PHI 27, NE 17 – Nick Foles Goes All Nick Foles on the Pats

Posted: August 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 55 Comments »

Eric Clapton  Nick Foles is god.

Okay, just enjoying Foles-sanity a bit.  Nick isn’t Foles gold.  He is Foles real.  (thanks to my Twitter folks for that material)

Nick had a terrific game.  He deserves the headline and the attention.  He came into the game after Mike Vick’s rib injury and had no real time to get ready.  Maybe that helped.  Nick just went in there and played.  And he played well.  He was poised.  He sat in the pocket and read his progressions.  He moved when he needed to, but stayed put most of the time.  Foles was accurate.  He made good reads.  He threw with confidence, whether  the receiver was wide open or tightly covered.  There was no doubt, no hesitation.

Nick deserves to be the backup QB right now.  He’ll play a lot on Friday night.  If he passes that test, then Nick should absolutely be the backup.  The one thing to keep in mind in regard to tonight is that the Pats had an awful defense last year.  Facing their backups isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a juggernaut test.  That’s why I think Friday night remains important.  A good showing vs CLE makes it 3 games in a row and that tells you the kid is just flat out playing well.

Let’s set Foles-sanity aside for a minute and talk about the rest of the game.

Should you be worried?  Yes and no.  The offense really clicked after a slow start.  Vick has yet to do anything impressive.  He’s got a great track record so I’m not overly concerned, but it does bug me that he’s looked so out of it.  Very frustrating.  He’s got 3 completions and I think he’s got that many sacks/hits.

The starting defense was very sloppy.  The biggest problem was 3rd down penalties.  Cox cost us an INT with a late hit.  Nnamdi kept a drive alive with a holding call, although that was an odd tie-up.  Tapp had a pair of penalties, both dumb.  This is simply unacceptable.  You cannot have a veteran unit making these kinds of mistakes.  I don’t know what the answer is, but Juan and Andy need to figure something out.

I’ll talk a lot more about the screen game and our blitzing after studying the game.  Gotta see what was going on and what the problems were.  3rd/long situations had me pulling my hair out.

The sloppy play led to a crazy sideline incident.  Andy and Cullen Jenkins really got into it.  I’ve seen Big Red mad before, but never that aggressive.  And I’ve never seen a player talk back to him.  Before anything is made of this…they talked on the sideline a few minutes later and smoothed things out.  CuJo said after the game that he was in the wrong and Andy had the right to be yelling at him based on what had gone on.   I’ll have more to say on this as I go back over the tape.

* * * * *


Nick Foles – see above.

DeSean Jackson – caught several passes.  Caught a Red Zone pass.  Played hard.  Made tackle after an INT.  This is the DJax I’ve wanted to see for a while.

Clay Harbor – active game.  Used as TE and H-back.  6 catches, 30 yds, 2 TDs.  Showed good RAC skills on play where penalty wiped it out. Made terrific TD catch.  Great body control on that.  Very good hands as well.

Bryce Brown – very, very impressive.  You can just see his natural gifts.  Outstanding combination of size, speed, and running skills.  9-51, with a long run of 27 yds.

Stanley Havili – good game.  Had a long run.  Blocked pretty well.  Showed up on STs.  Looked like legit FB material.

Mychal Kendricks – great game.  Had 6 total tackles, including a TFL.  Looked fast and active.  Was all over the field.  Had chance for another TFL, but RB dropped the ball.  Did get beaten for short TD.

DRC – broke up one pass and picked off another, although it was wiped out by penalty.

Phillip Hunt – good again.  Had a strip sack.  Blew up a run play with penetration.  Totaled 4 tackles.  Disruptive.

Ced Thornton – good again.  Sack.  TFL.  4 total stops.

Brandon Boykin – good showing.  Played in the slot with the 1’s at some points.  Gunner on punt cover.  Forced a fumble on one punt with good hustle, speed.  Had a tackle.  Had long KOR of 30 yards.

* * * * *


There were no players who really stunk up the joint all night long.  Plenty of guys were up and down.  I covered some up above, but I will list a few other guys and some mistakes they made.

* Nick Foles threw a bad INT late in the 1st half. Poor read, poor throw.

* Damaris Johnson dropped an easy pass on 3rd down.

* Demetress Bell was good initially, but got sloppy as the game went along.

* Keenan Clayton had a block in the back penalty.

* Tom Nelson suffered a high ankle sprain, basically killing his chances of pushing for a roster spot.

