I felt good about Nick Foles on Sunday, but I wasn’t blown away by his performance. There were a few plays where he held the ball too long. Sometimes he was too casual in regard to the pass rush. He also missed the throw to Riley Cooper that should have been a pretty easy TD.
Re-watching the game earlier this week made me feel better.
* Nick moved around well in the pocket. He moved upon the play where he hit Jason Avant over the middle. That was a good throw on the move. Nick made another good throw on the move when he hit LeSean on the sideline.
* Nick threw the ball down the field. He hit Celek for a 25-yard TD. He tried to hit DeSean on a go route down the right side, but there was PI on the CB. Nick missed Cooper down the left side. He hit DeSean on a corner route for a gain of 21. These aren’t explosive plays, but they’re more high percentage. Throwing the ball 15 to 25 yards down the field is a good way to stretch the defense in a reasonable way.
* Nick got 2 TD passes when his receivers were covered. In today’s NFL, one of the most important traits for a QB is being able to “throw a guy open”. A receiver can be covered, but if the QB throws the ball in the right spot, his receiver can make a play on the ball. This takes accuracy. This takes vision. This takes anticipation. And this takes guts. Foles showed all of those traits on Sunday.
* Nick played good situational football. On the 2-minute drive, he threw short, quick passes and moved the chains. There was a 3rd/10 play in the 2nd half. Nick held the ball as long as he possibly could. He knew that someone could come open at the last minute. It was worth it to hold that ball. There was a 3rd/17 play where Nick just hit DeSean with a short crossing route. That play didn’t come close to a 1st down. The Eagles led 19-14 and were pinned inside the 20. Nick knew that getting some yards would help the field position situation. Rather than throwing the ball for a 1st down and taking a chance, he concentrated on getting some yards to help STs and the defense.
Listen, I still have the concerns that some of you have. I see Nick’s physical limitations. His arm isn’t anything special. He’s not a running threat. He doesn’t wow you in any way, shape or form. But I’m seeing progress.
I really do hope Nick plays on Sunday. I want to see what he can do. I’m not trying to hand him Vick’s job, but we do need to see Nick in action so that Kelly, Roseman and Gamble can figure out how he fits into the team’s long term plans. Kelly says he thinks Nick is an NFL starter. My question is whether he can be a good starter and help lead a team to the postseason.
Tampa is 13th in yards allowed and 8th in scoring defense. They play hard and do a good job on defense. The Giants defense gave Nick lots of time to sit in the pocket. He found open receivers on a regular basis. The Bucs offer a good challenge. If they show Nick’s limitations, that’s fine. We need to know what he can/can’t do. If he lights them up, that’s even better. The only bad outcome is for the Eagles to get to January and not have a decent idea of where Nick projects in the future. We don’t need answers, but it would help to have some evidence of what he can/can’t do with no longer being a rookie, but still having to deal a new scheme and offensive staff.
I hope the answers are good, but I’m fully prepared for bad news. Not knowing is the hardest part.
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Mike Vick said today that he’s still dealing with the hamstring injury. It might be Sunday before Vick knows if he can or can’t play. Vick is preparing. It feels like he hopes to play, but knows that he shouldn’t. Just my take.
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The Giants are 0-6.
I said…the Giants are 0-6.
Is anyone else freaked out by this?
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No, I don't .. RT @EaglesFanJosh: You think Howie and Chip talking to Bills about Byrd?
— Dave Spadaro (@davespadaro) October 11, 2013
My guess is that Dave has heard the Eagles have no interest in trading for Byrd. Sometimes he speculates, but this feels like info more than opinion.
I totally get the Eagles possibly passing on Byrd. This isn’t a great Eagles team. Do you trade for a guy who is nearing the end of his prime when the team isn’t a player or 2 away from being terrific?
No one questions whether Byrd could help. Is he worth a steep price (early draft pick) and big money? This is a question of timing and resources. Championship caliber teams add the right players at the right time.
We’ll see what happens.