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Shurmur: Fast Start Helps Offense

OAKLAND --Playing on the road, in a hostile stadium, and trying to end a two-game losing streak, the Eagles wanted to open Sunday's game against the Raiders quickly and get quarterback Nick Foles and the offense in a rhythm.

Mission accomplished.

Foles came out firing against Oakland and didn't stop until midway through the fourth quarter of a 49-20 win at Coliseum. Foles, of course, tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes as the Eagles rolled to 542 yards of total net offense despite resting many of the starters for much of the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia scored touchdowns on its opening four offensive drives.

"It sure helps to start fast and to start fast and put points on the board," said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. "It changes the way you play the game. We made good on our big plays but we were also generally efficient which allowed us to stay on the field.

"When you look back on the games when we didn't play as well offensively, there's no mystery. We didn't convert in the red zone, we didn't stay on the field on third downs and we didn't have big plays. It's hard to score points when you don't do those things."

Shurmur, who coached for 10 seasons on Andy Reid's Eagles staff, has been part of many single games with great offensive outbursts. Sunday's outing ranks around the best, of course. It was historic for Foles, who now has 13 touchdown passes and zero interceptions this season.

It was also great for the offensive line, which protected Foles and also blocked well for a running game that produced 128 yards.

"For us to put 49 points on the board, for Nick to have seven touchdown passes, there's a lot that goes into that," said Shurmur. "Nick threw the ball very accurately. He looked very comfortable. He was seeing things well today. We did a good job in the run game on the perimter. I thought our guys blocked very well and there were times down the field when there was good, tight coverage and we made catches in traffic. That's a credit to our receivers."

Shurmur and the coaching staff worked closely with Foles all week as he returned to practice following the concussion and the poor outing of two weeks earlier. The second-year quarterback exhibited outstanding poise and maturity during a good week of practice and those characteristics translated into a winning day against the Raiders.

"We put that all aside. We answered the questions and everyone understands that when you don't play well and you don't coach well, you're going to get a lot of scrutiny, a lot of questions," said Shurmur. "That's part of the business.

"This week, we have to do the same thing because people are going to say a lot of good things about us. We have a tough, tough game in Green Bay on Sunday. Winning here was great. It feels good. The focus has to be on Green Bay instantly when we get back to Philadelphia.

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