Some of you want to know why I’m still saying that I need to see more from Nick Foles. He’s looked very good to great in 2.5 games this year. Isn’t that enough to show he can be The Guy?
The point I’ve tried to make for a while now is that I want Nick to play well and show that he is a franchise QB. But it takes time to do that. A couple of games isn’t enough. You need a couple of months.
Teams must be able to study a player. They must be able to figure out his strengths and weaknesses and build their defensive gameplans accordingly. When that happens and the player is still successful, you’ve got something.
Also, time has a way of showing who a player really is. Kevin Kolb looked like a stud vs the Chiefs (2009) and Falcons (2010), but he was exposed over time. He could not play at that level consistently. Kolb needed the right circumstances to succeed.
Foles could still be in that same category. I think he’s different, but I need time to know for sure.
As we talk about the Raiders game, let’s step away from results for a minute. If you wrote a scouting report on Foles based on Sunday’s game, you would note these positives:
* Above average arm. Showed good velocity on intermediate throws. Able to get the ball downfield for big gains.
* Put touch on short throws.
* Good mechanics. Showed good footwork.
* Accurate. Consistently hit players in the right spot. Gave his players a chance to get RAC yards.
* Made good decisions. Found the open guy and got him the ball.
* Did an excellent job of helping guys to come open. Used eye manipulation and pump fakes to get the defense to go where he wanted them.
* Good mobility. Had a couple of short runs that were effective, but more impressively he was able to move in the pocket. Also threw well on the run.
* Had good pocket presence. Wasn’t under a ton of pressure, but stayed focused on his receivers. Also got rid of the ball quickly most of the time. There were a couple of plays where he held it too long.
That sounds like a guy you want starting for your team. I’m very encouraged by Foles right now.
I would love for Chip Kelly to announce that Foles is the starting QB, but Kelly doesn’t like to make proclamations like that. We’ll see how Chip handle that. I think Foles has earned the right to keep the job. I think he’s shown enough that we need to see him play to know what he is / isn’t over the long term.
One of the tests for Foles is to show he can win ugly. There are going to be some days when the offense is going to be sloppy. Foles needs to show he can shake off a poor half and play well in the 2nd half or down the stretch. Last night Andrew Luck was struggling for half the game, but really came alive for part of the 3rd quarter and all of the 4th quarter. He helped the Colts win a game they appeared to be out of.
I’m not saying Foles needs to lead a dramatic comeback. He just needs to show he can win ugly. There will be a game where he’s 14-27-169 with a TD and 2 INTs. The Eagles trail 17-13 in the 4th quarter. Nick has to show he can put aside the struggles and make the plays needed to win.
If you watch enough football, teams with good QBs are almost never out of a game. Peyton led the Broncos on a big comeback vs the Colts. Luck worked his magic last night. Prior to this year, Matt Ryan was one of the best at leading his team back into a game when they appeared to have no chance.
At his best, Nick looks like a terrific QB. At his worst, he’s awful. The key is figuring out who he will be on an average Sunday. The more Nick plays, the more we’ll learn about him, good or bad.
QB is such a critical position that you must feel very sure about a player. What you know outweighs what you want or what you hope. Make a mistake and you can set the franchise back several years.
After yesterday’s great performance, there is every reason to feel optimistic. Maybe, just maybe, the Eagles QB of the future is already here.