The Eagles didn't exactly cruise to victory over the quarterback-challenged Green Bay Packers, but a combination of some strong play in the red zone by the defense and a quick-strike offense gave the Eagles their fifth road win of the season and evened their record at 5-5 thanks to the 27-13 decision.
"It's great to come in here and win this kind of game," said running back LeSean McCoy, who had a monster game 155 ground yards on 25 carries, including 50 yards on eight carries during a final drive that consumed the remaining 9 minutes, 32 seconds off the game clock. "Everybody contributed. Total team effort."
Indeed it was. The defense played without starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher, and then lost starting safety Earl Wolff (knee) and inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks early in the game. Offensively, quarterback Michael Vick was inactive and left tackle Jason Peters (quad) was knocked out of action in the first quarter.
The depth on the roster came up big.
"It's the next man up," said wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who had 4 catches for 80 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown. "This is so much fun, man. Everybody is doing it."
And now comes the fun part: A home game against Washington on Sunday and a race to the finish in the NFC East.
Back to Lambeau Field, though. Green Bay's offense entered the game without quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the first time since 2007, going with backup Seneca Wallace against the Eagles. Wallace completed all five of his passes on Green Bay's opening offensive series, but suffered a groin injury somewhere on the drive and was replaced on the second series by third stringer Scott Tolzien, who had been on the team's practice squad prior to Rodgers' injury.
A variety of screens, slants and some jump balls down the field allowed Green Bay to move the football successfully, but some timely defense kept the Packers off the board.
Philadelphia's defense had four stops in the red zone, and none were bigger than one midway through the second quarter on a third-and-3 play from the Eagles 5-yard line. Tolzien threw left intended for Jordy Nelson, but Brandon Boykin was there for a sensational interception and a 76-yard return to bail the defense out of trouble.
"I was able to undercut the route and turned and the ball was there," said Boykin. "I made the play. It felt great. We needed it in that situation."
Then the Eagles held Green Bay to a field goal late in the half to take a 10-3 lead into the third quarter.
The second half was all about the offense. Foles and Cooper hooked up on a 45-yard touchdown when Cooper circled back on a wobbly pass and made a diving catch, rolled into the end zone and extended the Eagles' lead.
One possession later, Cooper ran a double move, inside to outside, caught a Foles pass and turned up the field and into the end zone untouched for a 32-yard catch-and-run score to give the Eagles a 27-10 lead.
That's the kind of day it was for Foles and the offense, which ended up with 415 total net yards, 19 first downs and an average of 7.2 yard per play. It wasn't as efficient as a week earlier in Oakland, but the big plays made the difference.
Foles made his first play to Jackson in the opening quarter with some help from the Packers. Foles threw down the field for Jackson as Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Morgan Burnett converged on the pass and collectively tipped the ball into the air, and Jackson grabbed it and backed into the end zone to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
In the third quarter, when the Eagles really needed it, the quick-strike offense went to work. McCoy had runs of 9 yards and 30 yards, and then Foles went up top to Cooper, who came back on the woobly pass as he looked into the high sun – his background as a baseball outfielder paid off – and made a diving catch and rolled into the end zone for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 17-3 advantage.
"Some guys said that about it being a baseball play, but I just saw the ball up in the air and went and got it," said Cooper, who had 3 catches for 102 yards and two scores. "In baseball you have a glove. Not in football."
The Eagles scored just enough to put the Packers in catch-up mode In the second half of the game, and third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien, who was on the practice squad before Rodgers' injury, lacked the ability to mount a comeback.
It wasn't particularly pretty, but nobody cared. Green Bay gained 396 yards of offense with a third-string quarterback, yet the defense made the necessary stops in the red zone.
"That's what it's all about," said linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who led the defense with 13 total tackles and an interception. "We kept them out of the end zone, for the most part. If they don't score, they don't win.
"To come here and win a big game, another one away from home, it's huge. We're 5-5 now and we're rolling. Let's keep it going."