Eagles Have Perfect Performance, Nick Foles Blows Up Against Raiders
By Kevin McGuire
Coming off one of the worst games of the season, the Eagles responded in a big way in all aspects of the game. The Eagles travelled to the west coat to a place that has generally not been kind in the past, and walked away with a record performance in a 49-20 victory over the Raiders. Nick Foles tied a NFL record for most touchdowns in a game (a record most recently achieved by Peyton Manning) and the Eagles are now 4-5 and remain one game back from the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys.
As you might expect, everybody earned some great grades in this week’s post-game evaluations.
Quarterback Grade: A+
Nick Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a single game, including four red zone touchdowns. The starting quarterback also passed for over 400 yards and completed 22 of 27 passes in his career day. There was nothing that Foles could not do against a defense that had allowed 10 passing touchdowns in seven games before Sunday. Foles has had his ups and downs this season, so don’t get too used to this level of play, but it does make a statement about his position on the team moving forward.
Offense Grade: A+
The Nick Foles show had plenty of co-stars with prominent roles on Sunday. DeSean Jackson had 150 receiving yards and a touchdown and Riley Cooper had 139 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Both tight ends, Brent Celek and Zach Ertz, got into the mix with a touchdown each. LeSean McCoy was not needed to do much on the ground but was still a top threat with 36 receiving yards and a touchdown while playing a role Chip Kelly likes to use with his running backs. The Eagles scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions while the defense did their part as well to build a big lead.
This was the type of offense Eagles fans had been dreaming about since the day Kelly was hired as head coach. They executed to the best of their ability on Sunday and now must find a way to follow this up and make this the norm.
Defense Grade: A
The Eagles had been playing very well on defense the past few weeks, and that continued again in Oakland. The Eagles forced two turnovers, a pair of interceptions on Terrelle Pryor. While the offense was scoring touchdowns every time they touched the football early on, the defense was forcing punts. The Raiders ran 10 plays on their opening drive but were forced to punt. To start the second half the Eagles forced the Raiders to punt on three straight possessions and then the Eagles intercepted Pryor on the next drive. Pryor got his yards but the Eagles limited the damage done more often than not on the road.
Special Teams Grade: A
The special teams had a pretty light afternoon with the offense taking care of business. Alex Henery did not have a chance to try a field goal but he did convert on all seven extra point attempts. Punter Donnie Jones punted six times for an average of 42.3 yards per punt. With Damaris Johnson out of action this weekend, the Eagles used DeSean Jackson to return punts, which he did three times for 39 yards.
Overall Evaluation: A+
Sunday’s win in Oakland was the most complete team victory of the season for the Eagles. The offense performed to perfection and the defense only allowed 13 points. The play calling was perfectly timed and the players let loose on the west coast. You can never get too carried away with one game, but this was a flat-out dominant performance by the Eagles and perhaps a glimpse once again as to what the future could be like with Chip Kelly in charge.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.