Eagles-Raiders Postgame: In the Nick of Time
Foles was incredible. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards and those 7 TDs without throwing an interception. His passer rating was a perfect 158.3. As a matter of fact, Foles has now thrown 13 TDs on the season without throwing an interception. Yest there are still some out there who think Michael Vick is the best option for the team. They would be wrong.
Foles threw touchdown passes on each of the Eagles first four possessions, which gave them a 28-13 halftime lead. He connected with TE Brent Celek for a 2-yard TD on the first drive, where he completed 6 passes to 6 different receivers. The Raiders answered with a field goal, thanks to a 66-yard catch and run from Rod Streeter. But Foles was just getting warmed up.
Foles ended the next two drives with TD passes to Riley Cooper. You remember, Cooper. He's the redneck, who says stupid things and is completely ignored when Vick is the starting quarterback. Anyway, Foles threw a perfect pass over a defender for a 17-yard TD to Cooper and then hooked up with Cooper on a 63-yard bomb for another TD to make the score 21-3.
Foles added a 2-yard TD throw to TE Zach Ertz for the fourth TD on the Eagles' fourth possession of the first half and the Raiders kept it interesting with a touchdown run by Rashad Jennings and a Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
Foles: 22/28, 406 yds., 7 TDs, 0 INTs
Pryor: 22/41, 288 yds., 0 TDs, 2 INTs
When the second half started, Foles and the Eagles decided to put the Raiders out of their misery.
Foles threw three more touchdown passes in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 49-13 before the Raiders tacked on a garbage-time TD against the Eagles backup defenders.
Foles hit LeSean McCoy (4 receptions for 36 yards, 1 TD) with a screen pass that turned into a 25-yard TD. He hit DeSean Jackson (5-150-1 TD) with a 46-yard TD strike. And then, just for good measure, he found Cooper again for a 5-yard TD. Cooper actually had a career game with 5 catches for 139 yards and those 3 touchdowns.
About the only thing that didn't go right for the Eagles offense was that they couldn't run the ball effectively. Of course, maybe they didn't want to stop throwing the ball, since the Raiders couldn't stop them all game. McCoy rushed for only 44 yards on 12 carries and Bryce Brown carried 7 times for 54 yards. The Eagles won't be holding onto that No. 1 ranking in rushing for much longer if this keeps up, but I doubt anyone will care if they keep winning by throwing the football.
Another thing that will be overlooked in Foles' record-tying performance is another great effort by the Eagles defense. Now the Raiders will never be confused with a good offense, but the Eagles defense absolutely shut them down. It helped that the Raiders are a running team that was forced to throw the ball more than they would have liked because they were behind all game, but you still have to give the Eagles defense some credit.
Heck, things were going so well for the Eagles defenders this game that Trent Cole (remember him?) got his first sack of the season. Of course, that was only Cole's 4thsack in his last 25 games, so it's not like he's still a great player.
Oakland quarterback Terrell Pryor isn't even an adequate passer, but he looked overwhelmed against the Eagles. Pryor is a running quarterback who came into the game with more interceptions (7) than TD passes (5) this season. Pryor (22-for-41, 288 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs) only added to the negative column on his stat sheet in this one. He did add 94 yards rushing on 10 scrambles, but it wasn't even close to enough.
Pryor looked like Vick did early in his career. He dropped back and if his first receiver was covered, he took off. The Eagles knew this was coming, so they used LB Mychal Kendricks as a spy on him to try to contain him. It worked well until Kendricks left with an ankle injury. Heck, it even worked after Kendricks left the game. That's what happens when you make a team one-dimensional and that one dimension is something that a team isn't very good at doing. I mean, Foles threw 7 TD passes in this game and Pryor has thrown 7 TD passes in his career.
The biggest shock for me is that the Raiders actually out-gained the Eagles, 560 yards to 542. The difference was that Foles was scoring touchdowns, while the Raiders were punting and Pryor was throwing those two interceptions
Who Should Be the Eagles Starting QB the Rest of the Season?
The Eagles came into the game ranked 31st in red zone efficiency, but Foles went 4-for-4 in this one. Yet, when he was asked in his postgame press conference, head coach Chip Kelly wouldn't name Foles his starter for the rest of the season.
Look, every quarterback, whether they're good, bad or average, has a bad game. Nick Foles had a horrible game against the Cowboys, but he just had one of the best games ever recorded by a quarterback against the Raiders. What does that mean? Who knows. I just know that I want to see more.
Hopefully, when Vick gets healthy, Chip Kelly realizes that Nick Foles deserves a chance to show him whether or not he can be a franchise quarterback. It think Foles can, in spite of all the people who bailed on him after one bad game in his short career.
In any event, the Eagles got a win over the Raiders to keep pace in the worst division in the NFL. They might not make the playoffs, but then again, they might. I just think Nick Foles gives the Eagles the best chance to get there, this season and in the future. He sure gave the team some hope for the future on this Sunday, didn't he?