I was checking out some stats tonight while doing some research and stumbled across something interesting.
Let’s compare 2006 Donovan McNabb vs 2013 Nick Foles. Each guy started 10 games, although Foles played in a few others. They had almost the exact same number of passing attempts.
McNabb – 5-5
Foles – 7-3
McNabb – 180-316 – 57%
Foles – 203-317 – 64%
McNabb – 2647 yards
Foles – 2891 yards
McNabb – 18 TDs, 6 INTs
Foles – 27 TDs , 2 INTs
McNabb – Yds per Attempt 8.4
Foles – Yds per Attempt 9.1
McNabb – sacked 21 times for 140 yards
Foles – sacked 28 times for 173 yards
Kind of interesting, huh? You can look at this one of two ways. Either Foles has a chance to be as good as McNabb or Chip Kelly has one amazing system. That was the 2nd best season of McNabb’s career in terms of passing stats. Foles posted better numbers than him in only his 2nd season.
You really do wonder just how good Foles can be when he figures out what he’s doing and truly adjusts to the NFL.
* * * * *
TEs didn’t have quite the role we anticipated in 2013, but they did make an impact. Brent Celek (6) and Zach Ertz (4) combined for 10 TD catches.
2012 – 3 TE TDs
2011 – 6 TE TDs
2010 – 5 TE TDs (including catch by Todd Herremans)
2009 – 8 TE TDs
2008 – 5 TE TDs (including catch by Todd Herremans)
2007 – 3 TE TDs
2006 – 7 TE TDs
Chip Kelly got the football to big guys in the Red Zone. Celek, Ertz and Riley Cooper combined for 18 TD catches. That seems like a simple notion, but Andy Reid struggled to embrace that or didn’t push it on his QBs enough. No matter how you slice it, the ball wasn’t getting to the right people outside of 2004, when McNabb fed it to TO.
Whether you give credit to Foles or Kelly, the ball went to the right guys. Sometimes we make football too complicated. In the Red Zone, just get the ball to the tall guys. Life is then a lot simpler.