradley Fletcher and the Eagles secondary hitting stride

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After Monday night’s impressive 45-21 win, Bradley Fletcher couldn’t even remember the last time he scored a touchdown.

But he knew it was the first time he ever had a pick-six.

“When you get a lead like that early in the game, you know they’re going to have to throw the ball to get back into it,” the cornerback said, citing the 24-7 lead the Birds had just prior to his interception return for a touchdown. “So we knew we were going to have some opportunities to make some plays. I’m just happy to be helping the team. I was able to make a play on that and help the team put some more points on the board.”

It might have been Fletcher’s best performance as a pro. In addition to his interception for a score (which was the ninth non-offensive touchdown for the Eagles on the year), he had four solo tackles and got credit for five deflected passes.

The secondary was a game changer against the Panthers, with Cary Williams and Nate Allen also picking up interceptions off a battered Cam Newtown (who was also sacked nine times).

“It was good they finally came up with interceptions today,” Chip Kelly said. “They’ve been so close. They played really well last week against Houston. I think that’s carrying over.”

Fletcher and the defense just seem to feed off the home crowd. The Birds are 5-0 at home this season and have been spectacular under the lights ever since Kelly arrived in 2013.

“Our crowd is great,” Fletcher said, “to be able to come out here on a Monday night and have the stands packed like that. Having them so much into the game and cheering for us so much, it just makes us, as far as a defensive player, want to play for them, play for our team and play for the organization. It’s just great to have those fans come out and support us like that.”

If offense wins during the regular season and defense wins championships, the Eagles seem to have a fantastic formula working as Bill Davis continues to make the right calls as defensive coordinator. But the Panthers at home is one thing. Their next opponent, in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL is entirely different.

“Hopefully we’ll continue to build on it,” Kelly said, “because we have a big challenge coming up here on Sunday in Green Bay.”

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