OAKLAND, Calif. — Nick Foles didn’t know he had etched his name in NFL history until after he came out of the game. That must have been because he was too busy shredding the Oakland Raiders’ defense to keep up with his impressive statistics.
Foles tied an NFL mark with seven touchdown passes and threw for 406 yards to revitalize Philadelphia’s struggling offense in the Eagles’ 49-20 victory over the Raiders on Sunday.
“A couple people came up to me and said that I tied the record with seven touchdowns,” Foles said. “It’s a great honor. Hats off to our guys for doing a great job.”
The backup quarterback connected three times with Riley Cooper to become the seventh passer in NFL history with seven TD tosses in a game. Peyton Manning did it for Denver on opening night this season against Baltimore.
Foles also threw scoring passes to Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson as the Eagles (4-5) looked nothing like the offense that failed to score a touchdown in each of the past two weeks.
“Every defense the past couple of weeks has been stopping us,” McCoy said. “So today we were kind of feeling bottled up and we released everything. It’s tough when you’re not winning and you’re not putting points up.”
The Raiders (3-5) had appeared much improved on defense in recent weeks but were completely flummoxed by coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense that stalled recently after a fast debut in the NFL.
Foles completed 22 of 28 passes as he frequently exploited mismatches and blown coverages, starting with a 42-yard quick pass to Cooper on the opening drive when the Raiders had two defenders trying to match up with three receivers.
McCoy took a short pass and ran 25 yards untouched for his score in the third quarter and Jackson raced past Mike Jenkins on his 46-yard touchdown later in the third.
Foles then tied the record with a 5-yard pass to Cooper with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter, matching the mark also held by Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp. Burk did it for the Eagles in 1954 against Washington.
With more than a quarter to go to break the record, Foles was unable to get the Eagles back into the end zone on the next two drives before being replaced by Matt Barkley.
“I know what the record is,” Kelly said. “But this isn’t about records, it’s about going out and getting a win. If I put Nick out there to try to get a record and he gets hurt, that’s being silly. Records are meant to broken when they’re supposed to be broken.”
That was about all Foles couldn’t do in his first game since being held to 80 yards on 29 passes before leaving with a concussion two weeks ago against Dallas.
Foles only got another shot this week because regular starter Michael Vick reinjured his hamstring in a loss to the New York Giants last week. But now, it will be tough to take out Foles, who has 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season.
“Everybody started acting like his career was over after that Dallas game but they forgot that he had played some good football before that,” center Jason Kelce said. “A lot of that criticism will probably be halted for at least one week.”
So too will the critiques of how Kelly’s offense will translate to the NFL. Viewed as revolutionary when the Eagles gained 322 yards in the first half of the season opener against Washington, the offense had been held to 478 yards and one field goal the past two weeks before breaking through against the Raiders.
Foles repeatedly targeted rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden as he led the Eagles to touchdowns on their first four drives for the first time in three years. Hayden was beaten on successive plays by Cooper for a 17-yard completion and 63-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
“When a quarterback has seven touchdowns, we have to sit there and take that personal,” cornerback Tracy Porter said. “We can’t give a guy seven touchdowns in a game, let alone put up 49 points on us. It was flat-out embarrassing that we allowed that to happen.”
The Raiders couldn’t keep up with Philadelphia’s torrid scoring pace despite gaining 560 yards — their third-most ever and most since 1968. They had one first-quarter drive stall in the red zone for a field goal and then couldn’t play catch-up in the second half when the Eagles turned a 28-13 halftime lead into a blowout.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw for 288 yards and ran for 94 more, but also had two interceptions and took two sacks in a shaky performance. He left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury that he does not believe is serious.
“It’s embarrassing,” Pryor said. “I hate losing. It’s not acceptable to me and I don’t like it. All the guys in here agree with me. We have to do something about it instead of tanking it.”
NOTES: The 49 points for the Eagles were their most since beating Washington 59-28 in 2010. … Oakland RB Darren McFadden left in the first half after re-aggravating a hamstring injury that kept him out of one game already this season.