Foles delivers again as Eagles pound Pack

Posted: November 12, 2013

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Nick Foles will continue deferring to Chip Kelly when the subject of the Eagles' quarterback competition arises, because that's the second-year quarterback's nature. His most convincing testimony comes before Kelly's eyes.

Foles didn't throw seven touchdowns in the Eagles' 27-13 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, but Foles did enough to bring the Eagles back to .500 and continued offering evidence that he should be the team's quarterback.

His performance was not as impressive as his stat line might suggest, with a few borderline throws that netted big gains. But quarterbacking is a bottom-line business, and there aren't many quarterbacks in the NFL hotter than Foles.

He finished 12 of 18 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and still has not thrown an interception this season. In the last two games, Foles has completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 634 yards and 10 touchdowns with a 155.3 passer rating

"It's good, but I need to improve," Foles said about his resumé to date. "There's a lot of stuff I want to improve on. We have two wins back-to-back that we need to continue to build on."

Even if Foles won't admit to his proficiency, those around him are not as reticent. Running back LeSean McCoy said Foles is "playing out of this world" and with "a ton of swag."

The quarterback instability that led to a two-game losing streak not long ago has been stabilized by Foles. The Eagles are now 5-5, with Foles starting three of those wins and a playing a major part of another.

It's not necessarily a comment on injured quarterback Michael Vick, but there was widespread agreement in the Lambeau Field locker room that the team is clicking.

McCoy rushed for 155 yards on 25 carries. Riley Cooper's hot streak continued with 102 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The defense kept an opponent to two or fewer touchdowns for the fifth consecutive week, although it came against Packers third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien.

"I feel like our mentality, our attitude is really good," said linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who had one of the defense's two interceptions. "Guys are confident in what we're doing. Guys aren't surprised that we're playing good or we won in Green Bay. Guys are feeling like we're supposed to."

The win came despite three starters leaving in the first half. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks and safety Earl Wolff had knee injuries, and tackle Jason Peters injured his quadriceps.

The Eagles never trailed. They took a first-quarter lead when Foles connected with DeSean Jackson for a 55-yard touchdown. The pass was underthrown into double coverage - Foles admitted it "bottled up" on him - and could have been intercepted. It instead ricocheted off cornerback Tramon Williams and into the arms of Jackson, who strutted for the score.

"Just happened to have a bounce fall my way," Jackson said. "The defender just couldn't really bring it down, so I did."

The Packers came out the next drive with Tolzien. A practice-squad passer at the beginning of the week, Tolzien replaced Seneca Wallace, who started in place of Pro Bowler Aaron Rodgers. The weakened roster affected an offense that is one of the NFL's best when healthy.

Tolzien threw a costly second-quarter interception to Brandon Boykin in the Packers end zone that prevented a Green Bay score and allowed the Eagles to enter halftime with a 10-3 advantage.

Foles' second touchdown came in the third quarter when he threw a deep pass away from Cooper and the coverage, allowing Cooper to track down the pass and roll into the end zone. Foles said he deliberately spotted the ball based on Cooper's baseball background, treating Cooper like an outfielder going after a fly.

"Receivers made some big plays, helped me out," Foles said.

After Ryans' interception, Alex Henery connected on a 41-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 20-3 lead. The Packers cut the lead to 20-10 when Tolzien engineered an 86-yard scoring drive, but the Eagles responded with an 80-yard drive of their own. Foles hit Cooper for a 32-yard score, which was the fifth touchdown in the last two games for Cooper.

"When he is spreading the ball out like he is, everyone is going to get touches, everyone is going to get numbers, and everyone is going to get touchdowns," Cooper said.

The Packers mustered only a field goal in the fourth quarter. They came up empty on a fourth-down incompletion to Jordy Nelson in the back corner of the end zone that Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged. The ruling on the field was upheld to the audible disapproval of 78,011 at Lambeau Field, and enabled the Eagles to keep a two-possession lead.

The Eagles never gave the ball back to Green Bay. They salted the final 9 minutes, 32 seconds away to secure their fifth road victory of the season.

The Washington Redskins visit Lincoln Financial Field next week, when the Eagles will try to earn their first home victory of the season. Vick's status is unknown, but with the way Foles is playing - and the way the team is winning - that might not even matter.

"He doesn't really make egregious mistakes," Kelly said. "He's got a good grasp and command of what we're doing."


BY THE NUMBERS

16

Touchdown passes this season for Nick Foles, with no interceptions.

3-0

Nick Foles' record as a starter on the road this season.

0

NFL games in which Packers quarterback

Scott Tolzien had appeared before Sunday.

24-5

Eagles' record when DeSean Jackson catches a TD pass. He had a 55-yard score against Green Bay.


zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm

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