By Michael McCarthy
When Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins were drafted in 2012 — 88th and 102nd, respectively — no one could imagine what happened yesterday at the Linc.
Cousins completed 62.5 percent of his 48 attempts, threw for 427 yards and had three touchdowns. The yardage total is, obviously, Cousins’ career high.
Part of his success was attributable to a leaky Eagles defense. But Cousins was sharp, particularly on his first two drives, going 12 of 13 for 124 yards and a pair of scores. He was moving through his progressions, making some tough throws and looking comfortable in the pocket. He fits, as a lot of people suspected, Jay Gruden’s offense better right now than Robert Griffin III does.
The big “oh he’s here to stay” moment came when Cousins maxed out DeSean Jackson‘s speedometer in the third quarter, hitting the ex-Eagles receiver in stride for an 81-yard touchdown to tie up the game. Jackson gets bonus points for a mocking touchdown celebration that didn’t even draw a flag.
Meanwhile, Foles had his most complete game of the year. He has been horrid in the first half of the first two games and spent most of the Colts game on Monday night overthrowing receivers. It was the opposite Sunday, even if the Eagles needed another double-digit comeback to win, making them the first team in NFL history to start 3-0 after trailing by 10 or more points in each game.
Foles looked pretty locked in, made difficult throws into tight windows, operated the offense smoothly and was a much more efficient quarterback than the guy we saw the first two games.
The biggest thing Foles showed Sunday? How tough he is. He routinely got up over and over again when the Redskins hit him, to the point where it felt like Mark Sanchez spent his entire afternoon warming up on the sideline. The most impressive moment was when Foles got destroyed by 333-pound defensive lineman Chris Baker after throwing what appeared to be an interception, but was later overturned.
Dirty play or Baker preventing “someone from making a tackle” as he said afterward? The whole “the play was basically over when you tried to put Foles in a coma” thing takes away from any excuse he has.
Left tackle Jason Peters didn’t take kindly to Baker’s move, went after him and then the two teams had a bench-clearing brawl.