Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Raiders

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland RaidersHere’s a position-by-position review of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense this week.

QUARTERBACKS

* Not sure what else there is to say about Nick Foles. He was spectacular, completing 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards and seven touchdowns. Two things really stood out when I re-watched the offense. One, Foles was willing to take shots downfield. And two, he did an outstanding job of buying time with his feet to create space. On the Eagles’ opening drive, they faced a 3rd-and-13. Foles could have easily checked the ball down, but instead fired a pass to Jeff Maehl in traffic over the middle for a 19-yard gain. That had to be big for his confidence.


* Foles did a great job of looking defenders off all game long. In the first, he looked to LeSean McCoy in the flat, drew a defender and then hit Zach Ertz for a first down. The 17-yard TD to Riley Cooper down the left sideline was a beauty. Foles let go of the ball while Cooper was covered and let his receiver make a play. He later found Cooper for a 63-yard bomb.

* Foles had a big 17-yard completion to DeSean Jackson on 3rd-and-16 in the second. The Raiders dropped eight into coverage. He initially thought about checking it down, but bought time and connected for the first down. Later in the quarter, Foles escaped pressure, moved to his right and made an on-target throw to Jackson for 20 yards.

* On the touchdown to LeSean McCoy, Foles knew he had to get rid of the ball quickly. The Raiders had an unblocked defender and a blown coverage. His pass allowed McCoy to catch the ball and accelerate. Foles hit Jackson for 46- and 59-yard bombs in the third. And he executed a great pump fake to get the safety going in the wrong direction on the final TD to Cooper. Again, just a great game overall.

RUNNING BACKS

* Foles' performance is great news for McCoy, who could command a bit less attention if the quarterback keeps playing well. McCoy finished with just 44 yards on 12 carries, but had some good moments. On a third-quarter run, the initial hole was stuffed so McCoy bounced it outside for 17. He also had a nice 9-yard scamper. It looked like there were a couple occasions where he still might have tried to do too much, but can't say for sure without seeing the All-22 and talking to coaches/players.

* As a receiver, McCoy had four catches for 36 yards, including the 25-yard TD. He took a screen 13 yards on the first possession.

* This was easily the best Bryce Brown has looked all year. He had seven carries for 54 yards. The 32-yarder in the first was Brown's longest run of the year and the longest run the Raiders have allowed in 2013. He did a nice job of breaking a Charles Woodson tackle on the play.

WIDE RECEIVERS

* Riley Cooper played a fantastic game. He benefited from Raiders DBs taking horrible angles on the first-quarter screen that went for 42. They had help inside, but instead let Cooper roam down the sideline. Cooper made a nice play on the ball for the 17-yard TD and got free for the 63-yarder in the second when the defensive back fell down. He also took a lateral 18 yards in the third and weaved through defenders for the third touchdown. Overall, five grabs for 139 yards. Really good effort as a blocker too. I noticed him on Brown's 7-yard run in the second and McCoy's 17-yard run in the third.

* Defenses can't really play off of the Eagles' receivers or they're going to give up easy yardage on the screens. In the first, Jackson picked up 8 yards that way without being touched. He basically walked up the sidelines and got out of bounds. Jackson had the big 17-yard catch on 3rd-and-16 in the second. Great concentration on the 59-yard bomb in the third. I'm still not sure how the corner didn't get a hand on it. Overall, excellent game: five catches for 150 yards for Jackson.

* Maehl had the big 19-yard grab on 3rd-and-13. Jason Avant was shut out.

TIGHT ENDS

* Brent Celek played a really good game. The numbers might not show it (three catches for 27 yards and a TD), but he was effective throughout. Celek got free for the 2-yard score on the first drive. Tremendous effort in the second. Celek was stopped behind the line of scrimmage on a screen, but dragged a linebacker with him and ended up with a 1-yard gain. Later, the Eagles came back to the screen, and he picked up 24. Celek juked one defender, outran another and trucked Woodson over downfield. Celek also drew a pass interference in the third that would have given the Eagles first-and-goal, but McCoy was called for a hold on the play. Celek was excellent as a blocker too. He sealed a defender on Brown's 7-yard run in the second and did a good job on McCoy's 4-yard red-zone run in the third.

