Greatest on the road ...
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
It took 44 years before a quarterback matched the seven-touchdown performance put forth by Joe Kapp for the Minnesota Vikings in a game against the Baltimore Colts in 1969. It's been done twice now during the 2013 season (Peyton Manning pulled off the feat in the season's first game against the Baltimore Ravens). Foles was an unlikely candidate to join the six others who have thrown for seven touchdowns in a single game. His previous career high in a game was three touchdowns, done so in a 31-20 win over the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6.
By throwing for seven touchdowns in a 49-20 win over the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum, Foles had more touchdown passes in 40 minutes of play Sunday than the Vikings (6) and Jacksonville Jaguars (4) have all season. The victory was vital for an Eagles team that had been floundering entering Week 9, but at 4-5 sit a game behind the division-leading Dallas Cowboys (5-4) and are still in the thick of the NFC playoff chase.
Foles' statistical windfall puts him in an elite class. He joins former Eagles quarterback Adrian Burk on the list of passers with seven touchdown tosses in a single game (Burk did it in 1954 against the Washington Redskins). Burk was the second in NFL history to pull if off, matching Chicago Bears legend Sid Luckman (who had seven TD passes against the New York Football Giants in 1943). Y.A. Tittle had seven TD throws in 1962 against the Redskins and George Blanda had seven touchdown passes for the Houston Oilers against the New York Titans in 1961. Luckman, Tittle and Blanda are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Manning figures to be enshrined someday. Foles, meanwhile, made a pretty strong case to remain the Eagles' starting quarterback moving forward.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton helped spark a second-half rally to victory for the Colts, who rallied to defeat the Houston Texans, 27-24, at Reliant Stadium. Down 24-6 in the third quarter, the Colts scored three unanswered touchdowns, each coming on Andrew Luck scoring strikes to Hilton.
The three-touchdown outburst was the first of Hilton's career, and it helped Luck earn the 10th game-winning drive of his career (that's 10 game-winning drives in 17 career NFL wins). The Colts, meanwhile, moved to 6-2 on the season and hold a healthy two-game lead over the Tennessee Titans (4-4) in the AFC South.
Sean Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
With the Buffalo Bills up 10-3 in the third quarter and looking to build on that lead, Smith pulled off the game-altering 100-yard interception return for a touchdown that propelled the Chiefs to a 23-13 win at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Smith's pick six shifted the momentum considerably, tying the game at 10-10 after Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel had marched his team 79 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter and into position for a score. Smith's play set in motion a second-half surge for a victory that improved the Chiefs to 9-0 on the season, matching the best start in franchise history set in 2003.
Previous Greatness on the Road winners:
» Week 1: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
» Week 2: Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
» Week 3: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
» Week 4: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
» Week 5: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
» Week 6: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
» Week 7: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
» Week 8: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.