Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Raiders
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.