In one of the more stunning Philadelphia Eagles games in recent years, Nick Foles lit up the Oakland Raiders in a 49-20 win. Foles tied the single-game NFL record with seven touchdown passes, doing so without an interception.
He turned Riley Cooper into a playmaker, and the Eagles defense held Terrelle Pryor in check, eventually forcing him out of the game with an injury. The win improved the Eagles to 4-5, keeping Chip Kelly’s Birds just one game back of the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.
Whether this is the new Eagles offense or an aberration remains to be seen, but what is for sure is that this was one fun game to watch.
Nick Foles Was Absolutely Unstoppable
Following the most inept passing performance of his career two weeks ago, Nick Foles torched the Raiders secondary. He completed 22 of his 29 passing attempts for 401 yards, tying an NFL record with seven touchdowns.
Nick Foles is first player in NFL history to throw 7 TDs in first 3 quarters of a game, according to Elias
— John Clark NBC10 (@johnclarknbc10) November 3, 2013
Foles didn’t throw an interception, and in fact, he still hasn’t thrown an interception this season. He finished several percentage points shy of a perfect passer rating, but he posted the highest passer rating ever of any quarterback ever to throw seven touchdowns.
Foles directed the Eagles offense like the quarterback of the future. Does that mean he is the quarterback of the future? Not necessarily, but it seems highly unlikely Michael Vick will start again in Philly, barring a Foles injury. For the season, Foles has a 62.7 completion percentage, 8.71 yards per attempt, 13 touchdowns, no picks and a ridiculous 127.4 passer rating.
The Eagles Defense Has Played Really Well Recently
For the fifth straight game, Billy Davis' defense did its job. The Eagles held the Raiders to 13 points before giving up a garbage touchdown with just a minute to play.
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Oakland ran 92 plays and picked up 560 yards, which admittedly is a lot of yardage. But Terrelle Pryor didn’t throw a single touchdown pass and the Eagles defense held Oakland to 13 points for the first 59 minutes of the game.
In the last five contests, the Eagles have allowed 21, 20, 17, 15 and 20 points. In the previous 11 games, the Eagles had given up more than 21 every single time. Davis is getting better results out of a group that really doesn’t have a ton of talent. If the offense can continue to play like this, the defense is no longer a weak unit.
We Have a Riley Cooper Sighting
For the first five games of the season, Riley Cooper had eight catches. No other starting wide receiver had fewer than 13.
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Since then, Cooper has averaged 4.5 catches, 90 yards and a touchdown per week. He hauled in five balls for 139 yards and a career-best three touchdowns today, including a 63-yarder. Cooper became the first Eagles receiver with three receiving touchdowns in one game since Kevin Curtis in 2007.
Cooper in no way has replaced the production the team would have gotten from Jeremy Maclin. But if he can somehow continue the flashes he’s shown in recent weeks, it will make life much easier for Foles going forward.
Bryce Brown Played a Nice Role
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After weeks of nonexistence in the Eagles offense, Bryce Brown quietly turned in a nice game. He rushed seven times for 54 yards, including a 32-yard rush, and added a six-yard catch for 60 total yards.
It especially helped the Eagles with LeSean McCoy held to just 44 yards on 12 carries. The Eagles really need the Bryce Brown they had from his first two starts last year, when he helped carry the offense in McCoy’s absence. If Brown can become a good No. 2 back behind McCoy, the Eagles could have an unstoppable rushing attack.
The Offensive Line Was Phenomenal
We won’t know just how good the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line was until the game tape has been released, along with Pro Football Focus' game ratings.
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But from left to right, Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson were simply phenomenal. The group gave Foles maximum protection to throw. At times, Foles surveyed the field for so long that it seemed as if the Raiders weren’t even rushing the quarterback.
The best part about the Eagles offensive line is that the group has remained healthy all season. Jason Peters has briefly left several games due to minor injuries, but he hasn’t missed a start, and the unit has started 45 of a possible 45 games this season.