Originally posted on Eagledelphia  |  Last updated 11/11/13
Nick Foles has connected with Riley Cooper for eight catches for 241 yards and five touchdowns n the last two games. Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com 17, 63, 5, 45, 32. That is the yardage on Nick Foles’ five touchdown passes to Riley Cooper in the last two games. Cooper has seven touchdown receptions on the season. Six of them were thrown by Foles, including all five in the last two games. Cooper’s total yardage in those two games: 241 – 43 percent of his total receiving yards this season. Foles and Cooper have teamed up nicely and it shows, not just on the scoreboard but with a closer look at the field. With Cooper, Foles seems to do the best to locate the ball, to lead his receiver to open space on the field. Cooper certainly had plenty of open space a couple of times on Sunday. There has been a noticeable difference between Cooper’s play under Foles and Michael Vick. With Vick, Cooper was seemingly invisible. He was a non-factor. With Foles, Cooper has turned in two of his best games. He has been one of the leading receivers. It is a testament to both quarterback and receiver. Perhaps this is because under Vick, the popular target was as expected - DeSean Jackson. But before Jeremy Maclin was injured with an ACL injury, forcing him out for the season in July, Vick had not targeted Cooper. In fact, they barely practiced together. Cooper was always the primary receiver on second-team reps. Foles, being the second-team quarterback, had to develop a chemistry then. Now, the two are turning into quite the team on the field. "He’s showing you what he’s always been," Foles said of Cooper. "I believe in Riley and it just so happens that when I’m reading out plays he’s getting open and making plays. He’s a big, physical receiver and I love the fact that he does a great job blocking and he’s a team player." "He has great poise," Cooper said of Foles. "He is going to sit in the pocket and kind of dissect the defense. He trusts in his guys if it is man to man coverage or something. He is going to throw it up to you." If there’s one thing that Foles has done well, it’s spread the ball around to his receivers and get everyone involved. Cooper is the beneficiary of that. The catches are limited – he has just eight in the last two games. But five are for touchdowns. And in some cases, like his two touchdowns yesterday or his 63-yard touchdown against the Raiders, he is on the tail end of some big plays for the Eagles. Cooper has been playing well in part to working against some shaky defenses. The Raiders pass defense, among the NFL’s top half, failed to provide strong coverage. The Packers, strong on rush defense, struggled to stop Foles again. The one thing that seems clear moving forward is that Foles has an affinity for Cooper. There is chemistry, ability for one to find the other on the field. Cooper just happens to be turning those strikes into scores. In the same sense, look at Cooper’s second touchdown for 32 yards yesterday. Cooper was wide open after creating space and was able to easily run in for a touchdown after making the catch around the 10-yard line. Just as Foles is completing passes, with ease at times, Cooper is making his targets and catches count. He gets good yardage on his catches – especially when you consider he’s averaged 30 yards per catch in the last two games. Foles seems to have put the game against the Dallas Cowboys behind him with two strong games in succession, especially one that was there for the taking against the Packers yesterday with Aaron Rodgers out. Now comes the next test, a divisional matchup at home against the Washington Redskins. Foles will need to keep things rolling. But what may be worth watching is his targets to Cooper, because lately, the two have been creating a lot of offense for the Eagles. Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Look for his Monday Review the morning after every Eagles game. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.
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