Let’s appreciate Nick Foles by taking a look at some stats. We all know stats don’t tell the whole story. Numbers can be manipulated. But they can paint a pretty good picture. Plus, they’re fun.
* Nick Foles QB rating for the season is 118.8. Donovan McNabb’s personal high was 104.7 in 2004. Check this out. McNabb only had 20 games with a rating of higher than 118.8 in his career.
Michael Vick’s highest rating was 100.2 back in 2010. He only had 14 games with a rating above 118.8.
Wow. That’s some perspective.
* Nick Foles has thrown 25 TD passes this year. Tom Brady has 24. That in and of itself is worth a “wow”. It gets even crazier. Foles has thrown 291 passes this year. Brady has attempted 604. Think of that efficiency. Foles has more TD passes with fewer than half as many throws. That is simply astounding.
* Foles 25 TD passes tie for the 3rd most by an Eagles QB in the last 30 years. McNabb had 31 back in 2004. Randall Cunningham had 30 in 1990. McNabb had 25 in 2001. And those guys were playing a full season. Foles will finish this season with 10 starts.
Ron Jaworski threw 27 TD passes in 1980 and was the league MVP. That tells you how times have changed in the NFL.
Rodney Peete led the Eagles to a 10-6 record in 1995. He threw 8 TD passes all year long. He was on the Eagles roster for 3 years and only threw 15 TDs in that stretch.
* Nick Foles is 73rd in the NFL in rushing this year. Who is 74th? Darren Sproles. Foles is 52-226 with 3 TDs. Sproles is 50-221 with 2 TDs. And remember that Foles totals include kneel-downs. Foles has more runs of 20 or more yards (2 to 1).
Bills rookie QB E.J. Manuel has only run for 186 yards.
If Foles can run for at least 10 yards on Sunday, he’ll finish with 236 yards. McNabb had 236 rushing yards in 2007. Aside from that, you have to go back to 2003 to find McNabb with more yards than Foles has now. A lot of that was McNabb’s choice not to run, but that’s part of the point. He had the ability to run and chose not to. That was dumb. Foles isn’t a good runner, but is smart enough to take advantage of the situation when it is there.
* Foles leads the NFL in passing yards per attempt at 9.03. That is an amazingly high total. McNabb’s best was 8.38 in 2006, which was excellent. Vick was at 8.1 back in 2010. He was at 8.6 this year, which is excellent.
Foles has the 7th highest YPA in the last 25 years. Some of the guys ahead of him are named Montana, Manning and Warner.
* Foles completion percentage is 63.92. Back in his dream season of 2004, McNabb completed 63.97 percent of his passes. Foles can catch him for the highest completion percentage in team history. Foles would break the record by going 17 for 25, or something equivalent to that.
* Foles is 2nd in the NFL in pass plays of 40 or more yards. He has 13. Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton each have 14. They’ve each thrown more than 250 additional passes to get that one extra long play.
* Foles is 3rd in the NFL in the percentage of passes that result in a 1st down. 40.2 percent of his throws are for 1st downs. Only Peyton and Philip Rivers are ahead of him.
The numbers are just amazing.
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Noah Becker, who is a good follow on Twitter (unless you are somehow a Washington Nationals fan), came up with a good stat. He used the sortable stats at Pro Football Reference to come up with this.
Since 1970, he looked for QBs that were 25 or younger and had at least 30 passing TDs after their first 2 seasons. Of that group, Nick Foles has the 3rd highest rating at 99.9. Dan Marino is in 1st place at 104.5. Russell Wilson is between them.
Interesting list. Helps to put Foles first couple of years into historical perspective.
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Les Bowen wrote a piece about Saint Nick. He’s got a couple of good quotes from Chip Kelly in there.
“I think one thing with Nick is, he’s very critical of himself, but in a constructive way, and I think that shows up in terms of the little, teeny details that I think separate from being good and going to great. He’s willing to work at that,” Kelly said.
“I think his confidence is a byproduct of his experience, and I think the more looks he sees . . . he’s a very quick study,” Kelly said. “You have to be able to learn from your mistakes . . . You have to make mistakes in order to continue to grow and to continue to get outside your comfort level.”
Great players don’t settle for good enough. Great players are greedy. They want to be the best. That means being hard on yourself and your teammates. Nick knows how to push himself. As the Eagles become “his team”, Nick will become more assertive with others.