As the Philadelphia Eagles anxiously await the results of injuries to Jason Peters, Mychal Kendricks, and Earl Wolff, they can celebrate a 27-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Eagles benefited from Seneca Wallace‘s early exit that led to Scott Tolzien being thrust into the starting lineup, but they deserve plenty of credit for an excellent day on offense. It was the second straight week in which Nick Foles put up big numbers, and he should be able to make it three straight weeks when the Eagles face the Washington Redskins porous secondary next week. Below are some takeaways from the game.
1. Packers also picked on a newcomer
With Bradley Fletcher out again, the Philadelphia Eagles started Roc Carmichael as the left cornerback, instead of moving Brandon Boykin outside. It was definitely a wise move, because the Eagles were able to keep one of the game’s most underrated slot corners on the inside against the uber-talented Jordy Nelson. The Packers decided to test Carmichael as much as possible early on, but it was clear that they weren’t going to turn him into a liability. It’s interesting to see that the Packers still had a lot more success throwing the ball to the right side of the field than the left side, as Scott Tolzien was 19-25 on throws to the right side of the field compared to a meager 7-14 on throws to the left.
2. Riley Cooper at his best with Nick Foles
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper averages well over 100 receiving yards per game when Foles is under center, and he had himself another huge outing with Foles getting another start. Cooper had a huge 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and he finished with three receptions for 102 yards and two TDs. Not only is Foles is a touchdown machine out there, but Cooper is also racking up the TDs and the fantasy points. Foles’s strong arm and willingness to test defenses deep downfield certainly helps Cooper, who is reaping the benefits and averaged a whopping 34 yards per completion yesterday. DeSean Jackson is also getting plenty of stats from Foles’s deep ball, as he turned an errant pass deflected by Packers CB Tramon Williams into a 55-yard TD in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Jackson, by the way, had four receptions for 80 yards on five targets.
3. Nick Foles continues to pad his stats
Even though he was lucky at times on Sunday and won’t be as lucky once he faces a competent secondary, he won’t face a competent secondary until after the bye week. Foles has been putting up some jaw-dropping stats over the past two games, and he’ll likely make it three straight next week. With 228 yards on 12-18 passing, Foles averaged a whopping 12.7 yards per attempt and also had three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was another big game for him on paper, and he continues to take advantage of extremely weak coverage. The Packers secondary was better than the Oakland Raiders secondary the prior week (the stats show it), but they were still quite awful. It’s easy to go overboard in praising Foles or criticizing him, and my take is that he played very well but could still improve significantly in some aspects. For Foles, it’s all about finding consistency both week-to-week and throw-to-throw.
4. LeSean McCoy has a huge game, no thanks to the left side though
There is no doubt that the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the game’s elite running backs in LeSean McCoy, who was back to playing at an elite level on Sunday. McCoy carried the ball 25 times for 155 yards, and an average of 6.2 yards per carry on 25 rushes is certainly nothing to sneeze at. His vision and explosiveness are almost unparalleled in this league, and those are two of the most important traits for a running back. The man they call Shady was at his best running it up the gut, and he had 155 yards despite having difficulty running it to the left side.
The culprit? An injury to superstar LT Jason Peters, who hopefully didn’t suffer a severe quadriceps pull (the injury didn’t look good, though). With Peters out, the left side of the Eagles line was a mess run blocking-wise, as McCoy had almost no room to work with. He ended up amassing just 28 rushing yards on ten carries to the left side, which means that he averaged 3.4 less yards per carry when rushing it to that area of the field as compared to his total rushing average; yeah, that’s not good.
5. DeMeco Ryans makes huge plays
Before we get on the “DeMeco Ryans is a Pro Bowl player” hype train, I want to say that he hasn’t played at quite that level this season. The flashes of his immense talent have been there, but the former Houston Texans star has been inconsistent at times, if you take a closer look at his play. But he’s an important player on this Eagles defense and was a huge part of their win yesterday. Ryans led the way with 13 total tackles, including nine tackles in the running game. The starting ILB rose to the occasion with partner Kendricks out, and Ryans notched two tackles for loss in a very important performance on defense. The most important play was a ridiculous diving interception, which sealed the game for the Eagles. Ryans also had a memorable big hit on Eddie Lacy, and I just wish the playmaking LB could be more consistent on each play. With Ryans, I sometimes get the feeling that he is hit-or-miss, but he was all “hit” yesterday and is one of the most individually talented inside linebackers that this league has to offer. It was a great game for him, especially in the “timely plays” department.