The Philadelphia Eagles earned another hard-fought win by knocking off the 0-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. Chip Kelly is now sitting at first place in the NFC East, and if the Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys at night, the Eagles have sole possession of that spot.
Nick Foles played extremely well in relief of the injured Michael Vick, leading the Eagles to 31 points while accounting for four total touchdowns. The defense played well enough to win, and the Eagles have their longest winning streak since Week 2 of 2012.
Next week is a tough matchup with the rival Dallas Cowboys, a team that possesses a high-powered offense with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. For now, the Eagles have today to reflect on a nice win against an NFC team and then six days to prepare for the Cowboys.
Nick Foles Does Nothing But Play Well Every Week
Nick Foles was magnificent in his first start of the 2013 season. He completed 22-of-31 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Foles averaged a ridiculous 9.5 yards per attempt, adding a rushing touchdown as well.
He was just the 12th quarterback since 2000 with the following numbers: at least 30 pass attempts, 9.5 yards per carry, three passing touchdowns and no interceptions. Foles converted half of his third down opportunities, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to four touchdowns and a field goal on their 13 possessions. Most impressively, he didn’t turn the ball over and was sacked just once. And this was against a defense that had been given two weeks to prepare for the Eagles.
Foles played well enough that it will be difficult for the Eagles to put him back on the bench when Michael Vick returns from injury. Next on the Eagles’ schedule is a Dallas team that Foles played well against in both starts last year (23 and 33 points for the Birds).
DeSean Jackson Backed Up His Words
During the week, DeSean Jackson was quoted as saying he didn't think Darrelle Revis could “run with me.”
Jackson certainly backed up his words, catching six passes (on six targets) for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The first one was a 12-yard crossing pattern in the back of the end zone in which Revis quite simply couldn’t keep up with Jackson. The next one was a 36-yard deep pass with Dashon Goldson as the closest Tampa Bay defender in coverage.
It was the first time in his career that Jackson caught two touchdowns in the same game. And it was a monstrous output considering the player Jackson was matched up against.
LeSean McCoy Had Another Really Good Game
LeSean McCoy turned in a fine performance against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that entered the day ranked ninth-best in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.
McCoy carried the ball 25 times for 116 yards along with two receptions for 55 yards out of the backfield. And fortunately, his early fumble had no impact on the game.
That’s 171 total yards from scrimmage for McCoy, which equaled the fourth-best single-game total of his professional career. The Eagles are now 13-2 when McCoy carries the ball at least 20 times and 5-0 when he gets 25 carries.
Riley Cooper Turned In a Career Game
Entering today, Riley Cooper had just eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. That’s a good game for DeSean Jackson, not a third of a season.
Against all odds, Cooper broke out in a big way.
He hauled in four balls for 120 yards and a touchdown. The 120 yards gave him his first career 100-yard output, and his 47-yard touchdown catch was the longest pass play of Foles’ career. It probably won’t last, but Cooper’s performance today was very instrumental in the Eagles’ win.
The Philadelphia Eagles Defense Made Enough Plays to Win
The Philadelphia Eagles still have some work to do on the defensive side of the ball. They allowed rookie quarterback Mike Glennon to throw for 273 yards and two touchdowns.
But the Eagles generated just enough plays to win the game. They picked off Glennon, thanks to a great play from Bradley Fletcher, when the Bucs were driving. Connor Barwin came up with a huge sack in the fourth quarter. And a likely 99-yard touchdown drive stalled right near the end zone with the Eagles holding Tampa Bay to a field goal.
The 20 points the Eagles allowed were their fewest surrendered since a 16-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5 last year. Doug Martin was held in check at just 91 total yards and no touchdowns. And other than Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers’ receivers had just three total catches.