Bookie’s Playbook: Nick Foles’ 7 TD Performance
In the first game of the season, Peyton Manning threw an impressive 7 touchdown passes to start his amazing season. In Week 9, when the Eagles played the Raiders, everyone was shocked to see Nick Foles throw 7 touchdowns to tie Manning and five others for the most touchdowns thrown in a single game. Some people may think that Nick Foles’ 7 touchdown performance was a fluke since he was a backup and has had trouble at quarterback before. I’ll take you through each of the seven touchdown drives, explaining what led to each touchdown, and break down a few big plays within each drive.
First Touchdown: Q1 5:23 – 10 Plays 3:58
The Eagles ran the no-huddle on every play but two on the first drive. On the second play of the drive, Foles hit Riley Cooper for a 42-yard screen pass, but the drive really got going a few plays later.
The defence was playing zone coverage so the defenders wouldn’t have to run around too much after all of the no-huddle plays, and Foles had Jeff Maehl run a deep crossing route to the middle and he needed to open up the field, so he pump faked to the left.
The pump fake made the defender on that side go after the fake, leaving a big enough hole in the middle, and Foles made a great pass, threading the ball right through three defenders.
A few plays later came the touchdown pass. The Eagles ran a common play that every team has in their goal line play book. Brent Celek was lined up next to he right tackle and made his way to the left side of the field away from the other receivers.
Only one defender noticed, but it was too late as Celek already passed him and got an easy touchdown.
The first dive exhibited a good variety of play calls and good throws by Foles. The Raiders didn’t have good pass rushing on the drive, which made it easy for Foles to find the open man. Foles was 6 for 7 on the drive, with each completion going to a different receiver.
Second Touchdown: Q2 14:23 – 8 Plays 2:35
The offence came out running the ball heavily and running the no-huddle, which very much tired out the front seven leading to a big 32-yard run by Bryce Brown. The Eagles kept switching between Brown and McCoy to keep their run game fresh.
After getting in range for the touchdown, the defence was still first looking for the run, thus stuffing the box. Foles noticed the one safety giving help on top, who stepped up the help in the middle.
Foles was 3 for 3 on the drive, and after all of the runs the defence got tired and didn’t put much pressure on Foles, once again giving him plenty of time to find the open man.
Third Touchdown: Q2 11:26 – 1 Play 0:09
Nick Foles threw a touchdown to Riley Cooper on a deep post route on the first play of the drive. This play was more of the Raiders secondary messing up than good offensive play. D.J. Hayden was playing outside leverage on Cooper, relying on safety help in the middle, but both safeties help on opposite sides of the middle of the field for the second time of the game.
Hayden was forced to chase Cooper at a bad angle and fell down, giving Foles a wide open throw. The Raiders must have gotten really upset after that one.
Fourth Touchdown: Q2 4:10 – 8 Plays 3:24
The drive started off with an incomplete pass and a couple of penalties, which slowed down the pace of the speedy offence. However, three of the five plays before the touchdown were big gains from a broken play where Foles was able to a good job moving around and getting out of the pocket to find the open man. On the touchdown, a similar thing happened. Cooper was running a crossing route shallow of DeSean Jackson’s post route, and Zach Ertz was running a go route, then, if nothing happened, an out to the side of the end zone.
Foles was looking for Jackson in the middle of the end zone, but when he noticed he was covered he scrambled out of the pocket and found Zach Ertz to the right side of the end zone.
Foles was 4 for 5 on the drive and ran the no-huddle after the incompletion and penalties to start the drive. Foles showed good mobility, buying time for his receivers to get open without rushing the pass.
Fifth Touchdown: Q3 14:21 – 4 Plays 0:32
On the first play of the drive Foles made a good choice on an interestingly designed play where Foles first fakes the handoff to McCoy then starts scrambling ,and, if he doesn’t have space to run, he throws a lateral to the sideline where a wide-open Riley Cooper awaits.
Cooper then had plenty of space in front of him to start of the string of big plays on the drive.
On the touchdown play, LeSean McCoy starts in motion and continues on the swing route. The receivers on the same side cross to the other side and their defenders follow. There are no linebackers on that side either, which leaves no defender for McCoy.
The safety doesn’t notice him so he’s left wide open to run for the end zone.
Due to the quick big-play no-huddle drive, the defenders don’t notice McCoy by the sideline and are already exhausted by running around silly to react quickly to all of the running around. The play calling was great and just focused on getting the ball out of Foles’ hand right away.
Sixth Touchdown: Q3 11:41 – 3 Plays 0:43
Here was another very quick drive which resulted in a big-play touchdown due to the defender falling down, again. DeSean Jackson simply gets off the press coverage and run a go route to the end zone.
There’s no safety help over the top because they went to help in the players crossing over the middle, once again, and Jackson easily gets the touchdown.
The defence looked like zombies on that drive, probably due to the exhaustion of the no-huddle throughout the entire game.
Seventh Touchdown: Q3 4:34 – 3 Plays 1:12
The seventh touchdown drive consisted of yet another quick three-play drive, yes, all in the no-huddle. On the first play of the drive, Jackson beats out Hayden on a deep post route again with no deep safety help.
On the touchdown play, Foles faked the handoff while the two receivers on the left crossed over to the right side of the end zone.
The Raiders were running zone coverage, and when Nick Foles saw that, he rolled out of the cote to the right and waited for Riley Cooper to get into the empty spot of the zone and hit him for the touchdown.
And that finished off Nick Foles’ record day.
Nick Foles made a bunch of great passes in tight windows and in good locations where only his receiver can catch it, while recognising man and zone coverages. With the offence being primarily run in the no-huddle, the defence got tired on the long drives in the beginning of the game, and by the end they lost all of their energy and just couldn’t keep up and missed assignments. Also, the safeties consistently guarded the middle of the field instead if at least one of them guarding deep.vThis is the way Chip Kelly’s offence needs to work, fast with the right mix of plays, which consist of general plays, read option, and a couple of trickery plays.
This piece was written by Eli Bookstaber. Eli is from Silver Spring, Maryland. Naturally, he is a fan of America’s real Team, the Washington Redskins. Eli is a big fan of every American sport but the NFL is his favourite. He has strong opinions on many topics and therefore started to write about them. Every week, Eli writes a NFL power rankings article for OTI and “Bookie’s Playbook” article, where he breaks down different teams’ plays, formations, etc. You can always find his opinions and his shenanigans on Twitter @Ebookstaber. He welcomes any comments and feedback.