* Zach Ertz had a nice showing too, catching five balls for 42 yards and a TD on six targets. He had a 10-yard catch on third down in the red zone on the first drive and later got open for a 10-yard score. I'm looking forward to seeing the All-22 of the 17-yard TD to Cooper. It looked like Ertz ran right by the safety and might have been open too.

* James Casey was targeted once, but did not have any catches. Great chip though on the 19-yard completion to Maehl in the first.

OFFENSIVE LINE

* I thought the offensive line played its best game of the season. Foles had a clean pocket all game long, and the Eagles averaged 5.3 YPC on the ground.

* Jason Peters' strength and athleticism were on display throughout. He effortlessly shoved a blitzing DB away on the TD to Celek. He ran across the field, found Woodson and slung him to the ground on Brown's 8-yard run in the first. Nice backside block on Brown's 32-yard scamper in the first. He basically blocked two guys on the 25-yard TD to McCoy and manhandled the linebacker on McCoy's 9-yard run in the third. Excellent job in pass protection on the bomb to Jackson in the third. Only hiccup I saw was Peters got to a blitzer a little late in the third.

* Evan Mathis was steady once again, except for a couple penalties.. He got called for holding in the second. The line was blocking run, but Foles ended up keeping the ball. On the next play, Mathis was called for a false start. He made a nice block on Brown's 4-yard run in the first and helped clear the way for McCoy's 9-yard run in the third. Didn't see any issues in pass protection.

* Jason Kelce had a couple highlight reel plays. He got right up on the linebacker on Brown's 32-yard run in the first and did a great job of pulling out in front on Brown's 8-yard run. Kelce got out in front on Brown's 7-yard run in the second and took the linebacker to the ground on McCoy's 9-yard run in the third. A couple negatives: He couldn't quite get to the LB on McCoy's outside run that lost a yard in the first. And Kelce couldn't hold his block on the LB on Brown's 4-yard run in the first. No issues whatsoever in pass protection though. Overall, a strong game.

* Todd Herremans was good for the most part. He got called for holding in the first and had a couple issues in pass protection. Herremans got beat in the second, but Foles bought time and found Jackson. Similar story in the second. He had some trouble, but did not give up a hit. Herremans made an excellent block on Brown's 32-yard run in the first and another one on the screen to Celek that picked up 24.

* This was probably Lane Johnson's best game of the season in pass protection. I didn't notice him give up a single pressure all game long. Johnson was good in the run game too, helping clear the way for McCoy's 6-yard run in the first. He couldn't get to the linebacker on McCoy's run that lost a yard in the third.

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  • DirtyWaters

    Think we see Maclin again as an Eagle?

    • B-West

      I couldn’t imagine a better place for him to re-establish his value. This offense certainly puts up numbers. They could probably come to a pretty fair deal for both sides.

      • anon

        I think it depends on the draft. Wonder if we let him test FA and then we decide if we want to match. I think having the draft early helps.

        • B-West

          If hes only getting one year offers, I think he stays. Its a good offense and he already has familiarity. He can put together a good season and then hit the market again. If he gets a multi year offer from somebody, then it gets less likely.

          As far as the draft, if they do get a WR… You think Maclin could fill the Avant role and work the slot?

          • anon

            Good question i was thinking that. I think slot is a position you have to learn. That said we aren’t getting really any production from Avant, be nice to have a possession receiver. If Coop keeps playing like he’s TY Hilton I think we just take a flier on a possession receiver late or UFA.

          • B-West

            Agreed. There is definitely a craft to it. Plus, Mac might not be too high on playing that role when hes trying to re-up his value to get his long term dollars. Man… Its so fun to talk yourself into these guys…. If Foles is a bonafide starter, and he has legit chemistry with Riley, were darn near back to BPA with no glaring needs! Haha, a guy can dream.

          • Aussie Eagle

            What about franchise tag? How much will that cost for a WR? Who else is off contract this year, Kelce?

          • B-West

            It was around 10.5 mil this year… I think they could work out a cheaper price tag than that. Kelce is locked in for another year I think. Actually, Riley is a free agent next year. Never thought I’d have to think twice about that.

          • Aussie Eagle

            Lucky we have another 7 games to work out what we have in Foles and that should be enough to give us an idea on Cooper as well. Even if he has a 1,000 yard season I can’t see him fetching a huge payday

          • anon

            Yeah we’ll see what NFC North games look like — i always think the eagles can beat anyone but then they find a way to let me down.

