Following a dreadful two games in which they scored a total of zero touchdowns on offense, the Eagles went to Oakland and made an emphatic statement against the Raiders. The standout performer, without question, was
“He had a really good week of (preparation),” Kelly said of Foles. “He was dialed in to what he wanted to do. He was outstanding in terms of his performance today. He wanted to win the game and score a lot of points.”
From the very beginning, it was obvious that this game would be different from the previous two. The “blur” offense was back, with its up-tempo pace and high-octane attack wearing down the Raiders defense. Kelly called the right plays, and the players executed them to perfection. Opportunities were there against Raiders just like they were against the Cowboys and Giants – except this time the Eagles executed to near perfection. The offense was a symphony of harmony and precision, breaking off huge chunks of yards and picking up first downs as it methodically moved the ball down the field. It was magnificent to watch.
“We called a lot of plays that we called the last two weeks, we just executed them,” Kelly said. “That’s the biggest thing. (Foles) put the ball on people, I thought he was really, really good early on third down. We converted a lot of third-and-longs, made some big plays to keep some drives going. We talk about getting that first first down, and then we kind of get rolling. You have to stay away from the three-and-outs, and we did that, and once you get that first first down, then we can go. I think the whole group – I thought we blocked it really well. When you can play a game and not turn the ball over – turnovers are a huge thing, we’ve been harping on that since the day I got here.”
In addition to Foles’ mastery,
“We’ve got some guys who, if you’re going to try to cover us one-on-one, they have to uncover and they did today,” Kelly said. “That was big for us.”
The Eagles demonstrably outperformed the Raiders in all three phases of the game, and Kelly was especially proud of the way the defense and kick coverage teams rose to the occasion.
“I thought it was a good game overall by everybody,” Kelly said. “I thought the defense did a really good job. I know they were on the field for a lot of times when the (Raiders) converted third downs, but they (held up), especially in the red zone. I thought we covered kicks really well against an explosive kick team. I thought it was a really good team performance.”
The defense simply continues to make strides and improve each week. This time the pass rush came to the forefront, consistently hurrying Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor from the pocket and chasing him all over the field with relentless pursuit. The unit finished with three sacks, nine quarterback hits and six tackles for loss, to go along with six pass breakups and two interceptions.
“It’s what I expected out of our defense,” Kelly said. “I think they’re getting more familiar with the scheme. They have a better understanding of where everybody’s supposed to be. We did a lot of things that we did real well early – we’re not getting balls thrown over our heads, our defense is starting to create turnovers, they’re starting to get sacks. Those things are coming.”
Kelly gave the players credit for sticking to the plan and never wavering in the face of adversity. Now it is about making sure that commitment to preparation during the week remains steadfast, as a daunting road test against the 5-2 Green Bay Packers looms on the horizon.
“The one thing I’ll give these guys credit for, they stuck to the plan and they executed,” Kelly said. “The players weren’t good on offense and the coaches were good on offense for the last two weeks. Today, we were good. We can’t pat ourselves on the back and say, ‘Hey, we were good last week so it’s going to be a piece of cake this week.’ We have to do the same exact thing in preparing for a really good Green Bay team.”
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