Sink or Swim, Kid

Posted: November 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 130 Comments »

Andy Reid drove us insane last year. He had a banged up O-line. LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson were hurt. Reid had a rookie QB in Nick Foles. So what did Reid do? He threw the ball. A lot. That made no sense to any of us.

But was Reid really doing us a favor?

Foles averaged 38 pass attempts per game last year. And one of those games wasn’t even a start. He threw 40 or more passes 3 times in 2012. Neither Russell Wilson nor Colin Kaepernick has ever thrown 40 passes in an NFL game. That’s what happens when you’re handed a great defense and a great running game. Foles was given solid skill players, but had King Dunlap and Dennis Kelly as his bookend tackles, with Dallas Reynolds and Jake Scott (remember him?) on the inside. Foles was then asked to carry the offense. It wasn’t pretty.

But that trial by fire may have been a blessing in disguise.

This year Foles has a good O-line. He has good pass catchers. He has LeSean McCoy back on the field. Foles hasn’t had to throw more than 31 passes in a game. Last season he threw more than that in all but one game. The pressure was on last year. This year Foles simply has to be the point guard. Find the open guy. Get him the ball. Let the playmakers make plays.

Chip Kelly’s system isn’t magic. It just gives the QB a favorable situation, assuming you’ve got talented pieces to work with and that the QB is smart and a good decision-maker. Foles learned to make decisions last year. He didn’t make a lot of dumb mistakes. His issues were either physical or experience related. Foles is a lot smarter in Year 2 and he’s in a favorable situation.

Compare that to RG3. He never threw 40 passes in a game last year. RG3 had the league’s best run game. He had a stable O-line. He was in an offense that the league hadn’t seen before. Life was good. He finished with a rating of 102.4 and was on the NFC East champs. This year is different. Griffin is coming off an ACL tear. The league has seen his offense. The O-line is stable, but not playing well. Griffin’s QB rating has dropped 19 points and the Skins are in last place.

RG3 threw 40 or more passes in the first 3 games. The Skins fell behind big and had to play catch-up. RG3 hasn’t developed as a passer and now that the pressure is on him to be more than a QB weapon he is struggling. When given a favorable situation, RG3 was great. When given a crappy situation, he’s suddenly way out of his comfort zone.

Foles suffered last year. He knows what a crappy situation is like. Now that he’s in a better situation, life is a lot simpler. The Eagles will fall behind big in some game and Foles will have to start throwing the ball a lot. I doubt he’ll go into panic mode. He’ll just think back to 2012 when he did that every week.

I don’t know for a fact that all the passing attempts did benefit Foles, but it is at least an interesting theory. You don’t want to be stuck in a bad situation for a long time. That’s when bad habits set in. Foles played 7 games, starting 6. That wasn’t enough time for any habits to set in, but it was enough for Foles to learn a lot of lessons.

Those lessons are benefiting the 2013 Eagles. Foles is playing great. RG3 and Kaepernick are both struggling as they’re being asked to make conventional plays in the passing game on a consistent basis.

Big Red left us a good toy under the Christmas tree and might have done us another favor by mis-using him last year.

Who knew?

_


  • bdbd20

    Great perspective. I also think we have to credit AR, MM and the entire offensive coaching staff. The work they put in with Foles in the OTA’s, Training Camp, and the pre-season obviously helped his development.

    Say what you want about AR, but the man knows how to develop QB’s.

    • P_P_K

      I know I’m going against common wisdom, but I don’t agree that Andy is somehow a genius at developing qbs (I made a typo and wrote “developing abs” but that’s another story).

      He desrves credit for drafting Donovan, no doubt, but I propose that McNabb would have been a franchise qb under any coach in just about any system. Andy’s other projects had questionable results. He tried to mold Vick into something Mike was not, Kolb was a bust, and he could have gotten Nick killed last year by having him throw so much as a rookie with a terrible line.

      BTW, your avatar rocks.

      • bdbd20

        Thanks. We’ll have to just disagree on AR.

        I know I’m in the minority here, but I actually think Kolb would have been a good QB if not for the concussions.

        I will point out that AR had success with QB’s before he got here. Guys like Farve, Brunell, Aaron Brooks, and Ty Detmer were developed in part by Reid in Green Bay.

        • fran35

          Not a big believer in Kolb. I thought he was overdrafted. he makes Foles look like he has a rocket arm. However, the worst part of Kolb was that he lost his bearing WAY too easily. He took the snap and was already backpedaling before the pressure even came.

        • Mike Flick

          I thought that at first, but had some concerns at how he looked panicky after he got hit.

          GCobb mentioned it and it was something that made me nervous about him long term.

      • Chippah

        The thing is, Kolb was only a bust after he left Philly and only then because he kept getting injured behind the turnstiles also known as the Arizona and Buffalo OLs. Look at what Reid did with AJ Feeley, getting a 2nd round pick out of Miami because he played so well in relief of DMac.

        I’d also point to the other QBs in Donovan’s draft class. Saying “he’d be a franchise QB under any coach” is vastly overstating the certainty of McNabb’s success. Tim Couch and Akili Smith were both big busts taken right before and right after DMac. You take that chance with every QB but AR developed Donovan very well.

        Not to apologize for AR, he let his bad habits fester far too long toward the end of his tenure here but it looks like he’s changing that (a little) in KC. He’s using Jamaal Charles right and not forcing Alex Smith to throw 50 times a game. Say what you want about his play calling and decision making the laat few years in Philly, but the man knows QBs and he’s slowly changing his bad habits. I’d love for him to get a ring in KC, as long as it’s after Kelly as his first 2… or 3.

        • BlindChow

          The KC message boards were frustrated with Reid after the loss in Denver. They were asking things like, “Why did he ask Smith to throw 40 times and only give Charles 16 carries?? They were only down 10 points!”

          Heh heh.

          • Chippah

            They’d better get used to it. It sounds like he has a system in place where 1 or 2 coordinators talk to him if he’s calling too many throws. We’ll see how long that lasts.

          • ceedubya9

            LOL. There’s the Andy we know and love!

          • ChaosOnion

            Because the DEN defensive strategy was to sell out against the run and prevent Jamal Charles from doing anything. They were assisted by Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster dropping passes throughout the first half.

        • P_P_K

          I might be biased because for years I was the guy in the room arguing that Andy was a great coach. Those last two years frustrated me so much, though, that by the time he left I was floored by the ridiculous play calling.

          Kolb played a couple good games for the Eagles but only a couple. I never liked the way he looked under center. I personally hated the draft because I never thought he was the real deal.

