Not Canton-Worthy, But Foles Gets Job Done
GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Last week’s gem was about precision and command. Sunday’s outing was more about good fortune, timely throws and quality play from his supporting cast. Nick Foles‘ day wasn’t Canton-worthy, but it was good enough for the Eagles to leave Lambeau Field with a 27-13 win.
Foles ended 12-of-18 for 228 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 149.3 quarterback rating. He was aided by a productive run game (LeSean McCoy went off for 155 yards on 25 carries) and a defense that proved stingy for the sixth consecutive week. The last time an opponent scored more than 21 points against the Eagles was back on September 9 in Denver.
The football gods (which I would imagine make Lambeau their home) were on Foles’ side from the start. That was evident when an underthrown ball into double coverage resulted in a 55-yard DeSean Jackson touchdown. Both Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett were in position to make a play on the ball but the ball instead was tipped up in the air and into the waiting arms of Jackson, who leisurely strolled in for the score.
“I just happened to get a bounce and have it fall my way, man,” said Jackson. “I guess I’m the lucky one…Nick does a good job of just giving us opportunities to catch the ball and make big plays.”
The advantage was extended to 14 early in the third quarter on a 45-yard TD throw from Foles to Riley Cooper. The pass was underthrown and wide, but Cooper adjusted his route, dove and snatched the ball right before it hit the turf. Foles said afterwards the ball placement was by design.
“I could tell the ball, coming off Foles’ hands, was going to be a little short,” said Cooper, “so I just had to adjust to it. Just go get it.”
Later, Cooper made an inside-out cut that froze Burnett, and Foles zipped it out for a 32-yard score. Earlier that drive, Foles made a dangerous pass across the middle that somehow made its way past a defender and into the hands of Jason Avant.
He didn’t rack up the kind of style points that he accumulated in Oakland during his seven-touchdown performance. Then again, this outing was in wind-swept Green Bay, where style points aren’t always easy to come by. Bottom line, he got the job done.
The second-year QB now has 16 touchdowns on the year and has yet to throw a pick. That ties him with Milt Plum (16 in 1960) for the second most touchdowns to start a season without an interception, according to the Eagles. Peyton Manning had 20 without an INT to start this year.
“I think Nick does a great job of protecting the football,”said Chip Kelly. “He doesn’t really make egregious mistakes out there…I think he has a good grasp and command of what we’re doing, and I feel real comfortable right now with him.”
Michael Vick told Derrick Gunn prior to the game that he suffered a slight tear in his hamstring when he re-injured it against New York. Chances are, Kelly won’t have to address the “what if they’re both healthy?” question until after the bye. The more Foles produces, the easier Kelly’s decision becomes.
“He did a really nice job,” said Kelly. “They showed us a lot of man coverage, and one of the things you have to be able to do is throw the ball over top and he did. He took advantage of that.
“Winning on the road is very difficult in this league and we did it again (5-1 now), so we’ll take it.”