          • Vick Must Go

            I think that is a good idea. Sign Maclin with the possiblity of him playing 2 or 3

        • DirtyWaters

          I wish the draft was right after the Super Bowl THEN free agency starts. Build through the draft, fill in holes. We wouldn’t be sitting here with Casey right now.

          Maclin’s a smart kid. He’ll stay if the FO wants him.

    • djack10

      he’ll be discounted because of the injury. i could see houston making a push for him, maybe cinn or seattle. he’s be crazy to leave this offense.

      • anon

        It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Fitzgerald.

    • Joe from Easton

      I think he definitely comes back. He’ll come for one year, cheap and be in a contract year immediately.

  • addicted2mula

    Is Rogers hurt???!!!

    • anon

      Out of the game — wonder if it’s broken. Might have a win streak!

      • addicted2mula

        Uh oh lets all bow our head and pray

      • Aussie Eagle

        They called it a collarbone – there’s not a lot that can go wrong with a collarbone besides a fracture, is there? Ligaments? Bone bruise?

    • GEAGLE

      It’s a serious injury, definitely not playing against us

  • addicted2mula

    Skins vs min , dallas vs saints , eagles vs packers (maybe without Rogers) Giants vs Oak. We need this win

    • anon

      Saints coming off that L this week — i think they take Dallas. However, it would be nice to beat a team i respect. I think cowboys play to their competition.

      • addicted2mula

        Yes its looking good for us.

        • Vick Must Go

          Rogers back in sweat pants now…

    • cliff henny

      that tackle had broken collarbone written all over it

      • nicksaenz1

        Damn, I have Jordy Nelson in two leagues. That hurts.

        • theycallmerob

          yup…got Boykin to replace Cobb. I give up at this point with WR.
          …but my Zac Stacy late-round flier is looking up!

          • nicksaenz1

            Nice!

    • theycallmerob

      according to ESPN, out 3 weeks at least. fracture.

  • addicted2mula

    Rogers MOST likely out. I say that cause Tom Brady Played through it but that was the playoffs. Soo now we have a even more better chance to win. Then 3 straight home games. Sheesh

    • BlindChow

      The Packers’ next three games are against teams with losing records, so I bet they won’t be in a rush to get him back on the field before he’s ready. Hopefully they underestimate us.

      • Richard Colton

        short week + Seneca Wallace = ?

        • evanphilly

          Seneca or Vince Young?

          • Richard Colton

            ohh man, is that even a possibility? I’d love to see Curry drive him into the ground, or Wolff strip-sack him on a safety blitz everybody in Lambeau saw coming except him.

  • Andy124

    Being an Eagles fan, I find ways to get nervous:

    I’m worried that all the time and success Foles had against the Raiders could mess up his clock, leading him to hold to ball too long and look for the big play too much. Thoughts?

    • UncleCarm

      On the couple of occasions when he didn’t have much time it seemed like he made quick decisions. One I remember was a zone read where he ran for 4 or 5 yards. It may be that he just took what they gave him. I guess we will only know for sure when teams get pressure on him. He also buys time with his feet and does it so smoothly you don’t really notice the pressure. He seems to have a good feel for the pressure.

    • theycallmerob

      hard to say without knowing the play call. To mix things up, Chip may throw in a couple “Reid 45″, or “Z-fly Kool-aid man” throwback calls; these require Nick to sell the PA, take a 13 step drop, and count to 10-mississippi in his head before even looking downfield.

  • Andy124

    Definitely good for the win-loss probability if Rodgers is out, BUT, would have been nice to see how the D faired against him. Also would have been nice to see one of the 4 best at the position play.

    • Richard Colton

      you mean two of the four best play? we’re allowed to keep overreacting until Wednesday, right?

      • evanphilly

        yes we are. In the meantime, I’m waiting for my custom Foles Lombardi trophy to arrive in the mail.

        • Richard Colton

          extra points if you wear it like the cheesehead

      • Andy124

        Sorry, I got mixed up with Nick’s 24-hour rule. 2 of the 4 best.

  • Uncle Carm

    Did anyone else think the holding call on Herremans was a little ticky tack? It looked to me like he blocked him to the ground and then laid on him.

    • Joe from Easton

      Yea that was a weak call. Even those terrible announcers knew it.

  • NJDIII

    Great to see lane Johnson come into his own…also if peters continues to get stronger as season goes on I have high hopes for this line.