          Reid did a good job with Feeley, but the same is true with Detmer and Garcia. He helped them, sure, but none of them were stud qbs thanks to Andy’s tutelage and I can’t see how these guys prove he is some kind of kingmaker, like Eric Taylor (anyone get the reference?).

          Maybe I overspoke saying Donnie would have been a franchise qb anywhere because you’re right, no one ever knows for sure. But the guy came out of Syracuse with so many skills and with such a good head on his shoulders that he was a darn good bet. Just to be really stubborn, I’ll even argue that it was DMac that made Reid look good, rather than the other way around. All those years, Don carried the team on his back, throwing to Thrash and Pinkston (and Freddy), running, playing without a #1 wr, and with a coach that hated to call a balanced attack.

          Andy seems like a good man. I wish him well in KC. It does seem he is changing his ways and discovering that running the ball is ok. We’ll see, though, Alex Smith cannot coniue to throw the ball 40 times a game.

          • bentheimmigrant

            AJ Feeley made him look good. So did Detmer. And Garcia. And Kolb at first. At the end of the day I think I’d just have to say the Reid was good with QBs. The way that I best understand it is this: Andy is one of the best play designers around. Honestly I don’t have a major problem saying he is truly great at it. But he was never good at knowing when to call what. We were best with Chilly around to balance him out a bit, just like he now has in KC.

          • knighn

            Reid is a very good coach. People make the mistake of thinking he is a Great coach. He is not.
            Reid is a somewhat predictable coach. In much of Reid’s career, he got by with Jim Johnson keeping the games close and with Donovan McNabb keeping games both unpredictable and balanced when Reid would often fail to balance the games himself.
            Reid is supposed to be an offensive guru. Which coach sounds more like an offensive guru in 2013?
            Coach A: His offense has scored 20 or more points EIGHT times in 11 games. His offense has scored 30 or more points FIVE times in 11 games. He has done this with two different QBs.
            Coach B: His offense has scored 20 or more points only THREE times in 10 games!! His offense has scored 30 or more points ZERO times in 10 games. He has had the same, healthy QB all seasons!
            Looking at it objectively, people would say that Coach A is the better coach on offense…. and he is. Coach A is Chip Kelly. Coach B is Andy Reid. Reid’s team has weapons. Reid has his QB. He’s just not that great at making use of them. Tell me honestly: wouldn’t Chip Kelly do more than Reid with the exact same team? I believe so. Reid’s team is winning, not because he is some great coach on offense, but because KC has a great Defense and Special Teams…. and let’s be honest: Reid doesn’t have a heck of a lot to do with Defense or Special Teams.

          • Mike Flick

            You can appreciate what Kelly is doing without taking anything away from Reid.

            He was a great coach for a long time. The time has come and gone, and he will continue to be one of the most winningest coaches in the league for a long time.

            This year he is taking a 2-14 team and brought them to 9-1. He will most likely be coach of the year, bringing stability to the coaching and QB positions.

            He needed a fresh start, and so did the Eagles.

          • knighn

            Taking things away from Reid would be to say “Reid totally sucks”. As far as I’m concerned, I’m only labelling Reid as he deserves to be labelled: a very good coach and NOT a great one.
            I don’t think Reid was ever a great coach. He was always a very good coach and he was always a very flawed coach. Unfortunately, instead of fixing those flaws, he ultimately became more arrogant as a his Eagles career progressed.
            “This year he is taking a 2-14 team and brought them to 9-1.” Really, how did he do that? By being a great play-caller on offense and leading the Chiefs to a ton of points? No. By having a great defense and a great special teams. Does Reid coach defense or special teams? No. Did Reid do much to put that team together? Once again: no. But thank you for buying into the Red Reid hype! Reid will probably win coach of the year. He will never, as a head coach, win a Lombardi trophy. Reid is a very good coach. He is not a great coach.

          • shah8

            Alex Smith is his QB. Trust me, he got fired from San Fran for good reason, and Smith showed why in that sunday night game.

          • knighn

            Yet, Reid chose him as his QB. The record suggests that Reid will keep him as his QB. Reid is supposed to be a genius at finding and developing QBs, right? Once again: Reid is a very good coach. I appreciate all that he did for Philadelphia. I do not need to buy into hype and call him a “great coach”.

          • Always Hopeful

            Ouch!…but I think you’re right. That’s not a shot against AR. He brought the right coaches in when he first got to Philly. He panicked in the last few years here and made some very questionable moves in the coaching area that don’t need to be restated here.

            He brought in a very good D coordinator in Sutton, and he has “material” (as Beno Cook would say) to work with on that side of the ball. On offense he has Jamal Charles and…so, that’s how he’s going to win THIS year: stout D, game manager on offense. Will they draft NFL caliber weapons to make AR’s offense go? Remains to be seen.

            I wish him the best though. He had me believing that the Eagles were contenders for a long stretch there.

          • knighn

            Wow! You’re too nice. I only wish Andy Reid the best in his personal life. As long as Reid is an NFL professional, I wish him failure on the football field each and every Sunday, Monday or Thursday (or Saturday if he is unfortunate enough to make the playoffs), just as I always wish on the 31 teams that are NOT the Philadelphia Eagles! If Reid was ever capable of winning a Super Bowl, he should have done it for the Philadephia Eagles. He didn’t, so F him.

            I only wish the Philadelphia Eagles the best. I wish failure and misery on everyone else. If after years of moderate success and failure as a Chief, Reid wants to come back and retire as an Eagle, we should welcome him back with open arms. But if that Big, Fat, Red F ever has the audacity to win a Super Bowl somewhere else, his house should be egged for every day for the rest of his life. It’s Eagles or nothing, Reid!

          • Always Hopeful

            knighn, you’re killing me over here :-) Dude, I’m an Eagles fan too. I hate the Patriots and want them to lose every time I see them play (unless they are playing the Cowboys), but Reid is still like family to me.

            Yes, he didn’t get it done here, but I ain’t gonna hate on him if he gets it done elsewhere…well maybe a little.

            I honestly think as Chip evolves into his NFL self, we’ll have a better chance at SB victories then KC with Reid, but that’s just my opinion.

          • knighn

            I really want the Eagles to always win.
            I want all other teams to always lose.
            I really want the Cowboys to always lose.
            It is that simple for me.

            If Reid is like family, it’s like a divorce. Sure, you might want him to do OK with his new family, and stop messing up all of the time, but do you really want that guy to go out and win the lottery now? No. He just doesn’t deserve that. Just like he doesn’t deserve some of the accolades that he is receiving in KC.

        • Buge Halls

          What a sad statement for the end of McNabb’s career that him and Feeley both left for 2nd round picks!

