If I told you Bryce Brown was held to six yards rushing, and Nick Foles was the leading rusher for the Eagles, that equates a loss. Right? Wrong. Nick Foles showed the Eagles faithful today why he deserves a chance at being the Eagles starting QB next year and perhaps beyond. 32-51 381 yards 2 TDs and 37 yds and a TD rushing was a star performance from the rookie out of Arizona. It is a big step in the development process for a young QB, getting that first win. Foles now has one, and is ready to continue to progress. The biggest thing was not the 380 yards or the two TDs or even the fact that he did not turn the ball over. The biggest thing for Nick Foles was the ability to take a depleted team down the field and win the game in what has been the Eagles achilles heel over the years. A clutch two-minute drill. On the final drive, Nick Foles completed a fourth down conversion on a play Jason Avant described to the media as not being in the playbook. Foles drew up a play on the spot and hit Avant to continue the Eagles drive which ended in a Jeremy Maclin touchdown catch as time expired. Foled threw two TDs in the final four minutes to overcome a Tampa Bay lead and ultimately spoiled the Buccaneers day. The Bucs celebrated the team which won the Super Bowl before the game started,
Lost in the Nick Foles mania, was how well the defense played. Call it a coincidence if you like, but do not be fooled. Tommy Brasher’s first game as defensive line coach helped the Eagles defense as a whole. They were playing inspired football and if it were not for a few big plays by Vincent Jackson, this defense could have held the Bucs to under 14 points. Brasher’s “normal” style defensive line produced 2 sacks and 5 tackles for loss (6 as a team) and countless QB hurries which helped the Eagles secondary, especially Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had his first good performance in a month. Safety Colt Anderson played well in his first start at safety, replacing the ever-talked about Kurt Coleman, who has struggled mightily all season. Ander made some key tackles in the first half to help the Eagles pitch a shut out in the first half.
The player that I thought stood out, even in limited action was CB Curtis Marsh. When Marsh filled in for Nnamdi Asomugha after what first looked like a horrific injury (Nnamdi was OK), Marsh looked very good. He used his body well, and actually used his size as an advantage against Vincent Jackson. You could not tell how well Marsh was playing until Asomugha returned to the game, and looked like the “soft” version of Nnamdi we are used to this season. Overall the defense played well, and some players made good strides to showing what they can add to the team going forward.
The surprise of the day was that the sure-thing kicker Alex Henery missed two field goals. Doubling his total for the season. One was on a 58 yarder that hit the left goal post and another from inside 40 yards, a rarity for Henery. Luckily for Henery, the Eagles won, and all is forgiven. Had they lost, the missed attempts would have been magnified, and Henery would have been blasted all week by local media.
It was good to see the Eagles win, regardless if they dropped in the draft order, which is another story in itself. One step in the progression of Nick Foles is out of the way. What is next for the Eagles QB? We’ve not much time to think about it as the Eagles play the Bengals on Thursday night on NFL Network.Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, NFL, Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles, victory