* Mike Gibson…seemed to be at fault for not being on the field for FG attempt. Not sure if truly was on him or he ran out late because other player screwed up.

My opinions may change after I review the game.  The point is that I didn’t see any individual players that were so bad that I think they significantly hurt their chances of making the team or lost a starting job.  Last week we saw games like that from Jaiquawn Jarrett, Keenan Clayton, and Demetress Bell.


55 Comments on “PHI 27, NE 17 – Nick Foles Goes All Nick Foles on the Pats”

  1. 1 Jack Bauer said at 2:34 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    My computer locked up on a way too long diatribe…synopsis Reid vs. Cujo = Dare to be great moment for a veteran who has the potential….better for everyone involved including the readers who didn’t have to sit through my 1000+word rant…oh yea and thanks to Tommy for posting when I still have waaaay to much Old Crow to call it a night

  2. 2 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 2:42 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    My take on couple of plays. Vick`s injury: Herrermans and celek have Cunningham well under control. But because Vick spins and ends up really far behind the los, it opens a lane for Cunningham.
    Silvestre TD: Eagles are playing 2 deep man under. Kendricks should try to take away the outside routes because he has Coleman waiting inside. Outside is empty because DRC is running with the reciever. Kendricks actually pushes Silvestre to outside helping him gain seperation.

  3. 3 Jack Bauer said at 3:07 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Mikko What are you 6, 7+ hrs EDT? Bravo sir for waking up for that

  4. 4 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 3:28 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Haha, 7+EDT, the game started 3 am for me. Slept for 3 hours for that glorious performance and then straight to work. But wouldnt miss games for anything.

  5. 5 Jack Bauer said at 3:34 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Yikes..I hope everyone is paying attention to the true fan, willing to wake up at 3AM EDT for a scrubs preseason game. Keep up the good work Mikko. can’t verify your assessment yet, but I cant believe the D was in 2 deep at the 3-5 yd line… DVR doesn’t go back that far….I sure hope not

  6. 6 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 3:44 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Yeah two deep might be wrong term, what I mean is both safeties have one side of the field they are looking on that play. I did breakdown of the game for our blog, the second photo is from that play

  7. 7 Jack Bauer said at 4:07 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Olen pahoillani…I’m sure tommy will have a much better explanation, l am tommy will have abetter explanation sometime today….Keep it up sir.

  8. 8 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 4:34 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Haha no worries. Have fun with what ever is left of your Old Crow!

  9. 9 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 3:31 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Haha, 7+EDT so the game started 3am for me. Slept 3 hours to see that glorious performance. And after that straight to work. But I love the Eagles so no complaining

  10. 10 Matthew Donaldson said at 8:52 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Didn’t Vick have to spin away because of the missed assignment by Mathis?

  11. 11 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 9:04 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Yes. I`m just saying that in my opinion Herrermans did what he was suppose to do. It all starts with Mathis failing miserably.

  12. 12 Mikko Koikkalainen said at 3:00 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    It will be interesting to see will Cunningham be fined for that hit. here on page nine it says that Contact with the Top/Crown or Forehead/”Hairline” Parts of the Helmet Against Any Part of any Defenseless Player’s Body is illegal. And for me it looks like he lead with his helmet.

  13. 13 Matthew Donaldson said at 8:50 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I was thinking the same thing there. I seem to recall seeing that kind of hit on a QB drawing a penalty as well from time to time. I really did look like he led with the crown of his helmet, but that could be just because of the angle that the replay had.

  14. 14 ICDogg said at 3:07 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    Don’t know about that but it looks to me like the heel of Cunningham’s left hand looked like it did more damage than the helmet.

  15. 15 Dan Jones said at 5:17 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    From Shiel & Tim’s blog:
    “He’s kind of given me a crash course on some things that I went through the whole season last year not even knowing, and they’re just the basic things,” Asomugha said. “So it’s good to have him in here, a guy that’s familiar with putting guys inside, especially a taller guy inside.”

    Damning for Juan in my opinion. He put Asomugha in unfamiliar positions and didn’t ensure he was taught how to play there.

    I wonder how many other things like this will crop up. I think that an early season change to Bowles at DC is looking very possible.

  16. 16 Davesbeard said at 6:16 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Probably more damning for Johnny Lynn

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 9:03 AM on August 21st, 2012:


  18. 18 rage114 said at 6:44 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Frustrating game. For all the talk from Vick about understanding that he must stay healthy, he certainly isn’t applying that philosophy in the games. In addition to taking a crushing hit, he also didn’t slide earlier in the game almost taking a shot to the head.

