The crispness in the Eagles' offense was back on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field in a 31-21 win over Pittsburgh that just wasn't that close. Quarterback Nick Foles and the first-team offense put 17 points on the board in the first half as Foles completed 19-of-29 passes for 179 yards, a touchdown and an interception and said he was pleased with the step forward after two preseason road losses.
"I felt like we went out there and got into a rhythm faster and started moving the ball," said Foles.
Foles completed passes to eight receivers in the two quarters and the tempo of the offense was terrific. His touchdown pass was a screen pass to LeSean McCoy, a 22-yarder on which Foles faked a screen left, then went right for McCoy. The standout running back got a block from Todd Herremans and another from Jeremy Maclin to get the offense rolling and put the Eagles ahead 7-0.
A Darren Sproles run capped a 77-yard drive in the second quarter and then Alex Henery kicked a 36-yard field goal near the end of the first half to end the night for the starting offense.
Foles and the offense have come a long way since the preseason opener in Chicago when Foles threw two interceptions.
"I think Chicago just wasn't a good game," said Foles. "I just stayed focused and didn't freak out and just kept working. I knew that you learn a lot from every day and I learned a lot from that day, moved forward from it, learned from the interceptions and wanted to go through the week and work on those things. This game will be the same thing. We won this game, but there's a lot of stuff we can take from it and improve on. That's the way we have to be each and every day.
"It's very important not to be complacent with your preparation and how you view yourself."
Foles may or may not play in the preseason finale against the Jets. It's historically been a case in the NFL where starters rest. That doesn't mean Foles will take it easy. He's always pushing, always looking for ways to get better. He had starting wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper on the field together for the first time this summer and it showed.
"It definitely felt more comfortable, but we have a lot more room to improve and a lot more film study to go, but I feel good about today and I just want to keep improving."
Foles was comfortable in the pocket and he worked through his reads and the spread-it-around philosophy worked. Jordan Matthews started in the slot in place of the injured Brad Smith (groin) and had a catch. Tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz combined for four catches. Jeremy Maclin had six grabs.
"We got it rolling. It felt good being out there," said Foles.