Two weeks ago, Nick Foles was irrelevant in the Philadelphia Eagles loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Two weeks ago, Foles suffered a concussion which kept him sidelined last week as the Eagles played their second game against the New York Giants. Fast forward to today when Foles led the Eagles to a 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders, having the best game of his career.
The starting quarterback job has basically been up for grabs all season as Michael Vick and Nick Foles have been both getting starts due to injuries to each other. With Vick out for at least the next two weeks, maybe even longer, after pulling his hamstring again last week, Foles had his chance today to prove to head coach Chip Kelly that he should be the starter for the rest of the season. it's safe to say that Foles proved himself and made quite a statement with his performance today.
Foles completed 22 of his 28 pass attempts for 406 yards and seven touchdowns. Yes, you read that right… SEVEN TOUCHDOWNS! It gets better because Foles didn't throw any interceptions. The last quarterback to throw seven touchdowns without an interception is Peyton Manning and he accomplished that in the first game of the season when the Denver Broncos beat the Baltimore Ravens. For a list of other records that Foles broke, check out Reuben Frank's article over at CSNPhilly.com.
Foles' seven touchdowns were shared by five players. Three of those receivers (DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Zach Ertz) were targeted six times and the other two (LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek) were targeted four times. Jackson, Cooper and Ertz each had five catches while McCoy caught all four of his targets and Celek caught three of his. Jackson and Cooper were the most productive of the day with their reception yards. Jackson finished the day with 150 yards, the most of all receivers, and a touchdown. Cooper had the most touchdowns for the day with three in addition to his 139 receiving yards.
Four of Foles' seven touchdowns came in the first half, three of them in the second quarter. Celek was the first to score, followed by two touchdowns by Cooper and one by Ertz. Foles followed up his impressive first half with an even better third quarter where his final three touchdowns came. 46 seconds into the third quarter, Foles hit up McCoy. A few minutes later, Foles connected with DeSean Jackson for another score to end a 51 second drive. As the third quarter was winding down, Foles connected with Riley Cooper for the third time to bring an end to an almost minute-and-a-half drive.
The Eagles were still playing the Raiders, a team that has been at the bottom end of the standings for quite a few years now. However, the Raiders have a top 10 defense this season. Foles' performance against the Raiders is a great sign of his mental status as he looked unfazed after his awful performance against the Cowboys.
While Foles' performance was impressive, the true test will come against the Green Bay Packers next Sunday. The Packers are currently leading the NFC North with their 5-2 record as they head into their Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears tomorrow. If Foles can lead the Eagles to a win over the Packers, then Foles will have solidified his position as starting quarterback for the rest of the season. There would be no reason for Chip Kelly to go back to Vick when he is ready to play if Foles is playing well and winning games.
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