How did Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles accomplish his historic seven-touchdown effort last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders? What can the New York Giants, who host the Raiders Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET) learn from it, and can Eli Manning have similar success?
"Each week is different. You can’t just say what happened to a team the week prior, and automatically assume it’s going to happen again. Usually it doesn’t," Manning said earlier this week. "Obviously they hit some big plays. Everything just seemed to go their way, that’s just the way football goes sometimes."
Foles completed 22-of-28 passes, hitting passes of 63 yards to Riley Cooper and 59 yards to DeSean Jackson. Tight ends Zach Ertz (5) and Brent Celek (3) combined for eight catches.
Does that mean the Giants will feature their own tight end, Brandon Myers, or look for deep strikes to Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz? Not necessarily.
"You have to run your offense. You can't just look at a play that they ran and say, oh we have to run this play, because you might get a different defense. You might get a different response. You have to run the plays that you're comfortable with, that you know how to execute," Manning said. "You're hoping for that game where everything clicks and goes your way, but you have to make those happen. If it happens, great; if not, you still have to have enough plays to go out there and win the games."
The Raiders are 25th in the league vs. the pass, surrendering 262.6 yards per game. Their passer rating against of 105 is 31st.
The folks at SB Nation's Raiders' web site, Silver and Black Pride, were stunned by what the Eagles did to the Oakland secondary:
"It makes you question everything that you thought you knew about this team. The heart and soul of the team was based off of the defense and that same defense just put on a clinic of ineptitude."
Much of the venom in Oakland seems to be directed toward strugg'ing rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden, the team's first-round pick. Hayden did give up three receptions for 139 yards, including the long pass to Jackson. For the season he is -7.7 in pass coverage per Pro Football Focus and quarterbacks have a 110 passer rating when targeting him.In reviewing the game, Hayden was burned badly by Cooper twice -- allowing the receiver to run right past him.
The Eagles also took advantage of Oakland safety Brandian Ross, targeting him 11 times and completing 10 passes. That seems like a good idea as teams have a 146 passer rating targeting Ross. The safety completely lost Ertz on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
There were also at least two completely busted coverages, one on a swing pass to LeSean McCoy where the Raiders left the running back completely uncovered. That resulted in a 25-yard touchdown.
Is that the real Raiders' defense? Before Philly's 49-point outburst Oakland had not given up more than 24 points since a 37-21 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 3? Can the Giants take advantage of some of what they see on the Eagles-Raiders tape?
We get the answers to those questions Sunday afternoon.