Week 10 Report Card: Eagles up-and-down performance still leads to win against Packers

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

So-so was just enough for Chip and Co.

On Sunday, the Eagles surpassed their win total from the 2012 season in just 10 games. Just one week after Nick Foles and the team demolished the Raiders, an up-and-down performance in all three phases was just enough for the boys in green to get another road win. While it was nowhere as promising as the Raiders victory, the Eagles defense and offense provided some major moments in a what could be described as a rather odd game.

From horrible calls to a trio of injuries to key players on both sides of the ball, the game was not one that will likely be remembered by Eagles fans as a fun outing. Foles threw some really underthrown balls but avoided interceptions and the defense was gashed at times but also made big plays when it matter. This win will likely take a "but they were playing a rookie who was on the practice squad" identity to media folks this week.

But alas, the Eagles are at 5-5 and are once again tied for the division lead.

HOT

LeSean McCoy: Shady ate on Sunday. As I had mentioned on a BGN Radio podcast leading up to the game, the Packers were the team to feed McCoy carries against. The former Pro Bowler was frankly fantastic and juked several defenders out of his way. With 155 yards, McCoy showed that it does not matter who is throwing the ball, as long as he is touting the rock. He currently leads the NFL, as he has all season, with 932 rushing yards.

DeSean Jackson: The former Pro Bowler pulled in a 55-yard grab at bounced off two Packers defenders from an underthrown ball by Foles. Jackson has really proven to have great patience and focus when necessary. The decision was smart to throw to Jackson who had torched coverage, but he had to come back from a short throw.

Riley Cooper: While Cooper criminally dropped two passes in the game against the Packers, he more than made up for it with his two touchdowns. The first was all him, as Foles just threw it up in the air and Cooper just made a major play on the ball. A former high school safety, Cooper showed that he could play in coverage when the ball sailed in front of him and his defenders. The second touchdown was the result of him being wide-open and catching a great pass from Foles. Their connection has been fruitful for both so far. Cooper had 102 yards and two touchdowns on three catches.

Nick Foles: While 3 touchdowns and 228 yards looks impressive on paper, Foles caught a few breaks in this one. Two of his three touchdowns were underthrown long balls (although the second was reportedly on purpose), but you have to give him credit for constantly looking down field and making the right decision on who to throw to. Both Cooper and Jackson were open on their passes, but were forced comeback to the ball. Foles made another head-scratching pass in the third that looked like he could have either lost sight in the sun, had a miscommunication with a receiver or he simply didn't put enough on the ball to get it out of bounds. The ball sailed inbounds but was not towards anyone and it hung for a while, so it was a surprised when it was not picked off. He did however make some very impressive throws to Cooper and Avant in the game and stayed away from interceptions.

Foles is now one of three player in NFL history to throw 16 touchdowns without an interception. The fumble was a horrible reverse by the referees and he still had a very impressive passer rating. He also ran very well and often for 38 yards on eight carries.

Nate Allen: The guy just continues to do his job and make sound decisions. He is tackling well and was even credited with a forced fumble. He was solid in coverage.

Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox: These two have just been awesome this season. Thornton's ability to control his running lane and get into the backfield was on display several times on Sunday. Cox is a monster pass rusher. It is scary to think what will happen next season when they have even more experience. I will say it again, Thornton is the find of the Howie Roseman Era.

Roc Carmichael: Color me impressed. I was a fan of Carmichael's in college and was excited when he signed, but in no way did I feel like he would be impressive against the likes of James Jones and Jordy Nelson. It was his first game and he did well playing off. I like how aggressive he was and he did a good job of screening his man from the ball. At 5-foot-10, he is average height, but is super long.

Najee Goode: When Mychal Kendricks went out with a knee injury, Goode came in to replace him. He was okay against the run but did a few good things in coverage. Let's put it this way, the expectations were low for him playing his first major time on defense. The special teamer showed he could play in a pinch. He should have had a pick-six but it fell through his hand in the second quarter.

Brandon Boykin: This guy had a day on Sunday. He was a great tackler and saved the Eagles seven points with an end zone touchdown that he took to the opposing redzone. He has really come on in coverage and I like how nasty he is against the run.

DeMeco Ryans: He did good job on his calls and produced as a tackler. The tipped interception catch was impressive and really stole all of the Packers momentum.

Vinny Curry: It goes without saying, but this kid needs a lot of playing time. He leads the team in sacks (four) as a part-time player.

Eagles Offensive Line: While the Packers got pressure and sacks, the offensive line did a good job of giving Foles time. They also opened up running lanes for Shady, which was obviously huge. Allen Barbre has been a great find and has played well in relief of Jason Peters.

Chip Kelly: Once again, he called a great game and used a very balanced attack. I love his use of screens in this game.

NOT

Cary Williams: It is sad when Bradley Fletcher is out and Williams is still only the third-best cornerback in the game. He allowed for several catches to Jarrett Boykin, which were thrown by Scott Tolzien. Come on, bro. His ability to do something wrong several times a game and then make one play is starting really be an annoying pattern.

Pat Chung: He played a lot on Sunday with Earl Wolff out, and he did not do all that great of a job. He allowed two very, very easy interceptions to go through his hands and was likely the reason for the Packers sole touchdown.

Kicking at Lambeau Field: It was a rough day for Mason Crosby, who missed two kicks. However, Alex Henery also missed a field goal. Kicking, in general, this season has been poor.

Referees: The refs made a terrific call on a third-down conversion failure by the Packers from Tolzien to Andrew Quarless, but after that it was pretty bad. The Foles fumble was reversed after he was initially ruled down by contact. I have seen the replay several times and I am not sure "without a doubt" you can rule that a fumble. There was also several calls that were missed like the "clear as day" facemask grab on Shady or the non-call of clear holding with Jason Avant in the redzone.

Injuries: Jason Peters, Earl Wolff and Mychal Kendricks all left the game with injuries. Peters left twice. It will be major if any are lost for a significant amount of time.

Miscellaneous Musings

  • I just arrived in Phoenix on Saturday night after a three-day, 34-hour drive from South Florida. You can only imagine how this victory made it all worth it. I watched the game at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Mesa and it was a great way to kick off my new life on the west coast. Also, Texas does not just have horrible football teams. Their highway laws make literally no sense and the drive through the state (outside of San Antonio) is pretty lame outside of the scenery.
  • While a lot of the media will make this game about the Packers missing Aaron Rodgers, the story for Eagles fans should be that the team was able to win on a so-so performance. Please enjoy this win. I think this team is showing a lot of improvement, even when their play is suspect at times. The defense's okay days look like last season's best days, and that is a sign of Billy Davis doing a great job with his players. Foles has looked great on the stat line but also sharp (for the most part) on the field over the last two weeks. Kelly has players like Jeff Maehl, Najee Goode, Colt Anderson, Clifton Geathers and Damion Square playing snaps in spots other than special teams, and is winning while doing so. That is impressive.
  • I wanted to give a special shout out to listeners of BGN Radio. The numbers have been great and continue to rapidly grow. Brandon, John and I are really excited about the future of that feature and your support has meant a ton to us. Follow @BGN_Radio and learn how you can be rewarded for that support!

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