Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles moved into a first-place tie with Dallas in the NFL East after a 27-13 road victory over Green Bay Sunday. Nick Foles threw for three touchdowns and LeSean McCoy ran for 155 yards in the win.
The Birds evened their record at 5-5 with their second straight win, both on the road. They got two special teams tackles from Jeff Maehl, 5 tackles and a pass deflection from Patrick Chung, one solo tackle from Casey Matthews (phillysportslive.com photo).
Kelly used a smart, conservative game plan against the Packers, who were playing without Aaron Rodgers. Foles only threw 18 times, completing 12 for 228 yards, including TD passes of 32, and 45 yards to Riley Cooper, 55 to McCoy. He was not intercepted. The team hosts Washington on Sunday, a 3-6 squad they beat 33-27 in the season opener.
With the three td strikes against GB, Foles has 10 scoring passes in the last two games. For the season he’s thrown 16 and no interceptions, suggesting that Kelly’s offense is viable in the NFL, even without a mobile quarterback. Parity scheduling has helped also.
Elsewhere, Walter Thurmond recovered a fumble and had 7 tackles in the Seahawks’ 33-19 whitewashing of the Falcons. Jonathan Stewart and Kenjon Barner of the Panthers enjoyed a 10-9 victory over LaMichael James of the 49ers at Candlestick Park. Barner didn’t record a stat, but James had 3 punt returns for an 11.7-yard average, and Stewart carried the football 13 times for 41 yards in the win.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has been compared to San Francisco qb Colin Kaepernick, but both had dismal games this past week. Kaepernick was particularly ineffective, 11-22 for 91 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the loss, which drops the 9ers to 6-3.
The Legend of Kiko Alonso had 10 tackles and a tackle for loss in the Bills’ 23-10 meltdown against the Steelers. Alonso is a fast-rising rookie star in the league, but Buffalo is just 3-7 despite his efforts. Jairus Byrd returned an interception 57 yards, adding 5 tackles and a pass deflection. The Bills just don’t have much of an offense: Sunday, they gained a scant 227 yards.
Maybe they’d benefit from a coaching change, perhaps a Smashmouth defensive-minded coach like David Shaw.