All week everyone wondered how Nick Foles would follow up his record-tying showing against the Oakland Raiders. Suffice to say going an efficient 12-for-18 for 223 yards, three touchdowns and a 149.3 quarterback rating makes for a pretty nice encore.
"It feels good to get the win," Foles said. "It was another great team win. We just have to keep moving. I felt good out there, I felt like the guys were doing a great job. The receivers made some big plays to help me out. It was a good win."
Foles had a relatively easy day against the Raiders, as he was rarely under pressure and able to go through each of his reads before making a throw. Receivers were running wide open deep down the field, as well. That was rarely the case against the Green Bay Packers, however. Nevertheless, Foles was not afraid to test the Packers' secondary and put the ball up for his receiver to make a play, even in double coverage.
That is how the Eagles scored their first two touchdowns – a 55-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson, and a 45-yard bomb to Riley Cooper. A little luck never hurts, either. On the touchdown to Jackson, Foles underthrew hi m ever so slightly, but the two Packers defensive backs collided as they went up to make a play and knocked the ball into the air. Jackson was right there for the rebound and walked in, backwards, for the touchdown. On the first of two touchdowns to Cooper in the game, Foles underthrew the ball a little bit, but this time on purpose in order to lead Cooper away from the coverage and take advantage of his baseball skills. As Foles put it, he threw the ball "around the safety."
"The only pass that (sort of) got underthrown was the pass to DeSean, where it bobbled up in the air," Foles said. "I'm thankful it turned out (in our favor). The one to Riley, the safety was sort of in between, I could've thrown two different routes and I wanted to go with the deeper one. You know, Riley has a baseball background, so like an outfielder, I kind of threw it wide and up for him to go and make the play. You typically don't throw that route like that, but I know Riley and I know he's able to make plays like that so I threw it where he could make a tremendous play and it worked."
The first Cooper touchdown, in particular, was a perfect example of Foles being in tune with his receiver and putting the ball up in a spot where only he would be able to make a play. It was a microcosm of the chemistry and trust he has developed with all his receivers.
"I feel like I have a connection with all my receivers," Foles said. "I understand how they run routes, I understand their strengths, and I'm very fortunate to have a situation where we have talent everywhere. The most important thing is to get them the ball and get them the ball in an area where they can make plays, and they're doing that."
Foles faced a good amount of pressure from the Packers pass rush, but he was able to nimbly elude would-be tacklers and make big throws on the move. There were times, though, when he was unable to get away, as thePackers were able to get home on some blitzes and recorded three sacks on the day. One of those sacks came in the fourth quarter deep in Eagles' territory and resulted in a fumble – a close play that was ruled down by contact at first but overturned on a challenge – that gave the Packers a chance to get within seven points. The Eagles defense stepped up, though, and the Packers ended up turning the ball over on downs. That would be the last time the Packers possessed the football, as the Eagles offense embarked on a grind-it-out drive that featured 11 runs and one pass, bleeding the final 9:32 left on the clock.
"We were playing a pretty good game, staying away from turnovers until that happened," Foles said of the sack-fumble. "It's not a good situation, but it just shows you how much this team's come along where our defense comes out there and stops them. Then we get the ball back and our (offensive) line does a great job, I think we threw one pass and ran the ball (11 times). We ran (the rest of the time) off the clock. It was hats off to (the offense). That's a good (Packers defense) out there, and we were able to run the ball and take the clock away after our defense had a huge stop. I felt like our team grew throughout that whole (ordeal) and am thankful for the defense stepping up right there."
Foles, in total, completed 34-of-46 passes for 634 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 155.34 as the Eagles went 2-0 on their road trip to get back to 5-5. They have regained momentum as they head into the stretch run, the NFC East crown very much in their sights. A crucial matchup against the division rival Washington Redskins awaits at home, where the Eagles will look to break their 10-game losing streak and Foles will have a chance for redemption after disappointing performance against the Dallas Cowboys.
"We're going to enjoy this game for 24 hours and move forward," Foles said. "I know we have the Redskins coming up at home at (Lincoln Financial Field). I hope the crowd's ready to go. We're pumped, and we have to get a win for everybody. I hope they're loud and cheering us on and ready to go because we're going to need them to keep us going."
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