          • Chippah

            Wow. Hadn’t even put that together. What makes it more sad is Donovan didn’t come close to justifying the 2nd rounder the Skins gave up.

      • knighn

        I’m very much with you.
        Part of what ultimately convinced me was Tommy Lawlor’s words on McNabb:
        “The Vikings coaches wanted to work on McNabb’s mechanics. They had been flawed for years, but Reid left them alone after a certain point. The Vikings staff thought a little change could make a big difference. McNabb’s response was that nothing was wrong with his mechanics.”
        http://igglesblitz.com/2013/07/donovan/

        So, even Reid’s biggest success story, McNabb, was not a complete success because Reid never fully worked out McNabb’s mechanics. What’s worse, to me, is that Reid never instilled any sense of humility in his franchise QB. Perhaps if he had, he could have made McNabb an even better QB. Perhaps at least 3 points better in the biggest game of McNabb’s career.

        I don’t consider Kolb a success story. He was supposed to be the franchise QB for the Eagles. In the end, Reid settled for a QB on the back end of his career (Vick) rather than continue to develop Kolb. He used the excuse that “it was the play of Vick” but truly: Kolb was not ready to take the reins after 3+ years of development.

        When it comes to Reid, I think the thing he ultimately was best at was determining when a QB was either done or close to it.

        I appreciate all that Reid did for the Eagles franchise. I don’t need to buy into any hype that he was incredible at anything. Reid’s ceiling is “very good” and he should never be mistaken for a “great” coach.

  • Tumtum

    This goes back to a post I made on the last topic. What exactly did Reid and Marty want the offensive identity to be the last few years TL? Chip preaches speed and minimizing mistakes. Did those guy preach anything? Give the team something to work towards and build off of?

    Andy is my favorite coach of all time (Marty on the other hand was his downfall..), so this isn’t Reid bashing. JW if I am forgetting.

    • fran35

      I was kind of lost the last few years as well. I will always appreciate the good that Reid borught us, but he was horrible the last few years. As for Mart MorHINwhig, F()*)(*CK him. I was so tired of watching his stupid offense and horrible miscast of players. I believe he was a big part of Andy’s undoing here.

      • Maggie

        Actually I remember Andy saying he was turning the play calling over to MM because he, Andy, was maybe calling too many downfield passes! At the end they were 2 peas in a pod. AR now calling too many pass attempts in Kansas City and MM calling too many downfield pass attempts for Geno in New Jersey. NY press noted this several weeks ago.

    • BlindChow

      I’ve wondered how valuable the concept of “offensive identity” is. Most of the time, it comes down to a single player: Green Bay’s offensive identity is Aaron Rodgers, Denver’s is Manning, New England’s is Brady.

      The teams that are floundering do seem to lack an identity (what is the Titan’s identity? Or Miami? Or the Browns?), but they also lack a star player that could help define it.

      The closest I can think of would be Seattle, with their power running game setting up play-action (same for Washington, for that matter). I think you can argue that their identity is scheme-based, but neither really took off until they found their star QB’s. However, Chip Kelly’s scheme definitely fits the definition of an identity that doesn’t hinge on the performance of a single star. I think that might be something that sets him apart from a lot of the other coaching hires this year.

      So anyway, does Reid have an identity in Kansas City? It seems his team is defined more by its defense; his offense just seems to be based around playing it safe and not turning the ball over.

  • Finlay Jones

    Some guy on the EMB just made a post very
    similar to this, but in relation to his bad o-line at college. Good stuff!

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      Yes, I would argue that AR did NOT do Foles any favors at all by throwing him out to the wolves like that last year. It was only because Foles had already spent that time behind a bad o-line at college and had adjusted that he survived.
      I also don’t buy into this myth that AR is some great QB guru, either. I fall squarely on the side that #5 overcame AR, not that AR helped out #5.
      Lastly, Kolb was a system QB in the bad sense – you needed exactly the right system for him to have functioned reasonably well. Foles is a system QB in the good sense – he can make smart, quick decisions, in the mode of a Brady/Manning (now I’m not suggesting that Foles is the next Brady/Manning, just that he has that smart and quick skill set).

  • Stormbringer

    I think Chippah’s system is really QB friendly and Foles is taking advantage of his opportunity. He seems to have a good feel for the game and good accuracy (other than that Cowboys game). He looked so awful in that game I’m starting to think he got concussed or injured earlier in the game.

    I”m also impressed our other guys are looking good too. Cooper has played way above my expectations. The linemen are blocking very well on screens and getting downfield. Look at that 42 yard pass play to Celek. That was set up perfectly and he looked faster than he ever has. Speaking of which, the players are saying in the paper they are feeling fresher than they ever have this late in the season.

    The Eagles are really fun to watch this year. The only thing that really tries my nerves is the bend but don’t break defense. They’ve been playing really well lately but it is nerve wracking when the other team marches up and down the field.

    I can’t wait to see Chippah get a few more drafts of ‘his’ players under his belt.

    • fran35

      I think Chip is calling great plays, but I am not willing to mitigate any success that Foles is having by attributing it to scheme. Vick did not play nearly as consistently well, aside from his legs. Barkley was horrible, even beyond the rookie curve. I think that a large part of the reason Foles is doing so well is his football IQ. His quick decisions and ability to make sound decisions. A huge sign of a special player in any sport is making the others around you perform better. Cooper was considered the worst starting WR in the league until Foles took over. Now people are talking about locking up Cooper long term. The offensive line was hemmorhaging when Vick was at QB, but suddenly Foles comes in and the O line gels? Desean is suddenly a red zone target, when he has never shown anything inside the 20? These are all products of Foles.

      • OregonDucker

        In high school, his coaches and players marveled at his quick decision making and high Football IQ. This is one explanation for why he beat Brees’ records at the school.

      • Buge Halls

        Agree – people keep giving the “scheme” credit, but not the QB running it. If it was all the scheme, Vick would be having games like the 1st 1/2 of the Redskins game all season and would still be the starter

        • BlindChow

          Well, no, Vick would probably still be nursing a hamstring on the bench.

        • anon

          and the Chargers game. But i guess when you have a bad game against the best defense (by far in the league) and the Broncos you aren’t a good scheme fit.

          I think Foles is running it better — but i don’t think Vick was doing a bad job — i think anticipation is the biggest difference between the two players.

      • Stormbringer

        I wasn’t saying Chip’s system made Foles. Just that his system does tend to be QB friendly. He does seem to tailor things to make best use of his player’s strengths.

