Eagles beat banged-up Pack: Impressive or not?
DeSean Jackson celebrates after catching a 55-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles in the first quarter of Sunday's win. (USA Today Images)
GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Nick Foles should never not quarterback the Eagles and nine other observations from the Eagles’ 27-13 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field (see Instant Replay):
1. After the Tampa game, the knock on Foles was that all he ever does is beat the Buccaneers. After he tied an NFL record with seven TDs against the Raiders’ 10th-ranked defense, the knock was that he still hadn’t beaten a good team. So now that he put up 27 points and three touchdowns against the 5-3 Packers at Lambeau -- where they were 36-9 in their last 45 games -- how are the Foles detractors going to write this one off? Come on. The kid has it. In Foles’ first NFL start, he threw two interceptions. Since then, he has 21 touchdown passes and two picks. Foles didn’t even look great Sunday, and he was 12 for 18 for 228 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a stadium where it’s almost impossible to win. Is there a guy in college who would give the Eagles a better chance to win? No way.
2. Riley Cooper. That’s three 100-yard games in the last five weeks for Cooper, which is remarkable for a guy who was dead last in the NFL among starting wideouts after five games. First five weeks: 8 for 83, one TD. Last five weeks: 20 catches for 463 yards and six TDs. Cooper has five catches of 40 yards or more in the last five games, and he’s now on pace for 44 catches, 888 yards and 11 touchdowns. Give him credit. A ton of credit. He’s a big-time player right now.
3. That was a legit performance by the Eagles’ run defense on Eddie Lacy, who averaged 109 yards per game and 4.6 per carry in his previous five games. Lacy went for 11 and six yards on his first two carries, but after that, the Eagles’ defensive front swarmed him. His final 22 carries netted just 56 yards, and he finished 24 for 73. Scott Tolzien hit a few nice passes, but without a running game, the Packers really had no chance. This Eagles’ defensive front -- without a single player over 25 years old -- is becoming a strength of the team. Very good defense against a very tough runner.
4. How great was it to see LeSean McCoy finally get going after a month of frustration? Makes things so much easier for the passing game and even for the defense when he’s moving the chains like he did Sunday. And much of the production came after Allen Barbre replaced Jason Peters at left tackle. McCoy finished 25 for 155, with 114 yards after halftime.
5. I love the way Brandon Boykin plays. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a full-time outside corner because he’s only 5-foot-9, but he’s so confident and so athletic. Just fun to watch. He’s got three interceptions now, and you’d kind of like to see him get in the end zone instead of running out of gas around the 30-yard line, but he’s a playmaker. And you know what, he’s a really good tackler, too.
6. I’m not sure there are any better options out there right now, but the Eagles have to be losing patience with Alex Henery. His latest miss was a 39-yarder in the second quarter Sunday, his fifth miss of the year. Those misses have been from 46, 48, 46, 60 and 39 yards. With the game on the line, do you trust him for a 47-yarder? I don’t.
7. The gap between Earl Wolff and Patrick Chung is way too big considering Wolff is a rookie who’s started six games, and Chung is a five-year veteran. Wolff is just playing at a much higher level and getting better every week. Big loss when he hobbled off the field Sunday (see story).
8. I like Bryce Brown as a change-up back. I don’t like Brown in for McCoy on a crucial drive in the fourth quarter deep in your own end. Not at all. McCoy is the best player on the roster. The Packers haven’t stopped him all day. He’s over 100 yards. He’s sitting on just 17 carries. Stop playing games with Brown. Get Shady the rock.
9. I guess instant replay is good for the game, but for crying out loud, it just kills the flow. Two challenges in the span of two plays late in the game, the refs probably got both of them wrong, and the whole sequence took about 12 minutes. Remember when they used to have a running clock during replays? Haven’t seen that for a while. It’s just endless. There’s something to be said for getting it right, but the game worked pretty well for 70 years before replay was instituted. If they got rid of it -- which obviously they won’t -- I’d be OK with that. They seem to make as many mistakes now as they did without it.
10. Love the last drive. The Eagles didn’t score, but they just overpowered the Packers on the line of scrimmage, ran the ball every play -- with the exception of one short pass -- and ran out the clock. Great stuff.