Foles steers Eagles past Buccaneers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly said his up-tempo offense wouldn't change whether backup Nick Foles or starter Michael Vick were playing quarterback.
But after Foles, starting for an injured Vick, delivered an impressive performance in Sunday's 31-20 win over the Buccaneers, it opened the door for potential questions whether Philadelphia will make a switch at the position.
Foles completed 22-for-31 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score in his seventh career start.
Foles helped seal the game with a 36-yard touchdown strike to DeSean Jackson that put the Eagles up eight points with under 10 minutes left.
"I thought Nick did a really good job," Kelly said. "I was really, really happy with how he played."
Kelly stopped short of committing to Vick as the team's starter when he's healthy. Vick was active for the game as an emergency quarterback.
"We'll re-evaluate everything and see where we are, see where Mike is," Kelly said. "I don't give any hypotheticals and don't make any predictions."
Foles' only two career wins have come against Tampa Bay, having thrown for a career-high 381 yards in a 23-21 victory in Tampa on Dec. 9, 2012.
The Buccaneers (0-6) received a strong outing by rookie quarterback Mike Glennon but were unable to get their first win of the season.
"We keep falling short," Buccaneers tackle Donald Penn said. "We aren't catching any breaks. We've got to fight until the end. It really just (stinks) right now. I feel like we've let a lot of people down. I can't even pinpoint what it is. It's just hard."
It took Philadelphia (3-3) just over three minutes to score on their opening drive, with Foles going 4-for-5 for 70 yards before scrambling for a 4-yard touchdown that made it 7-0.
The Eagles set the tone on their first play with running back LeSean McCoy taking a screen pass and racing 45 yards into Tampa Bay territory.
"I thought it was really big for us, especially playing against a team like this team," Kelly said. "We wanted to get on them early, so that drive was huge for us."
The Buccaneers appeared to tie the score five minutes into the first quarter when cornerback Darrelle Revis flipped McCoy, forcing a fumble and returning it 39 yards for a touchdown. But after the play was reviewed, Revis was ruled down by contact at the Philadelphia 40-yard line. The Bucs had to settle for a 38-yard field goal by Rian Lindell, cutting the Eagles' lead to 7-3.
Glennon, making his second career start, didn't have one of his top weapons, with receiver Mike Williams sidelined by a hamstring injury. But Glennon was solid, finishing 26-for-43 for 273 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
"I felt more comfortable," Glennon said. "It kind of reminded me of college, when I made a jump from the first game to the second game; you're going to continue to grow."
Glennon threw the first of two touchdown passes just over a minute into the second quarter, a 24-yarder to Vincent Jackson that gave the Bucs a 10-7 lead.
But the Eagles answered midway through the second quarter. Jackson beat Revis on a crossing route in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown to give Philadelphia a 14-10 lead.
"I don't know if he was depending on a safety to be there or not, but whatever the case may be, he still has a job to do, which is not letting me score, and I scored," Jackson said of Revis.
The Buccaneerss responded before the half, with Glennon orchestrating an impressive 75-yard drive, including a 16-yard-scramble on a third-and-14, that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jackson.
Glennon threw an interception on the Buccaneers' first drive in the third quarter and the Eagles cashed in. Receiver Riley Cooper caught a 47-yard touchdown pass to put Philadelphia up 21-17 just over three minutes into the quarter.
Cooper racked up a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown, saying it meant a lot to do it with many family and friends from the area in the stands. He planned to give the ball from his touchdown to his mom.
"It's cool to come back and actually play a good game," Cooper said.
The Buccaneers inched closer, thanks to a 90-yard drive that started at their 1-yard line and spanned 7:57 between the third and fourth quarters. But Tampa Bay had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Lindell that cut the Eagles' lead to 21-20.
On the next series, Foles led the Eagles 80 yards in three plays, including Jackson's second touchdown of the game.
"I feel really comfortable here," Foles said. "I feel comfortable with our personnel, our plays, everything. We're all on the same page. Everyone stuck together in another team win. I was really proud of everyone."
NOTES: Williams (hamstring) and G Carl Nicks (MRSA) did not play for the Buccaneers. ... Tampa Bay CB Johnthan Banks, diagnosed with MRSA last week, did play. ... Vick was active but only as an emergency third quarterback. ... Eagles RB Chris Polk suffered a right shoulder injury in the first half and didn't return.

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