        My second sentence was Foles is taking advantage of his opportunity. ;-)

  • mheil

    On Monday, Kelly was asked to look back at what he wanted from his staff at the NFL level.

    “One of the things that was very important to me was making sure we had the right fit, and from a right fit, it was a personality standpoint,” he said. “I thought it was really important to get a diverse group. You get too many people from the same pool, you all think alike and act alike, and that may not be the right way. I think it’s important to hear from different voices and different people and how people did it differently. But then you also have to have a bunch of guys that can put their egos aside and say, ‘Now that we have all these ideas on the table, we all have to come to the conclusion of what’s the best one and how are we going to do it.’ And that’s hard.”
    major difference from Andy who hired everyone from the bill walsh tree.

    • BlindChow

      On an unrelated note, they did say on SNF that Reid had tried to hire (current KC defensive coordinator) Bob Sutton to be his defensive coordinator for 3 straight years. I wonder how different things would have been.

      As it is, Andy’s assistant-hiring decisions were so awful the last couple years that it’s almost as if he was trying to create a disaster, a la The Producers. “And we’ll make YOU my new defensive coordinator, Juan! Why, at this rate, I’m sure to be in Kansas by next fall!”

      • Always Hopeful

        I heard that too, and I was like “dang, if only…”

  • bill

    I definitely think people were too quick to judge Foles off of last year’s performance. They just didn’t want to acknowledge that Air Reid was about as challenging an offense as any rookie could be thrown into, even discounting the JV offensive line and the 7th round project at RB. Normally, you want your rookie QB to play it safe, and rely on the ground game and hopefully a decent defense. 40 attempts/game is really foolish, unless you have a polished, generational talent like Luck. And it was even more so given the state of the team.
    I think RGIII is still a good passer, but he certainly hasn’t progressed from last year, when he was able to take advantage of defenses that weren’t prepared for the gimmicks Shanahan used. As an Eagles fan, part of me hopes that he doesn’t ever progress. But as a football fan, I think that would be a shame. He’s got a ton of talent, and has some pretty decent pattern recognition skills. It’s just going to take some more progression for him to truly utilize all of his talents. If he ever puts it together, he’s going to HoF-level.
    I haven’t seen Wilson this year, but last year he was absolutely the beneficiary of what I call the “Randall/early Big Ben” plan. Don’t make mistakes, plus make 2 or three big plays a game, and we’ll be fine. Wilson’s field chart was crazy last year – he really relied on being able to throw to the right side of the field. Which didn’t really hurt his team, as he was able (and to his credit, willing) to be patient and only use half the field. I trust that Carroll and his staff are good enough, and Wilson seems like the right personality, that he’ll improve in this area (if he hasn’t already this year, again, I haven’t watched him this year). But I think Wilson is sort of the mirror image of Foles’s image last year. He was overrated because of how little he was asked to actually do. He strikes me as a guy that might have a significantly lower ceiling than most currently predict, but has a very high floor.
    Kaepernick was the guy I predicted would fall off the cliff this year. He had it handed to him last year. Starting midseason kept the tape on him to a minimum. Defenses had not really incorporated the “scrape” play into their base, and he was able to exploit some of the same gimmicks that RGIII did last year. But when you watched him, he was very much a 1 read QB that sometimes made it to a 2nd, and wasn’t asked to do too much with all the talent around him. He seems to be struggling quite a bit this year – I could still be wrong about him, but he seems to be limited in his upside as a passer. The one thing going for him is that he has a superb coaching staff instructing him there. If he has the proper attitude, he may be able to overcome his deficiencies.
    People seem to think that the pattern recognition necessary to be an NFL QB is easily taught. I don’t think so. Some people have a natural inclination, but for most, it takes lots and lots of repetitions in the pocket, and if you don’t have a solid number under your belt when you hit the NFL, you’re unlikely to develop it there. IMO, much more likely to improve arm-strength than quick decision making from the pocket at the NFL level.

    • BlindChow

      Wilson is absolutely the beneficiary of a great situation. He’s been up and down all year. Here’s his stat line in the SF-SEA game from earlier this year:

      8 of 19, 142 yards (42.1%) – 63.9 passer rating – 1 TD, 1 INT
      3.3 yards per carry, no rushing TD’s

      On the Eagles, that stat line would have resulted in a loss. In Seattle, they won 29-3.

      • Anders

        Just do not tell Seahawks fans that Wilson might be overrated and in a perfect situation. They think Luck would perform worse than him up there.

      • anon

        EDIT: You’re right — their run game and D are silly. But they, like the Colts play a lot of ball control as soon as they get up.

    • Maggie

      Regarding your first paragraph: now Marty is ruining Geno Smith with endless downfield pass attempts! A lesson in how NOT to bring along a young QB.

      • Anders

        Not really sure that is right. He attempted a fairly average amount consider how often the Jets are behind big.

        Also Geno Smith has zero good weapons and his OL is really terrible.

  • fran35

    I take a different approach to last year. When Foles took over, he had no offensive line, Shady and Desean were out, a defense that didn’t even try, and half the team had given up. Foles threw alot, and to me, the things he is showing now, he flashed last year. His rookie numbers were decent when you compare them with rookies. When you compare his numbers with a rookie inserted into the mess that he was thrown, he was damn impressive. His poise was apparent last year to me. At the end of last year, I thought we had our QB of the future(or at least another year to prove). So, when Chip resigned Vick, I was incredulous and a bit depressed. Now that Foles has been inserted, I have genuine hope for the future. Whether that be the rest of this year, or next. I just believe that we are on the right path and this team is improving in every aspect of the game. If we make the playoffs, I will be ecstatic. But if we don’t, I will not be too upset because I feel like we are a sharply ascending team again. It has been years since I have felt this way, but this is a reality. And now that we do not have to stress out about tanking to get a top QB, we can take the best player available or the best pass rusher available.

  • Tom33

    So, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a Bills fan yesterday. It went something like:

    Him: People in Philly must be pretty happy with Foles right now, right?
    Me: Yes – absolutely. Playing extremely well.
    Him: Other than Luck, he’s probably the best young QB out there.
    Me: I don’t know – jury is still out. I hope so though.
    Him: J*&$Z?GN!! What more does the guy have to prove???
    Me: I know – but it’s early.
    Him: You guys are nuts. But then again, you were never happy when you had McNabb either.

    Now, he is a Bills fan, so that might bring everything into question, but maybe some outside perspective should tell us something?

    • Tumtum

      Kevin Kolb probably soured us. I guess he didn’t have the same effect over there!

