Eagles Notes: Cooper has a field day with Foles at QB

Eagles' Riley Cooper catches a 63-yard second quarter touchdown against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, November 3, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )
Eagles' Riley Cooper catches a 63-yard second quarter touchdown against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, November 3, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )
Posted: November 05, 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. - The best news for Riley Cooper seems to be Nick Foles' return as starting quarterback.

Cooper finished with five catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns Sunday in the Eagles' 49-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. It was his second big game of the season - both coming with Foles as starter.

Cooper caught six passes for 120 yards and one touchdown in the Oct. 13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which was one of Foles' other two starts this season. Those two games account for 57 percent of Cooper's receiving yards this season.

"We have great chemistry for sure, but he spreads the ball around," Cooper said. "He has confidence in our offense and all of our guys, and when you spread the ball around and use the whole field, the defense has to cover everyone."

After Jeremy Maclin was lost for the season with a knee injury in training camp, Cooper was thrust into a starting role. When Cooper produces, it balances the offense and helps take the burden off LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson.

"That was the Coop I know," coach Chip Kelly said. "Some people wanted to throw him under the bus after the first couple of games because he had not caught as many balls as people wanted, but he's a big, physical target."

That physicality was on display against the Raiders. Cooper, who is 6-foot-3 and 222 pounds, was able to muscle-off Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden. Hayden, a first-round pick who is 5-11 and 190 pounds, struggled to stay with Cooper on a 63-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

"When he's covered one-on-one against smaller defensive backs, he cannot get knocked off and does a great job catching the ball," Kelly said.

Foles said Cooper does not get enough credit for his speed. Cooper is not known as a deep threat, but the 63-yarder was one of two catches of more than 40 yards for Cooper on Sunday.

"You've got to give him all the credit," Cooper said of Foles. "I didn't do anything except run some routes. He threw it right where it needed to be."

Benefit for McCoy?

LeSean McCoy rushed only 12 times for 44 yards, but the big passing day could help him in the long run. During the week, McCoy said that production in the passing game can help loosen defenses focused on stopping him.

"Those safeties that have been coming in the box, maybe they'll stay out," McCoy said. "With them getting so many yards today, it'll show on tape, and [defenses] scouting us will see it."

McCoy also had four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles' leading rusher was Bryce Brown, who had seven carries for 54 yards.

Injury report

Tackle Jason Peters and cornerback Bradley Fletcher left the game with pectoral injuries, but there did not seem to be concern after the game about either player. Kelly said Peters likely could have returned to the game if needed, and Fletcher remarked that it was not an issue.

Lineup moves

Safety Patrick Chung was active after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, but he did not start. Earl Wolff started in Chung's place. Chung alternated with Wolff on a limited basis in Sunday's win.

Bennie Logan started at nose tackle after the Eagles traded Isaac Sopoaga this week. Logan finished with three tackles.

In addition to Vick, the inactive players were linebacker Jake Knott, running back Matthew Tucker, tackle Matt Tobin, wide receiver B.J. Cunningham, and tackle Dennis Kelly.

The Eagles had just six inactive players because there was an open spot on the roster.

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