NFL: Eagles 49, Raiders 20
OAKLAND, Calif. • Nick Foles’ record-setting performance turned a struggling Eagles offense into an unstoppable machine.
Foles tied an NFL mark with seven touchdown passes and threw for 406 yards to revitalize Philadelphia in a 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
The backup quarterback connected three times with Riley Cooper to become the seventh passer in NFL history with seven TD tosses in a game. Peyton Manning did it for Denver on opening night this season against Baltimore.
Foles also threw scoring passes to Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson as the Eagles (4-5) looked nothing the offense that failed to score a touchdown in each of the past two weeks.
The Raiders (3-5) had appeared much improved on defense in recent weeks but were completely flummoxed by coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense that stalled recently after a fast debut in the NFL.
Foles completed 22 of 28 passes as he frequently exploited mismatches and blown coverages, starting with a 42-yard screen pass to Cooper on the opening drive when the Raiders had two defenders trying to match up with three receivers.
McCoy took a short pass and ran 25 yards untouched for his score in the third quarter and Jackson raced past Mike Jenkins on his 46-yard touchdown later in the third.
Foles then tied the record with a 5-yard pass to Cooper with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter, matching the mark also held by Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp. Burk did it for the Eagles in 1954 against Washington.
With more than a quarter to go to break the record, Foles was unable to get the Eagles back into the end zone on the next two drives before being replaced by Matt Barkley. That was about all Foles couldn’t do in his first game since being held to 80 yards on 29 passes before leaving with a concussion two weeks ago against Dallas.
Foles only got another shot this week because regular starter Michael Vick reinjured his hamstring in a loss to the New York Giants last week. But now, it will be tough to take out Foles with 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season.
This will also silence questions at least for a week about how Kelly’s offense will translate to the NFL. Viewed as revolutionary when the Eagles gained 322 yards in the first half of the season opener against Washington, the offense had been held to 478 yards and one field goal the past two weeks before breaking through against the Raiders.
Foles repeatedly targeted rookie D.J. Hayden as he led the Eagles to touchdowns on their first four drives for the first time in three years. Hayden was beaten on successive plays by Cooper for a 17-yard completion and 63-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
The Raiders couldn’t keep up with Philadelphia’s torrid scoring pace despite gaining 560 yards — their third-most ever and most since 1968. They had one first-quarter drive stall in the red zone for a field goal and then couldn’t play catch up in the second half when the Eagles turned a 28-13 halftime lead into a blowout.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw for 288 yards and ran for 94 more, but also had two interceptions and took two sacks in a shaky performance. He left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and was being evaluated further.
Oakland also lost running back Darren McFadden to a hamstring injury in the first half.