      • Chippah

        Ha. Don’t forget Bobby Hoying too. I thought he was our pasty white knight for a few games there…

        • Anders

          AJ Feeley looked awesome in spot start as well, with less weapons than Foles (tho a much better defense)

          • ICDogg

            Never looked awesome to me. In fact, he looked awful, but he was just good enough to win us some critical games when we needed him.

          • Chippah

            Just good enough to get a 2nd rounder. Too bad they wasted it on Reggie Brown…

  • Ben Hert

    OT, but I’m looking really looking forward to seeing how Foles and the offense handles one of the top ranked defenses in the NFL when we play the Cardinals. Of course, if he does well, we’ll get the “2 weeks to prepare for them” line, and if he flounders, we get the “Foles is a fluke” line, but either way it’ll be nice to really see these guys match up against a good D.

    • BlindChow

      If Foles does well, the excuse will be that the Cardinals weren’t that good to begin with. That’s what we got after Oakland and Tampa.

    • tball_man

      Yes, totally agree. #58 and the rest of their front pose a very formidable task. I recall they made MV look pedestrian-like slow not too long ago

    • A Roy

      If I get a choice, I pick “two weeks to prepare” or even “they’re not as good as everyone thought” ahead of “Foles is a fluke.” (Although he does seem to run like an orca.)

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    After a certain point, a QB is responsible for his own development. A good situation can help, but many have been in good situations and failed. Being talented can help, but ask Ryan Leaf and Tim Couch how far it got them.
    At this point, Foles has a good situation and seems to not want to give Kelly the chance to replace him. Could he a perfect storm. Time, and Nick Foles grey matter, will tell.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    Since I’m out here in the Bay Area, let me comment on Kapernick (who some are now calling Crappernick – LOL). What I noticed last year (and SF fans and the media ignored while fawning over him) is:
    1) SF had, if not the best, one of the 3 best O-lines in the league, giving him forever to look around and throw.
    2) Whenever he did throw, it seemed like his receiver would be wide-open, college-style. Not so hard to complete those.

    3) Vernon Davis is a big-play beast that made even Alex Smith look good.

    4) Frank Gore, despite being in the league for some 95 years now (give or take a year) is still a Marshawn Lynch-type beast of an RB. That’s a heck of a nice security blanket to have.

    And if you look at Kapernick’s results this year, other than that monster opening game against Green Bay, he’s only thrown for more than 200 yards just once in those other 9 games. In the meantime, his dual-threat capacity just isn’t there anymore – he’s only had one run that went for more than 20 yards this year.

    For my money, I’ll Foles over RG3 or Kapernick.

    • anon

      Not sure why it seems they’ve taken the zone reads out — he’s a big guy and can run all day with less fear of injury than Vick or RGIII.

  • SteveH

    When evaluating Foles last year nobody* ever seemed to take into account that he was a rookie playing behind a shit offensive line without our best offensive weapons. I personally thought he looked really really promising considering he did as well as he did under those circumstances, but hey Philly is a tough crowd.

    *By nobody I mean John Doe forum poster or Bob Anonymous talk show caller, not the the strong Eagles blog core writers we have.

    • ICDogg

      I was impressed by his poise, but not yet (at that point) by his skill set.

  • Mike Flick

    Interesting theory.

    Looking at his time in Arizona, there was enough bad situations to go around.

    Hope your right.

  • BobSmith77

    Fans/media reaction to Eagles’ QB is always a manic one. Hell I remember how popular McMahon was when he was the backup here with the calls to bench Cunningham at times after one of his erratic/poor performances & an Eagles’ loss.

    I feel pretty much the same way I feel about Foles as i did at the start of the year – wanted to see how we would perform over the course of an extended period to see exactly:

    1. How much growth could he show from Year 1 to Year 2
    2. Could the Eagles win with him as their starting QB
    3. Would he be able to operate in Kelly’s system

    Results have been very promising so far but let’s see how he does over the final 5 games and a possible playoff game or two.

    To me a ‘franchise QB’ is quite simply a guy who can stay healthy enough to start and be good enough to finish in the top 10 or 12 in most QB categories given a capable-enough offense around him.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      I feel pretty much the same way I feel about Foles as i did at the start of the year – wanted to see how we would perform over the course of an extended period

      this is my feeling. i don’t want to make up my mind about Foles until after this season ends. I mean, we cant really change anything before then (aside from starting Vick/Barkley), right?

      let’s stop projecting Foles and just reserve judgement until we have nothing else to talk about :P

      • BlindChow

        It’s the bye week! Now is that time!

  • austinfan

    Foles’ development goes back to HS, playing at a big time Texas program, 7 on 7 summer leagues, playing behind a bad OL at Arizona with only Criner as a legitimate skill player. When people were saying he wasn’t Chip’s guy, I was pointing out that Chip saw him rack up points and yards against a far more talented Oregon defense for four years – he know what he had in Foles.

    Foles also didn’t get great QB coaching in college, obvious from the improvement in his mechanics. Playing in tough circumstances got him used to pressure, and last year was merely more of the same. But he still has to learn how to handle it, his performance under pressure isn’t that good – but that’s typical for young QBs, takes a while to understand what you’re seeing and make quick decisions with a man in your face.

    One problem with judging Foles this year is that they’ve played a lot of bad defenses (only top defenses they’ll face all year are KC and Arizona) with a QB friendly system, which is why Arizona will be a good test for him. It’s one thing to make the throws with a clean pocket and open receivers, quite another when you’re under pressure and you have to look to find an open target.

    I think a better clue to Foles’ probable upside comes from his last four starts in 2012, after he had a chance to get comfortable and AR opened up the offense (they played it close to the vest against Carolina) – prorated over 16 games:
    408 664 4624 61.4% 7.0 YPA 20-8 52 sacks 87.3
    That would place him around 12th-13th in QB rating, 7th in yards gained.

    So while this season’s performance is probably unsustainable, when you combine it with his finish last year, he’s credible as a top 10 QB with the potential to approach the top 5.

    • Anders

      yea, Foles in college faced the same situation as Foles in 2012. Crappy, D, zero skill players and a crap OL and he still battled and performed well.

      • ICDogg

        Important experience, in the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” dept.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      looking just at the rankings of Defenses by yards, which admittedly don’t really tell the whole story, …
      Arizona is ranked what? 9th?
      Oakland was ranked 10th when we played them.
      Tampa was ranked 12th when we played them. IIRC

      is there really that much different between the 9th ranked D and the 12th ranked D?

      i’m not trying to diminish Arizona’s D. i haven’t seen a thing about them, but i hear they are balling right now.

      but i wouldn’t say that Foles has only played against “Bad” defenses.

      counterpoint: NYG are ranked number 11 in overall D by yards (according to espn). i don’t think thats a fair assessment of them, can the same be true of Oakland or TB? what about Arizona?

