Two weeks ago against Washington, the Eagles opened up the vertical passing game to help ignite the offense, as Sam Bradford connected with Riley Cooper for a 62-yard touchdown. Facing a Giants defense that ranked second in the league in stopping the run on Monday night, the Eagles again looked to jump-start the offense with the vertical game, and again, it was Cooper making the play.
After three quiet games to start the year, Cooper has come on as of late. In Monday's 27-7 victory, Cooper led the Eagles with 76 receiving yards, and it was his 32-yard touchdown grab that opened the scoring for the Eagles after an early 7-0 deficit.
After the game, Cooper credited quarterback Sam Bradford for putting the ball where it needed to be.
"Sam put it where only I can catch it," Cooper said. "The easy part is running and catching. The hard part is pinpoint accuracy where only the wide receiver can catch it, and I think Sam did an unbelievable job of that."
Statistically, Bradford didn't have his best game, throwing three interceptions for just the second time in his career, but Cooper was quick to praise the Eagles' quarterback from the way he rebounded and found a way to come away with a victory.
"After that (first) interception ... he kind of just smiled and said it happens," Cooper said. "That's just kind of his attitude. He cares a ton, but he's not going to let it affect his decision-making on following plays. I'm really impressed by his leadership and his desire to win. You see it when you're in the huddle and on the sideline, and I respect it. He's doing a great job."
Cooper had another big play down the field later in the game, as Bradford hit him for a 42-yard gain. Without rookie Nelson Agholor in the lineup due to injury, Cooper was able to step up and provide that big-play threat, but according to the Florida product, his own production has a lot to do with those around him.
"I think the offensive line is doing a great job of protecting, and then with all of the weapons we have, with Jordan (Matthews) going across the middle, he requires a lot of attention from backside safeties," Cooper said. "All of the weapons that we have, all of the eyes are on them, and I'm just running a post back side and they require so much attention, that it helps me get open."
The Eagles moved back to .500 at 3-3 and took hold of first place in the NFC East for the time being. While a 20-point victory over a divisional foe always is always a good thing, Cooper knows that the Eagles' offense still has a lot of room for growth as they head into a pivotal matchup on the road with the undefeated Carolina Panthers.
"Everything wasn't clicking," Cooper admitted. "We put up a ton of yards, but we had a lot of turnovers and we have to fix it."
As the Eagles look to shore up the offensive issues and win their third-straight game next week in Charlotte, it will be interesting to see if Cooper and the vertical game continue to play a big role in the Eagles' offensive game plan.
The Eagles faced the Giants for Monday Night Football, sporting their #BackInBlack uniforms. View the full gallery here...