  19. 19 Matthew Donaldson said at 8:48 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I can see getting on him for not sliding on that play earlier, but with shot he took to the chest 2 defensive linemen basically got a free release at him. I cannot see how he was really supposed to react all that much faster to be able to get away from that pressure.

  20. 20 rage114 said at 9:40 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    He seems to take an inordinant number of shots to the chest area on plays where he retreats too far and then tries to force a play instead of just taking the sack. I think in the preseason (and probably most times in the regular season), you do what you have to do to protect yourself so you can live to fight another day/round/drive.

  21. 21 ian_no_2 said at 8:22 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    In addition to Foles playing well again, I most liked that Philip Hunt looks like an impact player this year. After taking Curry and Graham having a good camp, the team is loaded at DE. I thought the CB depth was also good – Curtis Marsh especially and Hughes had good coverage on a play. Bryce Brown could also be a major pickup, like people say in bars “you know he was taken in the 7th round?”
    OL- We’re all looking forward to your breakdown, but on the good side, the guy whose performance in this game was most important was King Dunlap and we was good.

  22. 22 ICDogg said at 2:48 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    looks to me like Tapp and Dixon are the odd men out, as of now anyway.

  23. 23 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:24 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Tommy, In my opinion some of the late hits on the QB were just bad…bad…and even more bad. When I saw the replays for Cox….i thought that was rookie trying to get a taste of the QB. With Tapp I think it is a vet pressing to make the team. The third downs conversions whether by penalty or breakdowns in coverage or sniffing out screens is a bit frustrating. However the playcalling is a bit “seat of the pants” and there is little to any gameplanning going on.

  24. 24 Steven Marquez said at 9:28 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Foles may not have done it against all the Pats starters, but he certainly did it against NFL caliber talent. Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower, Ras-I Dowling, Pat Chung, and Brandon Spikes are all listed as starters, and Sterling Moore balled out in the postseason so he was doing it against starting caliber players. In addition other guys that he played against that were high draft picks by New England were Ron Brace (2nd rounder) Jermaine Cunningham (2nd rounder), Jake Bequette (3rd rounder), in addition to Will Allen and Bobby Carpenter who were 1st rounders for other organizations, so he did it against NFL caliber talent and athletes.

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 10:25 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Good point. Wasn’t like he lit up a bunch of talentless hacks that will all be cut in 2 weeks. Pats had some good players out there.

  26. 26 P_P_K said at 2:52 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    On the other hand, our D did play against their hacks.

  27. 27 Kevin_aka_RC said at 9:31 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Re: 3rd and Long.
    Watching Juan Castillo vs. Josh McDaniels is just unfair. I don’t think we should blitz once then backed out. If we showed blitz, we blitzed. Easy recognition for either Mallett or Hoyer.

    Right now, the only players able to blitz are Kendricks, Boykin and Allen. The other players don’t have the requisite “quick-twitch” ability.

  28. 28 iskar36 said at 9:32 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I thought Boykin had a quality game, but the forced fumble was more muffed catch than anything else. The returner clearly lost the football before Boykin touched him. So to me, Boykin did a good job getting to the returner quickly, but the fumble was a flat out gift, not a big play by Boykin.

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 10:27 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    If he’s not there to blow up the play, the PR may have got it back. Damaris bobbled a punt for us, but had the space to get control of it. Pats guy didn’t have that due to Boykin’s hustle.

  30. 30 iskar36 said at 11:36 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Hence the “Boykin did a good job getting to the returner quickly” comment. He certainly was a significant part of the play, but the play was a muffed punt, not a forced fumble.

  31. 31 Neil said at 9:43 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Tommy, something to check on Foles’ int: is it possible it wasn’t so much a bad read as a bad throw? Live, it looked like Foles had plenty of room to fit it over the safety into the corner of the end zone; though it doesn’t look like Foles missed his throw so much as made the wrong kind of throw. Something to consider because I don’t have DVR. Also, on the near pick, how much blame should be placed on Desean for not moving toward Foles, and is it possible Foles made that throw specifically expecting Desean to move toward it?

  32. 32 rage114 said at 10:00 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I thought the same thing. I think it was Maclin and he was open. It looked like it was underthrown. Tommy, wasn’t that your biggest gripe about Foles coming out of college? Many of his balls were underthrown requiring athletic catches from his WR’s?

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 10:28 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    It was Mac. Underthrown deep balls are an issue. Both TDs last week were slightly underthrown.