  • ChaosOnion

    I am trying to reserve my enthusiasm until Foles proves to not be Kolb. If one just reads the superlatives and adjectives attributed to Foles and Kolb, Nick is a taller, slower, stronger armed Kolb. He even has an early concussion to match. He has proven accurate enough (except against DAL) and mobile enough (except against DAL) to be successful. Foles is playing very well inside Kelly’s scheme.

    So, what happens when the scheme stops working? If a team can bottle up Shady like DEN bottled up Charles, it falls on the QB to get the job done. Will he be able to take the team on his back or will he be like Alex Smith on Sunday night?

    • ICDogg

      I don’t know how good Foles can be, but he’s already better than Kolb ever was.

      • A Roy

        Concur. And Kolb had a much smaller body of work to be judged by.

        • Cafone

          And a much smaller body.

  • RobNE

    I was all panicked about how important it is for the giants to beat the cowboys this week because of all the tie breaker ramifications, and just noticed the Giants are giving 3 points. Boy the media loves a story esp a “the giants are right back in it” story. I hope so, for one more Sunday, but I don’t believe the hype.

    If it comes down to the last week, we need to do a parlay. Has TL been practicing his dance moves with JL?

    • Mike Flick

      The Giants have been heavy favorites the past few weeks. I think they were like 11 point favorites over Oakland, and favored over GB.

      But part of it too is that Dallas looked so bad against NO.

    • A Roy

      Dallas is coming off a bye. And I think their talent is a bit better than NYs overall. I’ll root for the Gnats (ugh) but expect the Boys (double ugh) to win.

      • Andy124

        I’m pulling for the meteor.

  • ACViking

    Re: Foles v. NFL QB-Rating History (repost . . . apologies to prior readers)

    Over at “Eagles Rewind,” Brent Cohen asked if any BAD quarterbacks have ever had a run of games like Foles has over the past two seasons, 15 games and 11 starts.
    http://eaglesrewind.com/2013/11/19/notes-from-yesterday/

    Looking at the best individual seasons for QB ratings (as I can’t find an inter-season 15-game breakdown), a couple of things are clear.

    First, well over 90% of the 100 best QB rating seasons are associated with (a) really good, to (b) great, to (c) HOF quarterbacks. Guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Steve Young and Joe Montana, Drew Brees, Dan Marino are the best of the best. There are several more with multiple seasons.

    NOTE: The most impressive seasons may belong to two Cleveland QBs working under the great Paul Brown: Otto Graham (#12) and Milt Plum (#10). They both played when WRs were mugged all over the field.

    Second, a few QBs pop up who probably fall in the class Brent calls “mediocre.”

    The clearest examples are Brian Griese — appearing twice in the Top 100. And David Garrard, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Rypien, and Vinnie Testeverde, who make the top 100 once each.

    _______________

    But Brent’s question zeroed in on “BAD” quarterbacks. Has a bad QB ever put up numbers like Nick Foles?

    Among the 100 best QB-rating seasons, I think you’ll find only one “BAD” quarterback.

    That’s DAMON HUARD . . . of the 2006 KC Chiefs, when he played only 8 games and posted a 98 QBR. And Huard never came close to that number in any other season.

    _________________

    So, to Brent’s point, it would seem Nick Foles projects to being at the very least a “mediocre” QB — of the Brian Griese – David Garrard kind.

    But Foles may, as Brent suggests, be on his way to being a very much better than mediocre.

    Maybe it’s Kelly’s system. Maybe it’s Foles. Hard to know yet.

    But so what if it’s Kelly’s system . . . .

    Joe Montana and Steve Young became HOF QBs in the original Bill Walsh WCO. Maybe they’d have been a couple of mediocre nothings but for Walsh’s genius, his system, the 49ers defense, and the talented players around them like Rice, Taylor, Brent Jones, and Roger Craig.

    I don’t know. I only know that a great coach came along with a great system and those 2 guys are HOFers.
    _______________

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Russell Wilson.

    He’s currently listed, based on his 2013 season, at No. 25.

    It’s been suggested that Wilson’s great performance is a product of the other 21 Seahawks. Maybe so.

    Maybe Wilson’s just a 1-hit wonder. Maybe Wilson will never put up similar numbers again. Randall Cunningham was unconscious in 1998 — but he had 3 great WRs, including 1 HOFer and 1 HOF-level talent, and a great RB. I don’t see Wilson having comparable weapons. Not even close.

    I’m not even sure Wilson has as much offensive talent around him as Nick Foles.

    Using Brent’s logic (if I’m representing it accurately), Wilson’s projects to be at least mediocre.
    _______________

    In any event, Brent posed a great question. And looking at the QBs on the single-season QBR list, it sure seems that — absent Foles turning into Damon Huard — he’ll have, at a minimum, a very solid NFL career.
    _______________

    Here’s the list of the Top 250:
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_rating_single_season.htm

    • Joseph Dubyk

      You can say 2 HOF WRs… Moss is a 1st ballot HOFer.

      But I agree, I don’t think Foles is a fluke. He still may struggle at times with growing pains.

      • A Roy

        At this point, my concern is that he won’t stay healthy. Concussions accumulate. Just ask Eric Lindross.

    • ICDogg

      I guess the caveat there is that statistical offensive performance gets better each year. I expect that the average QB rating is higher now than it ever was. So what was once considered statistically an amazing performance might be a little less amazing now.

    • Mike Flick

      I had forgotten about Brian Griese. He looked really good, until Denver brought in Jake Plumber. He never found a place after that.

      I really wish Celeck and Cooper would have gotten that extra foot to give Foles a couple extra scores.

      Looking at the QB record, 16 passing Tds 2 Rushing tds with no picks.
      I doubt Peyton had any rushing, there should be a way of including those.

      Keep the streak alive.

      • BlindChow

        Manning has one rushing TD this year, scored right before he threw his first interception.

      • BobSmith77

        Griese was replacing a HOF QB (Elway) who retired after a 14-2 season and winning a Super Bowl. No QB could have lived up to those expectations.

      • Pennguino

        Should have been challenged

    • A Roy

      Thanks. Good site.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    I have been making a case for Foles over Vick since Nick’s campaign last year. I remember people telling me “durr Nick shouldn’t start because he’ll get killed behind that bad line and his career will be ruined.”

