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Foles Took More Of A Leadership Role



OAKLAND -- The response was well worth the wait.

After his toughest outing as a professional two weeks ago against Dallas, quarterback Nick Foles had to wait a little longer than he would have liked to provide a response. Foles suffered a concussion in the loss to Dallas and could not play last Sunday against the Giants.

Foles was cleared to return to practice on Tuesday and on Wednesday head coach Chip Kelly announced officially that Foles would start against the Raiders. The question then was how would Foles perform off the heels of that game against the Cowboys. Well, he provided quite a statement on Sunday as he tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes and finished with a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 in the 49-20 win over the Raiders.

Teammates explained after the game that Foles' confidence never wavered after the rocky outing. In fact, Foles took it upon himself to become more of a leader.

"Our whole team was down a little bit this week. He was much more vocal. He was much more involved in everything," said center Jason Kelce.

"Overall, it seemed he was extremely focused on having a really, really good game."

No one could have predicted this, though. Foles led a touchdown drive on each of the Eagles' first four possessions. For good measure, the Eagles added a touchdown on three of their first four drives of the second half.

"I would definitely say that he has it in him, just the way he prepares for these games," said running back LeSean McCoy, who caught one of Foles' seven touchdown tosses. "He showed that today. He looked good."

Wide receiver Riley Cooper had as many touchdowns on Sunday than he ever had in a single season prior to 2013 with three. Cooper called Foles "a winner" after the quarterback's rebound performance.

"He always has poise. He always has confidence," Cooper said. "That's what you need in a quarterback. He handled it great."

Foles' attitude was even noticed by the quarterback of the defense.

"He was himself. He was cool, confident Nick," said linebacker DeMeco Ryans. "Just being himself steadily making the plays, just leading us throughout the week, you could tell he was feeling good coming back out here this week and it showed out on the field.

"That's the way you want to come back after a tough game. Most people want to come back with a good game and to have his best game ever off of a bad outing, that's phenomenal."

This isn't Foles' first taste of success. Foles was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after he completed 22-of-31 pass attempts for 296 yards with a then-career-high three touchdowns following the October 13 win at Tampa Bay. The press release for this week's NFC Offensive Player award might as well be distributed out now. In just three-and-a-half games, Foles has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 1,028 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions for a 127.4 passer rating.

After the two straight losses for the Eagles, Sunday's aerial display was not only important for Foles but for the team's psyche.

"You start to learn the blueprint for success," said guard Evan Mathis. "We have a lot of young guys on our team who see that hard work and trusting the game plan can translate to these types of results."

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