    I need to study the play, but it looked like a classic young QB mistake. There was a deep S in that area. The WR may look open, but he’s really not because of the S. If you are John Elway and can zing the ball in at 100 mph, go for it. Most other QBs are falling into a trap.

  34. 34 ICDogg said at 2:44 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    I agree, that was a cover 2, safety stayed square in his drop

  35. 35 iskar36 said at 11:39 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    There were two defenders back there and I couldn’t tell where the outside defender was. From the tv replay, it did look like had Foles thrown the ball to the back corner of the end zone rather than the front of the end zone, he may have had Maclin wide open, but again, the outside defender may have had good positioning for that throw as well.

  36. 36 iskar36 said at 5:32 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    I just rewatched a replay of the throw to Maclin and I have to agree with you. Maclin definitely had space if Foles threw a better ball. The corner that was covering Maclin was either beaten or was playing a zone underneath and when Foles threw the ball, the safety was even with Maclin a few yards inside. With a ball thrown closer to the back corner, there is no way the safety gets there and the corner was already at least 5 yards behind Maclin. It certainly would not have been the easiest throw, but Maclin was definitely open on the outside corner and it is a throw I think Foles is capable of making. At the end of the day though, for a rookie, that seems like an acceptable mistake to make, especially when he had a spectacular game otherwise.

  37. 37 TommyLawlor said at 10:29 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    In case anyone didn’t get the “Eric Clapton is god” reference.

  38. 38 aub32 said at 10:40 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I think Vick gets too much criticism sometimes. Mathis clearly whiffed on the block and Vick had no time. Any QB in the league would’ve been hit and most likely sacked. Vick happens to have the ability to get away from the initial guy. It’s crazy to ask him not to use it. It’s not his fault a second guy broke through as well from his blind side.

  39. 39 iskar36 said at 11:45 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I think most of the blame for that play goes to Mathis and completely missing his man, but Vick did open himself up for a big hit by bombing it deep on that play. When he spun away from the first defender, he had an opportunity to see the other defender coming at him. Instead of protecting himself a bit on a meaningless preseason play he opened up and allowed himself to take the big hit. That having been said, I agree with you that he wasn’t put in a good situation and unlike his head first dive, this wasn’t a case of Vick putting himself in a terrible situation for the most part. Still, I would definitely like to see Vick being capable of taking a hit and not getting injured every time someone is near him.

  40. 40 Toby_yboT said at 3:32 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    He did not get away from the initial guy…. he ran backwards. That’s something a qb should never do, period. On the other hand, if he would have stepped up into the pocket and to his right, or flushed laterally out of the pocket that would genuinely be keeping the play alive. Better yet, throw the ball away or take the sack. There’s no excuse for running backwards. After turning his back on the defense Vick makes the situation worse by tossing up a duck as he’s falling backwards.

    In that play, Vick looked like the Vick of old. Those are just terrible decisions by a veteran quarterback.

  41. 41 Yuri said at 11:23 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    I only watched the 2nd half, and did not see the “initially good” Demetress Bell (did he play in the 1st?). Slow and penalty prone was my impression.

  42. 42 TommyLawlor said at 11:56 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Bell was good on the first series of the 2nd half.

  43. 43 Andy said at 11:36 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Any thoughts on Maclin thus far? I’m surprised by his lack of involvement in the games up to this point. As far as I’m aware, he should be healthy and good to go, so perhaps it’s simply anomaly in two games where Vick has seen little opportunity to hit #18.

  44. 44 TommyLawlor said at 11:56 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    Mac didn’t play in the opener. Caught at least one pass last night.

  45. 45 Andy said at 4:29 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    That’s right. Forgot all about him being held out of the Steelers game. Pretend this question never happened.

  46. 46 Taylor Kelly starting in Tempe » Pac-12 Post said at 11:45 AM on August 21st, 2012:

    […] Mychal Kendricks also put a good foot forward with his six tackles and one for loss against New England, good enough to be considered a “big winner” in this Eagles blog. […]

  47. 47 JamezD said at 12:05 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    Was looking for a good Iggz blog for the season today to vent my excitement and your EC ref and strong comments filled the bill nicely.. Tommy, we actually have some history with #2’s stepping up with big performances when the #1 goes down.. detmer, feeley, seems there may have been one other.. Foles had both Jon Gruden and Jaws gushing about his performance.. and as Mikey might have said in the old days, “it’s nice to have more than one dog in the fight”… And the beta on this style of defense seems pretty high, alternating between smothering and bungling, but overall ilooking like giving other teams fits… Feeling pretty optimistic entering the season, since the niggling concern about MV’s health and durability now appears to be staunched a bit by the promise of Big Nick.. But excitement about our beloved Iggz is always tempered by the realization that Philadelphia is “The City of Brothers Who Love To Lose In The Playoffs”… Rooting for the Iggz is a lot like romance, great hope and great fear intertwined around our collective sports aspirations..

