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Kelly: Third Down Key In Foles' Success

On the day after his team scored 49 points and his quarterback threw for a record-tying seven touchdown passes in one game, Chip Kelly had a lot to talk about on Monday afternoon. The Eagles will hit the practice fields on Tuesday as they prepare for the Green Bay Packers, but Monday was another chance to reflect on a thrilling 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Most of the questions aimed at Kelly centered on the performance of Nick Foles, and rightfully so. Foles threw for 406 yards, tied the all-time NFL single-game touchdown record with seven scoring passes and posted a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. He once again did not throw an interception, and he had more touchdown passes than incomplete passes (six). After watching the film, Kelly praised his quarterback's ability to make the big plays when they mattered most.

"I thought Nick played really well," said Kelly. "Specifically, when you watch the tape, the plays that he made on third-and-longs that really kept drives alive – the throw to Jeff Maehl, the throw to (DeSean) Jackson – those are difficult down and distances to convert, and I think that was kind of the key, especially early, to keep us on the field and keep our offense going. Two big time plays, but he played really, really well."

Kelly also praised Foles' toughness, something that he saw first-hand before either the coach or quarterback had ever even stepped foot in the NovaCare Complex.

"I thought what I saw in the Cowboys game, as I said the other day, was the exception, not the rule," Kelly said. "That's not the Nick Foles that I know. I think he's extremely resilient. I think he's got a toughness to him. Take the film out when we played him (at Oregon). We hit the crap out of that kid every single play. He completed a pass against us left-handed for thirteen yards and had his helmet turned around sideways and got up and took the next snap. I've said it since I got here, but I've always been a big fan of his because I've seen him play in critical games and he always – I don't know if it was us, but he always seemed to have great games against us.

"Really what happened in the Cowboys game was the first time that I've ever seen that from him, and let's knock on wood that it's the last time we ever see that from him, but I know from being with him that he's a guy who is a student of the game. He works extremely hard at it, and doesn't seem to get rattled. In that game, I don't know what happened, but let's move on, and hopefully we work off the Tampa game and we work off of this last game as we continue to move forward."

Though there are seven different players who have thrown seven passing touchdowns in a single game in NFL history, Foles became one of three who accomplished the feat without throwing an interception (Peyton Manning and Y.A. Tittle being the other two). For some quarterbacks, a performance like that can inflate an ego, but Kelly knows that Foles won't be thinking that way.

"If he needs anything to think about, he should think about the last couple of weeks for him," explained the Eagles head coach. "It can change in a week. If you spend too much time dwelling on the past then you are doomed to repeat it. If you spend too much time patting yourself on the back, then you're probably in a bad situation too.

"I think he can look at his short career in the last two or three weeks here and see how quickly it can go from one week to the next week. He went from NFC Offensive player of the week against Tampa Bay to not playing very well against the Cowboys to now coming back, so he's got a life full of life-lessons in the last three weeks, so I don't think that will affect him. That's just the type of guy that he is."

Kelly added that with Michael Vick still hampered with a hamstring injury, Foles will run the first-team offense in practice on Tuesday.

As good as Foles was against Oakland, there were other strong performances that go somewhat lost after such a historic performance. For instance, the Eagles defensive effort in the trenches, containing an elusive quarterback in Terrelle Pryor, was a highlight.

"Up front, I thought that Fletcher Cox played really, really well," Kelly said. "It was good to see Trent (Cole) finally get a sack, but he was flying around all day long. I thought that we did a really good job upfront of pressuring him. I don't know if there is anybody faster than him. I would say him and (Robert Griffin III) and (Colin) Kaepernick are probably the three fastest guys. There were a couple of times where he broke contain and I think if it was anybody else, we would have had a sack … I thought that Fletch and Trent played really well upfront in terms of creating some havoc up there."

Another player that Kelly highlighted on the defensive side was Mychal Kendricks, who compiled 10 total tackles and a sack while playing the role of Pryor's shadow on Sunday, chasing the Raiders quarterback for most of the afternoon.

"I thought (Mychal) did a nice job," said Kelly. "I thought a couple of times he got knocked off just at the last second. The one time he was blitzing him and the guy kind of caught him and Pryor got outside, but I think we really used his athleticism to try to put him in spots to make plays.

"I think Mychal is one of those guys where every single week he keeps getting better and better. He probably had his best game the week before that, but I think it was a little bit of a different challenge this week because of the mobile quarterback, but he's really starting to come along, and it's exciting because you've really got a rock solid guy in DeMeco (Ryans) standing right there, and now all of a sudden Mychal's game is starting to elevate, and I think that's a positive as we move forward."

Elsewhere on the injury front, Jason Peters, who left Sunday's game with a pectoral injury, is not expected to practice on Tuesday but is expected to be ready to play next Sunday, according to Kelly. Bradley Fletcher also left the game with a pectoral injury, and Kelly said that the team will "see as the week goes along" in regard to his return.

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