All-22: How Foles And the Offense Rebounded

all22_400In the days leading up to Sunday’s game against the Raiders, Chip Kelly was asked what his message would be to Nick Foles to get him to rebound from the clunker against the Cowboys.

“Sometimes, as I told Nick, grip it and rip it, let’s go,” Kelly said. “He’s thrown a lot of really good passes since I’ve been around him, and he’s been really good with the football.

“The big thing for him is let’s just get him back in the flow. Let’s get in a rhythm. That’s the biggest thing. Can you get in a rhythm, can you get your feet set, can you throw the ball?”

Answers to those questions came against the Raiders: yes, yes and yes.

After losses to the Cowboys and Giants and a grand total of three points by the offense, Kelly emphasized that there would be no grand scheme changes. The concepts would stay the same, but the execution had to get better.

And it did. To the tune of 49 points in three quarters. So what worked? And why was there such a difference from the previous two weeks? Here’s what we saw from the tape. Read more »

Notes: On Ertz, ‘D’ and Foles’ Secret Weapons

ertz_940_100713Leading up to the Oakland game, Zach Ertz didn’t hide the fact that this trip meant something to him. He grew up  in nearby Danville, CA and played his college ball at Stanford. It was his first time back in the Bay Area since he left for training camp in late July. Got tickets for about 20 friends and family members to watch him play.

You could tell that he was smelling the end zone when he caught a short pass from Nick Foles over the middle midway through the opening quarter. Ertz lowered his shoulder and barreled ahead. Ultimately he was stopped at the 2-yard line.

“Coach Kelly preaches don’t reach for the goal line so I didn’t want to reach, have something bad happen and then not play again, so I just kind of tucked it in there. And I want to get Brent [Celek] a touchdown, anyway,” he said.

Celek scored on the very next play. Ertz’s patience paid off. Foles went back to the rookie later in the half for a 15-yard touchdown — Ertz’s first in the NFL. Read more »

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. Read more »

Observations: Eagles 49, Raiders 20

foles_400_110313Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles-Raiders game.

OFFENSE

* The question coming in was: How would Nick Foles rebound from his disastrous performance two weeks ago against the Cowboys? Even Foles’ biggest supporters could have never imagined he would come back with one of the best statistical performances in NFL history. Foles completed 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards and tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns. The Eagles routed the Raiders, 49-20, for their fourth win of the season. Read more »

Three-And-Out: Eagles-Raiders Predictions

Eagles TE Zach Ertz stretching at practicePlayer I’ll be watching

McManus: Zach Ertz.

This game is a homecoming of sorts for Ertz, who grew up  in nearby Danville, CA and played his college ball at Stanford. He has gotten tickets for about 20 friends and family members.

“Obviously, going home, I want to make some big plays out there,” said Ertz.

The offense could definitely use it. The 35th overall pick has 14 catches on 25 targets for 201 yards (14.4 avg.) this season and has yet to find the end zone. The reason tight ends outside of Brent Celek weren’t seeing the field more early on is because the run game was working just fine when the Eagles were in “11 personnel”. The run game has dried up of late, so there is logic in getting someone like Ertz on the field more — especially over a player like Jeff Maehl.

“I feel very comfortable. I’ve had some opportunities to make some plays and I think I’ve made the plays when I’ve had my number called,” said Ertz. “Hopefully that number continues to go up over the next eight games of the season, whether it’s blocking or in the pass game, wherever they need me.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Midterm Grades (Offense)

desean_400_102713With eight games in the books, here are position-by-position grades for the Eagles’ offense.

Quarterbacks: C

During this exercise, it’s important to remember that we’re handing out grades based on everything we’ve seen in the first half of the season. In other words, what you won’t see here is: The offense has stunk it up the last two weeks. Everybody gets an F!

I would say the Eagles got above average QB play against the Chargers, Giants and Bucs. They were OK against the Redskins and Broncos. And they were flat-out bad against Kansas City, Dallas and the Giants (the second game). The way I see it, that puts them at just about average.

Michael Vick has completed just 54.6 percent of his passes, but averaged 8.6 yards per attempt and was good as a runner before injuring his hamstring. Nick Foles played well in the second half against the Giants and again in Tampa, but delivered a clunker vs. the Cowboys. And Matt Barkley is about what you’d expect. Read more »

All-22: How the Offense Operates With Foles

ertz_all22_1015

All last week, Chip Kelly and his staff made one thing clear: The offense would not undergo a complete makeover with Nick Foles at quarterback instead of Michael Vick.

His argument didn’t seem all that convincing. After all, the two quarterbacks have different skill sets. Why not mold the offense to whichever guy was going to be on the field?

On Sunday, against the Bucs, we got a better idea of what Kelly meant. And for the most part, he was speaking the truth.

“We’d have played the game exactly the same way,” said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. “We would have had all the same plays in the gameplan, and we would have called it exactly the same way with Mike.”

Several players backed up Shurmur’s words. The Eagles piled up 425 yards and scored 31 points in their victory over the Bucs. Foles completed 71 percent of his passes and averaged 9.5 yards per attempt, accounting for four touchdowns.

Without a quarterback who poses a true running threat and facing a defense that liked to employ a lot of zone, the Eagles still found ways to play option football and had success with packaged plays all day long at Raymond James Stadium. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Bucs ‘D’

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) spikes the football after scoring on a four-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Here’s a position-by-position look at what we saw from the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday’s game.

QUARTERBACK

* Nick Foles’ numbers speak for themselves: 22-for-31 (71 percent) for 296 yards (9.5 YPA), three touchdowns and no interceptions. Foles also ran in for a score. This was different than last week’s game. He was going up against a Bucs defense that has some talent, specifically in the secondary. We spent much of the offseason discussing how the offense fits Michael Vick’s skill set. But so far (small sample size, granted), it looks like it fits Foles as well. As a rookie, he completed 60.8 percent of his passes and averaged 6.4 YPA. On 61 passes the past two weeks, those numbers are 67.2 percent and 8.9 YPA. Read more »

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