OAKLAND — After Nick Foles‘ fifth touchdown toss of the day — a swing pass to LeSean McCoy that went 25 yards early in the third — Chip Kelly found the quarterback on the sideline, pulled him close for an extended word and gave him a slap on the helmet as he walked away, smiling. Assistant coaches and teammates followed suit. That was just the start of what became a parade of atta-boys that streamed Foles’ way for the rest of the game.
It was a far cry from the scene that unfolded at the Linc just two weeks before when a concussed Foles gingerly walked off the field and was greeted by doctors, who mercifully put an end to the worst game of the quarterback’s career. Foles spent the next couple days recovering from a head injury while dealing with the gnawing feeling that he let his team down.
“It was tough,” the quarterback admitted this week.
He said he never let his mind wonder to the potential long-term ramifications of that outing. Maybe that’s true, but the 24-year-old is fully aware of how unforgiving this league is — especially to QBs drafted outside of the first round. If Michael Vick stays healthy, who knows when (or where) his next opportunity comes.
Vick didn’t stay healthy and, as it turns out, Foles got a shot at redemption just 14 days after letting a good opportunity slip away. Safe to say he made the most of it.
Foles ended 22-of-28 for 406 yards with seven touchdowns, zero interceptions and a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3. The seven touchdowns tied an NFL record. The only other Eagle to accomplish the feat was Adrian Burk back in 1954 against Washington. The next closest was five by Donovan McNabb and Randall Cunningham, among others.
The list of players to throw seven TDs in a game:
Sid Luckman (Bears) 1943
Adrian Burk (Phi) 1954
George Blanda (Hou) 1961
Y.A. Tittle (NYG) 1962
Joe Knapp (Min) 1969
Peyton Manning (Den) 2013
Nick Foles (Phi) 2013
The Raiders’ defense didn’t offer much resistance. There were plenty of blown assignments and the secondary had a tough time staying on its feet. But you can’t take anything away from Foles. He was sensational, and had one of the best statistical performances in NFL history.
Kelly recently likened the quarterback position to golf, where a big day can quickly be followed by a horrible showing. He said the key for Foles is consistency.
Time will tell if Foles, who followed an NFC Player of the Week performance against the Giants with a clunker the next week, can provide what Kelly is looking for over the long haul. There are plenty of tests still to come before Foles is crowned anything.
What Sunday’s performance does is resuscitate hope that the Eagles may have an answer at quarterback on the roster. How much hope depends on who you talk to.
Foles appears to have a supporter in Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who told CSNPhilly last week that Foles “has a lot going for him.”
“A lot,” Lurie added. “He’s going to have an opportunity now to show us all. We just have to be supportive. I hope the players around him protect him well so we can see him flourish, and [to] know what we have going forward would be great.”