After a game against Dallas that Nick Foles did not want to remember, the second-year quarterback had a game on Sunday against the Raiders that he will never forget.
Foles silenced any critics on Sunday by tying the all-time NFL record with seven passing touchdowns as he led the way in the Eagles' 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Taken out of the game with over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Foles finished the afternoon with 22 completions on 28 passes for 406 yards, the record-tying seven touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. It was a remarkable afternoon for the Eagles quarterback -- he threw more touchdowns than incompletions -- as he bounced back from perhaps the lowest moment of his career two weeks ago.
"Sometimes you are going to have bad games, and they're tough to deal with," said Foles, referencing the loss to the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago in which he completed 11-of-29 passes for 80 yards and left with a concussion. "You always have to watch the film and see what you did wrong, and I saw the things that I did wrong and I knew that I could fix them by working on them in practice and studying the film and seeing where to do. That's where that 24-hour rule comes in handy.
"We had a great week of practice as a team, and I thought the guys came out and did a great job today. It was a great team win. Receivers did a great job downfield of making plays and I had time to throw, so with all of that together, it was a great team win. We suffered two defeats recently and our offense sputtered a little bit, so it was nice to get back on track and we just have to keep building on it."
Foles forever etched his name in the NFL record book, becoming just the third quarterback ever, joining Peyton Manning and Y.A. Title, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in a single game. According to Foles, the key to his entire afternoon was to take things one play at a time. He didn't try to force the big plays -- he let them come to him.
"I slowed everything down," Foles explained. "I just understood what we were trying to do and I wasn't trying to make too many big plays. Obviously there are going to be times when a big play is going to be made, but I was trying to do what I did all week during practice and just carry that onto the field.
"You just try to stay steady because you want to keep going. No matter if you're doing good or bad or whatever, you just try to forget about the last play and keep grinding. I didn't want to lose my mentality that I started the game with, so I had no clue how many touchdowns I had thrown or anything. Every time we got the ball, I was just trying to execute that play and see what they were doing. In the NFL, no matter how many points are on the board, the other team is always very talented and they can always come back, so once that (final) buzzer was off, that's when I knew that we had a great game."
When asked about what tying the NFL record meant to him, Foles quickly downplayed his role in the accomplishment, and instead highlighted the efforts of those around him.
"Whenever I've looked at records throughout my whole life, the greatest things about them is the guys you do them with," said Foles. "It's something that is special for the Philadelphia Eagles organization. You're able to spread the ball around, but you've got to look at the key components that went into it- the offensive line blocking, guys running great routes and making huge catches, so it's a special moment for the organization but it's special for all of our teammates. We just have to keep getting on the right path."
One of those key components that Foles referenced was Riley Cooper, who caught five passes for 139 yards and was on the receiving end of three of Foles' seven scoring strikes. Foles and Cooper have now connected for four touchdown passes on the season, to which Foles credits Cooper's athletic ability.
"I think he's a tremendous player," Foles said of Cooper. "He's a hard worker … He's a big, physical guy that will go get the ball. He has a lot of speed, and I don't think that he gets a lot of credit for that. He's a fast guy and a great athlete. I was really proud of him for that."
Whether he was throwing to Cooper or any of this other targets, Foles knew that his receivers would make the plays that they needed to, despite playing against a talented Raiders secondary.
"I just feel confident in my receivers," said the University of Arizona product. "No matter who they go up against, I just feel confident that they're going to win. Studying the Oakland film, we knew that we were really going to have to be on key on the routes and we were going to have to be pinpoint and all of that stuff… Our guys played well."
So Nick, have you ever had a game like this before, at any level?
"Only in a video game," Foles responded. "It was just a blessing."
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