Rapid Reaction: Philadelphia Eagles
October, 13, 2013
By Phil Sheridan | ESPN.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- Observations on the Philadelphia Eagles' 31-20 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
What it means: The Eagles are capable of winning ugly. Chip Kelly has his first two-game winning streak, both at the expense of winless opponents. The victory gives the Eagles a 3-3 record going into next week’s home game against the Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback Nick Foles started his first game of the season in place of the injured Michael Vick. Foles was good enough, completing 22 of 31 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Foles also ran for a touchdown. The theory that Foles’ presence would hamper LeSean McCoy proved false: McCoy rushed for 116 yards.
Off the hook: The Eagles' defense, facing rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, was looking to build some momentum, a week after intercepting three fourth-quarter passes by Eli Manning. It didn’t really turn out that way. Glennon had way too much time to operate and found Vincent Jackson for two touchdowns. The low point was a drive that started at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line and lasted nearly eight minutes. Glennon converted three third downs on the drive, which ended with a field goal. Eagles rookie safety Earl Wolff, Glennon’s teammate at NC State, broke up what would have been a go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Tim Wright.
Stock Watch: Rising -- Riley Cooper. Kelly answers several questions a week about whether Cooper is an adequate No. 2 receiver. Last week, Jeff Maehl got a handful of Cooper's snaps, and it looked as if Cooper might be losing his job. Playing across the causeway from his hometown of Clearwater, Cooper caught a 47-yard touchdown pass and turned a quick out into a 44-yard gain to set up Foles’ 36-yard touchdown throw to DeSean Jackson. Cooper finished the game with four catches for a career-high 120 yards.
What’s next. The Eagles can take early control of an admittedly weak NFC East with back-to-back home games against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The Eagles are 2-0 within the division. Vick was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bucs. He said Thursday that if he couldn’t go this week, he felt sure he’d be ready for Dallas. That means another week of discussion of whether Kelly should stick with Foles or go back to the veteran Vick.