The Eagles are now 5-5 and tied for first place in the NFC East. On one hand, you don't want to make too much of this. It isn't a great record. The NFC East is the worst division in the league this year. This isn't a big deal right now.
On the other hand, the Eagles were 4-12 last year. Being 5-5 means there will be meaningful football games in November. That is something to get excited about. Last year, the Eagles were just 3-7 after 10 games.
I can't tell you how this season will turn out. The Eagles could go into a slump and finish just 6-10 or something like that, but it just feels good to know that the next few weeks matter. Every win keeps the Eagles in playoff contention. I know some fans would prefer the team to get a high draft pick, but I don't think like that. You have to focus on winning.
Chip Kelly has the Eagles playing good football. They went to Lambeau Field, fought through some injuries and beat the Packers by 14 points. Granted, Green Bay didn't have Aaron Rodgers, but we've seen the Packers win without him in the past. That is a good team with plenty of talent outside of Rodgers.
The man of the hour is still Foles. He is continuing to play at a high level and is putting up some crazy numbers. Foles is four passing attempts from being eligible to be on the leaderboard among NFL quarterbacks. Foles would lead the league in quarterback rating and yards per pass attempt. He is third in the league in pass completions of 40 or more yards. Against Green Bay, he was was 12-of-18 for 228 yards. Three of the completions were touchdowns and all of them covered at least 32 yards. Foles now has back-to-back games with a rating of 149 or more. He's the first quarterback to do that since 1960. To put that in further perspective,
The Eagles didn't throw a lot, but got great impact from the passing game. Foles didn't have any great throws. He had a solid game and made good throws. In a way, that's what we needed to see. Foles has to show that he can be a consistent, reliable passer. His showing against the Packers is the kind of game you could expect from a quarterback on a regular basis.
Maybe the most impressive thing was the way Foles ran the ball. If you take out his three kneel-downs, Foles had five carries for 41 yards. There weren't any Vick-like spectacular runs. Foles took off when there was an opening and got what he could. He converted a third-and-one on the opening drive. He scrambled for 16 yards on third-and-six which resulted in a touchdown drive in the third quarter. Foles also ran for 9 yards to secure the final first down of the game and to allow the Eagles to run out the clock. He isn't a fast or elusive runner, but Foles is a smart runner and that's what Chip Kelly's offense needs.
The star of the game was
The Eagles offensive line had a strong performance. They made Clay Matthews a non-factor. They opened holes for McCoy. They also gave Foles plenty of time to throw the ball. He was sacked three times, but two of those were coverage sacks.
The defense held the Packers to 13 points. That is the lowest total the Eagles have allowed all year and continues their recent hot streak. No opponent has scored more than 21 points since September's debacle in Denver. The defense still gave up too many yards on Sunday, but you can live with yards if you keep the other team off the scoreboard. There were two missed field goals and a pair of red zone stops. Some of that is luck, some of it is skill.
With Rodgers out, the Eagles knew Green Bay would lean on the running game. Eddie Lacy had 24 carries, but only gained 73 yards. His long run was just 11 yards. The Eagles made Green Bay move the ball methodically on the ground. Last week, the Packers had a 32-yard touchdown run and a 56-yard run that set up a touchdown. Without those big plays, the run game was kept under control. Running backs finished with 29 carries for 80 yards. By comparison, the Eagles ran for 204 yards.
Bill Davis used line stunts and run blitzes to try and confuse the Green Bay blockers. Linebacker
There was one run play where Lacy did have to freeze in the backfield and
The Eagles pass defense was a bit too generous. You do have to give the Packers some credit. After Seneca Wallace left the game with an injury, Scott Tolzien took over at quarterback. He played well at times. Tolzien has a stronger arm than Wallace and I'm sure that changed some of the plays that Green Bay ran. Tolzien made some really good throws down the sideline. The Packers had five pass plays that covered 20 yards or more. I don't think that would have been the case with Wallace.
Nothing too dramatic happened on special teams.
This was a good win for the Eagles. They didn't have their A-game, but still played well enough to win by two touchdowns on the road. Kelly has the Eagles playing good football. It feels great to see the team improving and now getting ready to play some meaningful games down the stretch.