TAMPA, Fla. – **Given a chance to make some plays and help the Eagles in the passing game, wide receiver Riley Cooper stepped up in a big way on Sunday in Philadelphia's 31-20 victory over Tampa Bay. He and quarterback Nick Foles were on the same page, as they were last year when Foles stepped in for Michael Vick, and the connection was very much needed against a tough Tampa Bay.
Cooper's 47-yard touchdown catch down the left sideline gave the Eagles a 21-17 lead in the third quarter. Cooper and cornerback Johnthan Banks were battling the entire time down the field and Cooper was able to separate just enough to grab Foles' perfectly thrown pass for the score.
Cooper caught four passes for 120 yards and the touchdown after having just eight receptions for 91 yards through the opening five games.
"It was just about getting opportunities and making the most of them," said Cooper. "We have a lot of weapons. I knew I would get my turn.
"The touchdown was just a 'Go' route and Nick made a great throw out there. I was able to get some separation and come up with the catch at the right time. We needed it. It felt good to get my number called and Nick put it right where it had to be."
He had another huge moment early in the fourth quarter after Tampa Bay drew to within 21-20. Cooper caught a hitch pass from Foles and made cornerback Leonard Johnson miss, eluded another Tampa Bay defender and streaked 44 yards into Tampa Bay territory. A play later, Foles threw to DeSean Jackson in the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown to cap the three-play, 80-yard that gave the Eagles an eight-point advantage.
"Just a hitch and I was able to make a guy miss and get up the field," said Cooper. "The best part was that our offense followed with a touchdown to keep our momentum going."
The offense rolled to 425 total yards against one of the league's best defenses. Cooper, after a slow first five games, was right in the middle of the action, providing the right complement for the passing game.