Nick Foles set records last week in Oakland. This week wasn’t anything close to that, but it was another bit of evidence that he can be the Eagles starting QB.
Foles didn’t have any great moments. He didn’t make any “wow” throws. That’s okay. Foles showed good QB skills.
* He only threw 18 passes, but 3 of them were TD passes of 32 yards or more. The deep ball to DeSean got caught in the wind. The deep ball to Riley was thrown awkwardly, but that was by design. Foles wanted to place the ball away from the Safety.
The other TD to Cooper was a good throw. That ball was on time and on target.
* Foles made good decisions. He was aggressive with downfield throws, but not reckless or careless.
* Foles showed good mobility. He had 5 carries for 41 yards. There were 3 kneel-downs that changed the numbers, but those don’t count toward mobility.
Nick isn’t a fast, athletic or elusive runner. He is a smart runner. He runs when that is the best option. If the D goes hard after Shady, Foles will keep the ball and run. If no receiver is open and there is room, Foles will scramble.
That’s what you need at QB. Functional mobility. It would be great if he was able to run for 30 yards on a play, but you don’t need that, even in an offense like Chip Kelly’s. You do need a QB to keep the defense honest. Foles can be that guy.
* My favorite throw of the game came when Foles slid to his right and hit Cooper over the middle. That throw was on the move. Nothing special, but showed the ability to be accurate without having his feet set.
* The Eagles were 0 for 4 in the Red Zone. The final RZ trip came at the end of the game and that’s when there were kneel-downs. I need to study the other trips before I can say too much about whether Foles did a good job or not.
* I think Foles passes the eye test. He looks the part of the starting QB. He has command of the offense. There aren’t wasted timeouts. There aren’t plays where he is completely confused and bickering with the receivers on the way back to the LOS. Foles handles pressure well, for the most part. No QB likes defenders in his face, but I don’t see Foles being overly bothered. He’s able to stay in the pocket if needed. He can slide to the left or right. He can also run. There is no Kolb in his game. That’s where you keep backing up and creating a new pocket 5 yards deeper.
Foles just went on the road against the 10th/12th ranked defense in Oakland and the 14th/15th ranked defense in Green Bay and he posted good numbers. He previously ripped up the Tampa defense, which was highly rated at the time.
Foles is slowly but surely making his case to be the starting QB. He will likely keep the job for the final 6 games. The more good games he plays, the better his case is. At the end of the season, the coaches will have a good feel for Foles and what he can/can’t do on a consistent basis.
They’ll head into the offseason with the question of whether they can upgrade on Foles. That will be determined by 2 factors. The first will be how well Foles plays overall. The second will be where the Eagles are picking in the draft. The better Foles plays, the harder it will be to upgrade. The lower in the round the Eagles pick, the harder it will be to upgrade.
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Always interesting to see what outsiders think.
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If you go by the numbers, it is crazy.
* Foles is a couple of attempts short of qualifying, but would lead the league in QB rating if he was eligible.
* He would lead the NFL with 9.24 yards per pass attempt.
* Foles is tied for 3rd in the league in pass plays of 40 or more yards. He’s got 9. So does Drew Brees. I sure didn’t expect that to be the case. This is crazy since Foles has less than half the attempts.
* In the last 2 games, he has 12 incompletions and 10 TDs.
* He is only the 2nd QB in history to throw 10 TDs and no INTs over a 2-game span.
The sample size is just 4.5 games, but it is growing and the numbers continue to be mind-blowing.