    I actually don’t think the bad line would help or hurt him either way. He’s a smart QB and that’s what smart QBs do. They get better and keep making better decisions. Athletic QBs heavily lean on their athleticism and almost never seem to get much better at using their brains. It’s one of the biggest reaons I thought Foles should’ve started from the get go. Every game he had last year he progressively got better and that’s what you look for in a good QB… These one-read read-option guys will never be SB champs.

    • A Roy

      WIthin reason, perhaps. Eli is pretty good with an O-line. The last couple years, he was one of the best QBs in the league. Look at him this year with an old/patchwork line in front of him.

  • Vick or Nick

    Nick Foles. Franchise Quarterback.

    Seriously. Stop doubting and start believing.

    I’d rather have Foles: a hard worker, good decision maker, and leader than a talented QB from NFL draft that may or may not pan out.

    He may not be as physically gifted as some of us would like but who cares. Just go back to what Foles said. The top QBs in the league aren’t necessarily the most talented (physically).

    They are the hardest workers and great decision makers.

    Brees. Manning. Rodgers. Brady. They’re great because they prepare like crazy and make good decisions on Sundays.

    There is no reason to believe Foles can’t do the same.

    • Joseph Dubyk

      THe most over rated QB attribute? Athleticism. It always has and always will be.

      • anon

        Hmm i thought it was arm strength.

        • Mike Flick

          I thought it was Moxy or the Gunslinger attitude.

          • BlindChow

            Spunk. Definitely spunk.

          • Andy124

            TWSS

          • Michael Winter Cho

            Fiery-ness?

          • BlindChow

            That rich, chocolatey center?

          • jshort

            Is this becoming an adult site?

    • Pennguino

      He is doing everything that is expected of him…if he was a first rounder. Everybody would be saying he finally turned the corner and is playing like he was expected too. Since he is a third rounder…he is overachieving and he can’t keep this up and when is the other shoe going to drop. He had no clout, no big college programs, no Heisman, and no draft cred. He was never expected to do anything other than fail.

  • Vick or Nick

    Granted Sean McDermott has Kuechley and Davis. Two bonafide studs.

    But his scheme and presentations are pretty neat. He can clearly coach.
    Maybe Andy’s biggest regret.

    • Andy124

      He may have needed a fresh start as much as Andy did. I’m under the impression he had pretty much lost the locker room.

      • D3FB

        Plus you never want to be the guy who has to replace THE GUY (not our beloved commenter, he can never be replaced).

        • jshort

          Everyone gets replaced!

  • shah8

    That self-same good position that Foles has consistently been in has made me doubt the probable longevity of Foles as a starter. He has had many chances for effectively college football sized windows, and not a little bit of luck. I mean, if you’re throwing lots of lofty balls, slightly underthrown, you are *really* counting on things to go right for you, and wrong for the other guys. That’s why you don’t really see such plays aside from rookies with permission to make mistakes. Even teams with something like that deep passing style, the Giants, in particular, rely on more precise throws that utilize the sidelines to help the WR shield the ball from DBs, and they never underthrow the ball. Other teams do do deliberately underthrown balls, but as a change-up, and not as a mainstay. Deep plays aside, I never see challenges to the coverage, not even fairly routine ones that requires zip and good placement, aside from throws mostly to TE atop of one of the hashmarks. Sooner or later, Foles will have to make more than one-three throws/game that seizes yards from competent defenses. In other words, he’ll have to be the playmaker in other than merely just in the opportunistic sense for long stretches of time. Neither team last night wins without the QB carrying most of the load. You can see how Russel Wilson has been carrying his offense even as he was missing much of his OL this year. It’s about both good times and bad, Tommy, and I don’t see the talent necessary to gut through bad times. I’m not even sure he can stay healthy, though with people that young, you can’t tell between Stafford or the likes of Darren McFadden/Bob Sanders, etc.

    Additionally, fandom just gets necrotic when a team is throwing out a QB who doesn’t really have the talent, and the QB fanbase stands by their man ever more obnoxiously, even after it’s all smelling of rotten fish. I’m not a fan of that. So, like, I’m all saturnine and shit, and watching that chick on my screen, and thinking, “you have only so many beats, so I suggest you learn to flap those wings, and flap ‘em good…”

    • Joseph Dubyk

      16 Tds thru air, 2 thru ground 0 ints… Im not saying that’s going to be his stats every year through 6 games or whatever it’s been…but at what point do people stop calling him lucky or a career backup?

      • shah8

        I’m a person, not people. My opinion is obviously not held by most people. I’m simply going by *how* he got those scores, and how he has moved the offense. And I do not see exceptional play–nothing like Cameron Newton’s second TD pass. He’s been finding and making throws to open people, and the called plays have worked well. Just…no virtuoso, no genius.

        • shah8

          Also, I had also been comparing the current offense to the ’10 Titans, with C2K, Vince Young throwing deep balls, Heimerdinger? calling plays…and what happened later. Foles has better stats, and isn’t a headcase. but…

          • ICDogg

            I know we all have an idea of the prototype for our perfect quarterback, and Nick Foles might not even resemble it for some of us. That being said, he might just be as good as he needs to be.

        • Anders

          How was Newton’s second pass exceptional? There was nothing special about that play and Foles has made similar throw even on the move.

          Foles is much better passer than Cam Newton, as he has much better touch and anticipation than Newton.

        • A_T_G

          But, that is the goal. The driver doesn’t make an exciting, genius maneuver between the bulldozer and the crowd of nuns when he sees the situation clearly in time to calmly turn onto the next block and cruise to the destination.

        • jshort

          Nice to see him hitting the swing passes to the backs. McNabb made you hold your breath.

        • Pennguino

          I know what you are saying and I agree to a point. Everybody loves a highlight reel of some amazing physical stunt or ability. But really how difficult is it? My guy is faster than your guy. My QB can throw it far/hard. Where’s the skill? Ooohhh….ahhhhhh look how strong and fast he is.
          I like the QB that has enough of those physical attributes but is far more advanced in his thinking. Someone that knows what you are going to do before you even know it. I’ll take a beautiful mind any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I’ll take a QB laughing on the inside at a DB when he knows the routes will flood a zone and that DB will be in no man’s land. I love the pump fakes and and body movement and eye manipulation from the QB absolutely mind f^cking the defense. The QB is working the route as hard as the receiver is and not just waiting for the receiver to do some physical ohh..ahh thing to get open.
          The fake inside zone run where the DE/OLB says F^CK as my QB keeps it and then the MLB or safety is scraping or crashing in only to say F^CK as my QB dishes it back to the trailing WR that picks up a first down.