  48. 48 damccomas said at 12:56 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    NickFolean Dynamite

  49. 49 izzylangfan said at 1:32 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    I have noticed at training camp and in last night’s game that the Eagles seem to be using more of the short pass. Specifically in training camp I noticed a lot more slants and quick outs than I have seen before. And last night Gruden pointed out a couple of times where the Eagles used classic WCO short pass plays. Andy Reid as for years largely avoided the traditional WCO approach of using the short pass to set up the long pass. Do you think this is a real change or just something we are seeing before the season starts?

    On the blitz we know that Castillo wants to blitz more than he did last year. This makes sense because we were a bit too predictable last year. But it seemed he blitzed too much last night and that Belichick picked Castillo’s pocket a few too many times with draw plays against the blitz. So are the Eagles tipping off the blitz? If we are getting good pressure with a four man rush, then why not rush just one more on the blitz instead of setting yourself up to get beat badly. I think this year we have some guys who might be good at the blitz so it makes sense to use it. But in my view the best way is to be unpredictable. It did not seem like that was the case last night.

  50. 50 ACViking said at 1:39 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    RE: Brandon Graham / Nick Foles

    Maybe it’s the scheme . . . but it seems to me that Philip Hunt is a much better player than Brandon Graham.

    Yes, it’s preseason. But Hunt shows explosive speed off the edge. And last night, he bull-rushed and held his own. He’s always hustling. And I didn’t see him get pushed around in the running game. (I’ll T-LAW deliver the verdict in his DGR.)

    Graham, in contrast, just seems noticeably less quick than Hunt.

    Two years ago, the Eagles ran a different scheme when they drafted Graham. I know it’s been reported that Washburn liked Graham coming out of Michigan.

    But Graham just doesn’t seem to come off the edge like Hunt. Not at all.

    It seemed like the Eagles pass-pro improved as soon as Foles entered the game. Maybe it’s his height. But when dropped back, he generally seemed to have more pocket space than Vick.

    Vick’s performance — limited as it is — has been very disappointing.

    Here’s an easy prediction: If Vick doesn’t make it through at least 14 games this year and play like he did through most of 2010, he’s gone after this season.

    And Foles is the guy . . . as long as AR is here.


    QUESTION: Does Foles have a powerful arm? He seems to through a very catchable ball. But all his passes seem to float just a bit.

    On the other hand, he’s making throws the sideline and down field that Mike Kafka’s struggled with a bit.

  51. 51 ICDogg said at 2:31 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    Foles is not a production by Andy Reid, hasn’t been around long enough to be a production by Andy Reid. He’s got skills, and a strong arm, and some areas of his game that he really needs to work on as well.

  52. 52 Jeffrey Stover said at 2:16 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    Kendricks did get beaten on the TD throw, but that was a excellent throw. Not much he could have done to prevent that. Sometimes you have good coverage, but a better throw. I think that was the case. I didnt like how it seemed that every carry that NE had, the RB was carrying defenders and pushing the pile forward.

  53. 53 ICDogg said at 2:33 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    I think that these types of experiences are only good for the Eagles to have in preseason.

  54. 54 Steven Dileo said at 3:37 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    4 things were apparent after this game:

    1. Brandon Graham is an average player
    2. The Eagles are undisciplined
    3. Michael Vick lacks the fundamentals to play the West Coast Offense
    4. This is not a Super Bowl team

  55. 55 iskar36 said at 3:57 PM on August 21st, 2012:

    I was upset with how we played for the most part (at least how the starters played), but these conclusions seem a bit extreme.

    1. Brandon Graham seems to be getting pressure regularly. The one thing he still needs to do is finish though. I certainly do not think he has played poorly and I have been mostly happy with what I have seen out of him (although for a 1st round pick, I still want to see more).

    2. This one I agree with.

    3. It’s hard to judge Vick after 12 plays in the preseason. He has had success in this offense, and I think he can continue to have success as long as he stays on the field.

    4. The starters have not left fans confident, but I do think we have the talent to be a Super Bowl team as long as we can correct some of the mental errors we are making way to often.