By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles improved to 5-5 on the year with a 27-13 victory on the road against the Green Bay Packers. Nick Foles proved once again why he should probably be the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the year and the defense took advantage of a good match-up against a careworn offense. Despite a slow start, the Eagles came out on a mission after halftime and managed to even their season record as a result.
Quarterback Grade: A-
Nick Foles once again had a strong outing as the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Foles, a week after a record performance against Oakland, tossed three touchdowns while completing 12 of 18 pass attempts for 228 yards and zero interceptions. Foles did fumble once but mostly did well in protecting the football as he broke down the defense.
Offense Grade: A-
The first half may not have been pretty for the Eagles, but after halftime the offense put together 17 third-quarter points, with Riley Cooper hauling in two long touchdown passes from Foles and Cooper ended the day with 102 receiving yards on three catches. DeSean Jackson provided the early highlight with a 55-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to open the scoring for the game. The Eagles also got a big day out of their running back, LeSean McCoy. McCoy rushed for 155 yards on 25 rushing attempts, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
The Eagles did stall in the red zone though, failing to convert any of their four red zone trips into points. The offensive line also allowed three sacks.
Defense Grade: B
The Packers may have been hampered under center without Aaron Rodgers on the field and the early exit for back-up Seneca Wallace (groin), but the defense made sure they did not allow third stringer Scott Tolzien to step in and deliver a magical performance out of nowhere. The Eagles allowed 396 yards on 75 plays but held the Packers to just under 100 yards on the ground, which should have been the strength of Green Bay given the quarterback situation. The defense recorded just one sack but did intercept Tolzien twice, with Brandon Boykin and DeMeco Ryans each picking off a pass. The defense also locked down inside the red zone, holding the Packers to no red zone points out of four attempts, much like the Eagles offense.
Special Teams Grade: B
Alex Henery was two for three on field goal attempts and was perfect on his three extra point attempts following touchdowns for a total of nine points. His counterpart, Mason Crosby, struggled on the day despite being a fairly accurate kicker heading in to the game. Donnie Jones punted twice for an average of 38.5 yards with one touchback. The special teams return game was a non-factor in this game, despite not having Damaris Johnson available due to injury.
Overall Evaluation: B+
The Eagles got another solid game out of their offense and the defense handled a weakened opposing offense. This is what good teams do, but the Eagles still have some work to do before being counted as a good team in the NFC. With the win though, the Eagles remain on the fringe of the NFC East race and don’t yet have to start thinking about good draft position in 2014. Whether that is good or bad is up for you to decide. They are not a solid NFC contender, but if Foles continues to play well the Eagles could be a dangerous team in the postseason if they can get there.
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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.