Even those folks who have been clamoring for Nick Foles to be the Eagles’ starting quarterback for the remainder of the season couldn’t have seen this coming. Foles threw more touchdown passes than incompletions in the Birds’ 49-20 victory over the Raiders on Sunday, tying the NFL single-game record with seven scores.
Foles’ line: 22-of-28 for 406 yards, seven touchdowns and zero turnovers—good for a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
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You tell me, Philadelphia. Do we still have a quarterback controversy on our hands?
Riley Cooper hauled in three of those touchdowns as part of a five-reception, 139-yard afternoon for the embattled wide receiver. DeSean Jackson hauled in a 63-yard bomb for six points, as he also enjoyed a huge day with five catches for 150. Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and LeSean McCoy were responsible for the rest of the Eagles’ trips to the end zone.
Foles likely could’ve broken the record, but Chip Kelly finally opted to pull the QB in the fourth quarter with the outcome having long been decided.
This was against a Raiders defense that entered the game 10th overall, 12th in points allowed. Oakland was stronger versus the run than they were the pass, but at 17th the Oakland secondary ranked right in the middle of the pack in terms of production through the air.
Such a historic performance makes Foles’ disaster against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6 all the more perplexing. The second-year passer was inaccurate, hitting 37.9 percent of his passes for 80 yards in the 17-3 loss two weeks ago. Today, Foles couldn’t miss, completing 78.6 percent for 14.5 yards per attempt.
Seven touchdowns also ties the franchise record set by Adrian Burk in 1954.
After the game, Chip Kelly refused to name a starter for next week’s game at Green Bay, claiming the decision would be based on Michael Vick’s health. That should be an interesting situation to monitor.
It’s hard to know what to think about Foles, whose performances from one game to the next have been wildly erratic in nine career starts. As we’ve lobbied for in this space before though, the Eagles should ride the 24-year-old through the highs and lows and figure out whether there is any long-term value with him under center, even if long-term is only next season.
After all, only six quarterbacks in NFL history had thrown for seven touchdowns in a single game before Foles. Three of them are Hall of Famers. Peyton Manning is the only other active player to have done it.
Which Foles is for real? Who knows. Doesn’t matter right now. Only one way to find out.
Of course, the story that that takes a back seat here is the Eagles broke a two-game losing streak with their win in Oakland and remain one game back of Dallas for first place in the NFC East. We’ll see who Chip decides gives them the best chance to win next Sunday.
No doubt we'll have much more to come on Foles' historic day and the fallout from those incredible events.