The Departed: Nick Foles, Rams Keep Winning
As the Eagles rested during the bye week, plenty of former Birds around the league picked up wins, including one European victory.
Here’s an update on the Eagles’ offseason departures.
With Todd Gurley rolling, Nick Foles only has to be average to help the Rams. Jeff Gordon of The St. Louis Dispatch gave Foles a “C” grade for his performance against the 49ers.
Nick Foles didn’t get much help early on. He lofted a perfect deep strike through the buttery fingers of WR Kenny Britt in the first quarter. His great play fake sprung WR Tavon Austin for a 25-yard catch… and subsequent fumble. An illegal block penalty on C Tim Barnes wiped out another completion to Austin.
Foles hurt himself by sailing some third-down throws, contributing to the team’s unsightly conversion rate. As the game wore on, the Rams became content to run the ball, work the clock and let their defense win the game.
Jeremy Maclin’s return to the Chiefs’ lineup after recovering from a concussion sparked a huge offensive day for Kansas City, writes Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
By halftime, the party was on at Arrowhead East, and Lions never came close to shutting it down, as the second half provided more of the same. [Alex] Smith, who completed 18 of 26 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, continued to guide the offense efficiently, even in the red zone.
That had been a weak point for the Chiefs in previous weeks, but on Sunday, the Chiefs were 6 for 7 in red zone efficiency, with two of them — a 2-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin coming in the second half, when the Chiefs led 38-3 early in the fourth quarter.
The Buffalo News’s Tyler Dunne takes an extended look at Rex Ryan’s desire for a ground-and-pound offense, and how LeSean McCoy fits in that plan.
The explosive running back [Bill] Parcells quarantined on the sideline in that 1990 Super Bowl, Thurman Thomas, sees greatness in Buffalo’s current back: LeSean McCoy. Still, McCoy is more prancer than smasher. More sizzle than ground and pound.
Does Rex’s “bully” ethos fit McCoy’s style?
[Herm] Edwards loved to hand the ball to someone 300 times a season himself, but he has doubts here.
“He’s not the typical downhill guy,” Edwards said. “He’s looking for a big hitter. There’s no doubt about that. But it has to be meshed together. When he’s not in the lineup, it hurts you. All of a sudden, what do you do offensively? Where are you going to get those runs from? From Karlos Williams. We know [Tyrod] Taylor can run. But who do you have after that? That’s a little bit of the problem.”
Cary Williams and the Seahawks eked out a win over Dallas on Sunday, thanks almost entirely to Seattle’s defense, writes former Birds scribe and current ESPN star Sheil Kapadia.
Granted, it was against Matt Cassel and Colin Kaepernick, but the Seahawks’ defense has looked good the past two weeks. They’ve gone eight quarters without allowing a touchdown. Cassel totaled 97 yards through the air, and Darren McFadden averaged 3.2 yards per carry on 20 rushes.
The defense should have all 11 starters healthy and available after the bye. If the Seahawks are going to string wins together, the defense will lead the way.
Evan Mathis powered the Broncos’ offensive line to an impressive showing in the run game as the Broncos handed the Packers their first loss, writes ESPN’s Jeff Legwold.
The Broncos, utilizing more two-tight end looks against a Packers defense that came into the night leading the league in scoring defense, powered out 160 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns, two from Ronnie Hillman and one from C.J. Anderson.
Through the first six games of the season, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had steadfastly maintained most of the offense’s difficulties would dissipate quickly if the Broncos could eliminate their turnovers and kick-start a running game that had averaged just 3.6 yards per carry coming into Sunday.