Breaking down the Eagles’ 49-20 win over the Raiders somewhere over North Dakota or Iowa:
Despite the major offseason additions of James Casey and rookie second-rounder Zach Ertz, the Eagles did not use a lot of multiple-tight end sets in their first eight games.
Eighty-two percent of their offensive plays featured “11’’ personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end, 3 wide receivers). They used 12 (two tight ends) or 13 (three tight ends) personnel on just 95 of 542 plays.
But that changed against the Raiders. The Eagles used more 12 personnel in the game than they have all season, lining up in two-tight end sets on 21 of 34 plays on their first six possessions. Five of those possessions resulted in touchdowns.
Nick Foles completed 8 of 13 passes for 74 yards and three of his first four touchdown passes with 12 personnel on the field.
In the first eight games, Ertz, Casey and starting tight end Brent Celek were targeted just 54 times and combined for 30 catches and two touchdowns (both by Celek).
On Sunday, the three were targeted 11 times and combined for eight catches, 69 yards and two touchdowns. Celek scored the Eagles’ first touchdown on a two-yard pass from Foles. Ertz scored his first NFL TD in the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Foles that put the Eagles up 28-10.
Asked about the heavier use of 12 personnel Sunday, Chip Kelly said, “It’s a matchup thing. They have a real interesting dime package where they bring people from all over the place. And sometimes (using two tight ends) settles them down a bit.
“The development of our tight ends behind Brent – Zach’s getting better, Casey is getting better. It’s something we had hoped to (go to more) at some point in time. Some weeks it’s not the flavor of the day just because of what it will present for you. But we really felt this week that it would be a big thing for us. I thought those guys did a really good job.’’
Casey was only targeted once and didn’t have a reception, but played a season-high 17 snaps. Ertz played 35 snaps, his second highest total of the season (he played 42 snaps against Tampa Bay), which was just four fewer than Celek. Twelve of Ertz’s 19 catches have come in the last four games.
BY THE NUMBERS
--It’s pretty obvious that Riley Cooper has better rapport with Nick Foles than he does with Mike Vick. In 13 quarters with Foles at quarterback, Cooper has been targeted 16 times, has 12 catches for 291 yards and four touchdowns, including three Sunday against the Raiders. In 19 quarters with Vick at QB, Cooper has been targeted 19 times, but has just eight receptions for 91 yards and one TD. In four quarters with Matt Barkley behind center, Cooper has been targeted eight times and has five catches for 69 yards.
--Nick Foles completed all seven of his passes in the red zone Sunday, including four for touchdowns. For the year, Foles is 12-for-15 with seven TDs inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. A nine-game look at the Eagles’ receivers in the red zone:
Rec. Yds. TD
Cooper 4 45 3
Jackson 4 29 2
Ertz 2 25 1
Celek 2 3 1
Maehl 1 8 1
McCoy 3 12 0
Avant 2 20 0
Johnson 1 8 0
--Foles has thrown 155 straight passes without an interception dating back to last season.
-- Foles completed six of eight third-down attempts Sunday for 81 yards, one touchdown and four first downs. He’s 20-for-32 for 226 yards and 2 TDs for the season on third down.
--The Raiders finished with 210 rushing yards on 33 carries. Ninety-four of those yards were by quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Raiders running backs had just 116 yards on 23 carries. Fifty-three of those 210 yards came in the fourth quarter.
THIS AND THAT
--The Eagles defense had another solid tackling performance against the Raiders, limiting yards after the catch by their receivers and not allowing a lot of yards-after-contact by the running backs.
--The Eagles ran a half-dozen screens against the Raiders and were very successful with them. Riley Cooper gained 42 yards on a bubble screen on the Eagles’ first possession. LeSean McCoy picked up 5 and 13 yards on a pair of screens. Tight end Brent Celek gained 24 yards on a middle screen. And DeSean Jackson picked up eight yards on a bubble screen.
--Foles didn’t hesitate to run on a couple of early opportunities. Picked up four yards on a run on the Eagles’ first possession and had a nine-yard run on their second possession.
--The Eagles put McCoy in motion several times Sunday, including on his 25-yard touchdown catch and run. The Raiders had a coverage breakdown on the play and nobody covered him.
--The Eagles’ first touchdown, a two-yard pass from Foles to Celek, was nicely executed. Celek lined up on the right side, came across through traffic and shook safety Tyvon Branch with the help of a nice legal pick from Cooper.
--Bryce Brown had his best performance of the season, rushing for 54 yards on a seven carries. He had his first double-digit-yard run of the season, a 32-yarder in the first quarter.
--Rookie safety Earl Wolff had two effective blitzes in the first half. On the first, he batted a Terrelle Pryor pass. On the second, he got to Pryor and forced an intentional grounding penalty.
--Rashad Jennings got some help from the Eagles on his eight-yard touchdown run up the middle in the second quarter. Defensive linemen Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox stunted on the play, which helped create a run lane for the Raiders running back.
--In addition to his outstanding pass-catching performance, Riley Cooper also had a nice block on McCoy’s longest run of the game, a 17-yarder on the opening drive of the second half.
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