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Foles leads Eagles over winless Buccaneers 31-20
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tampa, Fla. • Nick Foles is performing like a starter even if he and Chip Kelly aren't ready to say the second-year pro has played well enough to be the Eagles' No. 1 quarterback.

With Michael Vick sidelined by a hamstring injury, Foles threw for a career-high three touchdowns and ran for a fourth to pace a 31-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Kelly was impressed with the backup, but said it was too early to say whether Foles or Vick will take the first snap when the Eagles (3-3) face Dallas at home next week.

"We'll evaluate everything. Go back, watch film, see what we did good, see what we did bad, see where we are, see where Mike is," Kelly said. "I don't give any hypotheticals, and I don't make any predictions."

Foles, who also played well when replaced Vick during the previous week's victory over the New York Giants, completed 22 of 31 passes for 296 yards and no interceptions in his seventh career start. He improved to 2-5 in those games, with both victories coming on the road against Tampa Bay.

"I don't worry about it," Foles said of the starting job. "I'm really proud of my team for winning right now. It was a hard-fought game, and I'm going to enjoy it with my teammates. No matter what happens, I'm going to be right there. I'm going to stay the same person. I know who I am."

Vick, who said he's not concerned about the situation, either.

"He's a great football player. He does exactly what he needs to do when he goes out on the field," Vick said. "That's not something I'm going to worry about. I'm worrying about getting healthy."

Five reasons the first-place Eagles evened their record and the stumbling Bucs (0-5) remained winless:

FOLES HAS BUCS' NUMBER: In two games against Tampa Bay, Foles has accounted for 677 yards and seven touchdowns — five passing, two rushing — and no interceptions. He threw TD passes of 12 and 36 yards to DeSean Jackson. He also lofted a 47-yarder to Riley Cooper, who finished with four catches for 120 yards — the receiver's first 100-yard game. "I don't really look at Nick as a backup because he's played with the (starters) so much throughout the offseason, throughout training camp and day by day. So, he's very familiar with the guys we have in there. He does a great job of coming in and really giving us an opportunity to win games," Jackson said.

GLENNON IMPROVING, BUT...: Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon made his second start for Tampa Bay. He was 26 of 43 for 273 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The Bucs led 17-14 at the half and pulled with 21-20 early in the fourth. But in crunch time, Foles — not Glennon — was the young QB who made the plays.

SHADY DAY: NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy gained 116 yards on 25 carries, his third 100-yard game of the season. No Eagles player has rushed for more yards (630) or gained more yards from scrimmage (871) in the first six games of a season.

EXPLOSIVE EAGLES: Foles led TD drives of 85, 54, 66 and 80 yards, ranging in time of possession from 1:16 to 3:20. He also did a nice job of exhausting the clock in the fourth quarter, leading a five-minute drive that ended with a field goal that put his team up 11 with 2:34 remaining. With 425 yards, Philadelphia joined the 2007 Patriots and 1983 Chargers as the only teams to gain at least 400 in the first six games of a season.

BUCS 'D' HUMBLED: After ranking last in the NFL in pass defense a year ago, Tampa Bay has improved significantly with the offseason addition of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson. Foles hurt them with four completions of 36 yards or longer. "What we've been able to do is make people go the long, hard way by playing sound and solid," coach Greg Schiano said. "Today, we had a couple go over our head and it kind of changed the whole complexion."

———

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

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