        • Pennguino

          I know what you are saying and I agree to a point. Everybody loves a highlight reel of some amazing physical stunt or ability. But really how difficult is it? My guy is faster than your guy. My QB can throw it far/hard. Where’s the skill? Ooohhh….ahhhhhh look how strong and fast he is.
          I like the QB that has enough of those physical attributes but is far more advanced in his thinking. Someone that knows what you are going to do before you even know it. I’ll take a beautiful mind any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I’ll take a QB laughing on the inside at a DB when he knows the routes will flood a zone and that DB will be in no man’s land. I love the pump fakes and and body movement and eye manipulation from the QB absolutely mind f^cking the defense. The QB is working the route as hard as the receiver is and not just waiting for the receiver to do some physical ohh..ahh thing to get open.
          The fake inside zone run where the DE/OLB says F^CK as my QB keeps it and then the MLB or safety is scraping or crashing in only to say F^CK as my QB dishes it back to the trailing WR that picks up a first down.

    • ACViking

      At the end of the day, the only question that matters is how many wins does Foles — or any QB — post.

      At this point, it’s too soon to know if Foles can gut his way to wins without the big arm and nimble scampers of more physically gifted QBs.

      That may be why the Eagles keep drafting QBs (in whatever Rd they think the value presents itself).

      • ICDogg

        Let’s say for the sake of argument that after a time the Eagles firmly believe that Foles is most likely a “high middle” starting QB, say 12th best in the league.

        Not exactly as good as we are hoping for, but not too shabby, either.

        At this point, where do you devote your resources? Do you still go after a big time quarterback? Or perhaps you try to spend those resources on O-line, defense, another WR, etc? Because of course resources are limited, and you can’t get everything you want.

    • A_T_G

      First Foles just wasn’t NFL talent and never would be because he lacks the skills. Vick was doing as well as humanly possible, but the WR just weren’t good enough.

      Then Foles was going to doom the running game because he was so slow and teams would keep eight in the box because he couldn’t throw deep.

      Now Foles is going to someday face a situation where there is a throw he is incapable of making? This kind of feels like one of those predictions that will never be wrong because, just wait… How many times will he never be forced to face that situation because good decisions and good placement and good timing keep him ahead of the chains and ahead on the scoreboard. I will certainly grant that one day there will be a throw that Foles misses and the team loses and you can point to someone, Joe Webb maybe, who could have made that throw. Brady had one last night and RGIII had a few on Sunday.

      In the meantime, Foles is doing stuff that only a handful of guys ever did. He is winning, convincingly, and he is a leader. He is one of three guys to play in this system, and the only one to experience this kind of success.

      You can hope that his reign is short-lived and accuse us of having rotting, dying organs(?), but as a wise man once said, “(w)ishful thinking will only make an idiot out of you.”

      • Pennguino

        “”this kind of feels like one of those predictions that will never be wrong because, just wait… How many times will he never be forced to face that situation because good decisions and good placement and good timing keep him ahead of the chains and ahead on the scoreboard. “”

        This is the same as saying he never would have escaped that blitz because he was not fast enough to juke/jive/or out run the defense. Instead he read the blitz presnap and threw a smoke route to defeat the blitz. He beat it with his mind and his arm, not his legs.

        It’s a never ending cause/effect

  • ACViking

    Re: QB Ratings

    ICDOGG — in response to an earlier comment regarding Foles’ and RWilson’s presence among the very best 1-season QBRatings — speculated:

    “I guess the caveat there is that statistical offensive performance gets
    better each year. I expect that the average QB rating is higher now than
    it ever was. So what was once considered statistically an amazing
    performance might be a little less amazing now.”

    ______________

    Absolutely a great point.

    Historical QB ratings have to be looked at before and after 1979. And, likewise, maybe before and after 2000.

    1979 was the last season of bump-and-run defensive football.

    Notably, from 1950 (merger of NFL & AAFC) to 1979, only 1 pre-1980 QB makes the Top 10 in QB rating.

    That’s Milt Plum – 1960 Browns, 21 TDs 5 Ints 9.2 YPA. He posted those numbers in a 12-game season. Projecting them over 16 games, you’d get 28 TDs, 7 Ints and 9.2 YPA. That TD figure is almost pedestrian by 2013 standards.

    Conversely, Plums YPA of 9.2 — which ties only for 7th in the 1950-79 period — would tie him for 3rd in the 1980-present period.
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_yds_per_att_single_season.htm
    ________________

    Looking at QB ratings since 2000, you see lots and lots of Top 25 performances occurring in the past decade — just as ICDOGG speculated.

    The NFL’s increased protections for QBs, made catches easier (Bert Emmanuel rule), and now eliminated big center-field hits on receivers.

    Those rule changes would seem to depreciate the more recent record-setting QB-rating performances.

    On the other hand . . . if Foles sustains what he’s doing, he’ll be top dog. And, regardless of the rule changes, that’d still be some accomplishment (something that’s unrelated to ICDOGG’s point, by the way).

    • ICDogg

      Yes, I have a lot of hope for Foles, I think comparing him, as some still do, to Kolb is ridiculous. In fact, Kolb hardly played in his first two seasons, most significantly in his relief appearance for McNabb when Reid benched him against Baltimore.

    • Joseph Dubyk

      I think 2004 was the year QBs really started to put up REALLY gaudy #s… I think quite a few QBs had 30+ TDs, which at the time was rare that anymore than 1-2 got that and sometimes 28 was good enough for NFL leader….now 28 TDs could possibly mean you’re average depending on how much talent you have around you.

      • holeplug

        Yeah Bill Polian whined like a little girl after Manning threw 4 INTs in the 2003 AFC title game and pretty much got the illegal contact rule changed by himself so that Wayne and Harrison could get open against the Pats defensive backs.

  • BlindChow

    Just peeked into a Jaguars blog to check out their outlook on things. Pretty dire. They’re terrified they might win another game and lose their first round pick next year…

    • BlindChow

      Oh, and one guy speculated about trading their second round pick for ol’ Nick Foles. Haha!

      • Anders

        If Foles keep this up, they better give us the first over all pick

        • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

          and then some.

    • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

      why would they lose their 1st round pick

      • ICDogg

        He means “1st overall pick” of the draft, which they could lose by not finishing with the worst record

  • Insomniac

    I don’t know what’s more insane. That the bottle of Mtn.Dew I just drank has almost 80g of sugar or that I just realized that the core Reid left us with isn’t that bad. Minus the new CBs, Wolff, Bennie, and maybe Goode; we still have about 80% of Andy’s leftovers playing damn well when they were given the chance.

    • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

      every starter on offense except lane is from reid. and that minus maclin.

  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    reid left us a LOT of toys.