Riley Cooper heard it all week. With two drops in the end zone through four games, Cooper was the focus of persistent media questions about his relative effectiveness. Throughout, Cooper and head coach Chip Kelly insisted that the wide receiver's time would come.
That time turned out to be thirty seconds left in the first half of Sunday's game against the visiting St. Louis Rams. After the Rams pulled to within 13-7 late in the second quarter, quarterback Nick Foles efficiently led the Eagles down the field inside the Rams' 10-yard-line. From the 9, Foles hoisted up a jump ball in Cooper's direction. Matched up against Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Cooper rose into the air and snatched the ball from Jenkins' grasp, hauling in his first touchdown of the season and giving the Eagles a 20-7 lead at halftime.
On the touchdown drive, Foles went 7-of-8 for 54 yards and the touchdown.
The Rams scored their first points of the day with 3:23 left in the second quarter on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Austin Davis to Brian Quick, after the two teams traded three consecutive turnovers,. After initial pressure, Davis scrambled backwards before firing to Quick, who scrambled away from Eagles safety Nate Allen in the end zone to find himself free.
The game of here-you-take-the-ball began when running back LeSean McCoy ran all around the Eagles' backfield, only to be tackled for a loss of 10 yards. On McCoy's way down to the ground, he fumbled the ball, only to see Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines scoop it up ono the Eagles' 29-yard-line.
On the ensuing Rams' possession, the Rams worked the ball down to the Eagles' 5-yard-line. But on third-and-goal, Vinny Curry sprung loose for a monster hit on Davis, jarring the ball loose where it would be scooped up by Fletcher Cox.
The Eagles, though, would turn over the ball right back four plays later when Nick Foles hoisted a deep pass in the direction of Jeremy Maclin. Gaines was responsible for the turnover again this time, rising to pick off the ball inside the Rams' 20-yard-line.
The Rams would then drive all the way down the field for their touchdown, traveling 84 yards on 11 plays in six minutes and 31 seconds.
The Eagles will receive the ball to begin the second half.
Nick Foles – 19-of-26 for 144 yards, one touchdown, one interception and an 82.9 quarterback rating
Austin Davis – 10-of-19 for 123 yards, one touchdown and a 90.5 quarterback rating
LeSean McCoy – Seven carries for 32 yards, four catches for five yards
Darren Sproles – Two carries for 20 yards
Zac Stacy – Seven carries for 30 yards
Jordan Matthews – Four catches for 35 yards
Jeremy Maclin – Three catches for 47 yards
Riley Cooper – Three catches for 19 yards and one touchdown
Jared Cook – Two catches for 27 yards