Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tackle Jason Peters (71) defends as quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 49-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
To Get To Nick Foles, You Have To Get Past Jason Peters
The Redskins clearly planned to defend the run all day, and force Nick Foles into the waiting arms of their pass rush. With a pair of leading defenders in quarterback sacks, it’s a strategy that may work against most teams. But despite their efforts, they forgot one minor detail. To sack Nick Foles, defenders had to get past offensive tackle Jason Peters, and he was having none of that today.
So perhaps it was that frustration of the Redskins defenders that set the stage for the fracas that occurred in the fourth quarter. After throwing an interception (which was later overturned and determined to be an incomplete pass) nose tackle Chris Baker made a bees line to a standing Nick Foles and blasted him from behind well after the play was blown dead. That sparked a response from the huge and dominating left tackle of the Eagles, who practically took on the entire Redskins team while trainers attended to a downed Foles.
After the play, both Baker and Peters were ejected from the game.
“Let’s make them pay for that (cheapshot) play” – Nick Foles in huddle following Baker’s cheap shot.
The Eagles quarterback did just that. Foles connected with Maclin near the sidelines before going back to the wide receiver for a 27 yard touchdown score. After safety Jenkins intercepted Cousins, the Eagles added an insurance score off the foot of newly signed kicker Cody Parkey. That last field goal was the game winner.
And so the game ended with the Birds getting their third win of the season in three attempts. On the day, Foles tossed three touchdown passes, 325 passing yards (bringing his season total to 978 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions). After three games, Nick Foles is on track to break the 5,000 yard barrier this season. And at that same pace, he’s on pace to throw 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. While many things can happen, in his first full year of starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, his “Drew Brees” like numbers after three games should be given a little more respect.
But it’s not, and I’m baffled by that. Is it because he was picked in the third round of the NFL draft, and franchise quarterbacks are not supposed to be found in that round? Is it because he is still on his rookie contract, so he has not yet earned the “big payday” and therefore the big headlines? Is it because he’s level headed and gives credit to all of his teammates, leaving no spotlight for himself?
"“We stick together and there’s a great camaraderie. In the locker room during games like that, we lean on each other instead of blaming each other. That’s what football should be about.” – Nick Foles"
And so, the team continues to win and the rest of the league can continue to look the other way. The list of undefeated teams is shrinking each week, but so far this season the Eagles remain on the list of unbeaten teams.
Does that worry Chip Kelly?
"“That’s what you have to do, you have to be able to battle in this league. They were playing with their backup quarterback because they lost their quarterback last week. That’s what this deal is all about. Everybody knows that you will only be at full strength at the beginning of the season. For us to be able to score as many points as we did is a credit to this team. Nick just stood in there today, and that’s one thing I’ve said it before about him and I knew it because when I played him in college> He’s one tough sucker. He took a lot of hits in there today.” – Chip Kelly"
And so it ends. A tough divisional victory by the Eagles on a day where their offensive line somehow held off the pass rush long enough for the quarterback to show some heroics and win the ball game. So think twice about questioning every throw of this guy. Give him some slack now that you’ve seen three games and he, of all aspects of the Philadelphia Eagles, has been one of the most steadfast quarterbacks of the league, and players on this team. If you don’t, don’t be surprised if a big 6’4″ 328 pound giant of a man comes a calling to your door to suggest an attitude adjustment.
After all, not only did Nick Foles prove that he has guts today. His star lineman proved that he protects his quarterback at all times. Today, the Eagles earned our respect.