Is Nick Foles Overrated?

Posted: July 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 117 Comments »

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports recently wrote a piece where he chose an overrated and underrated player for all 32 teams. He chose Nick Foles as his overrated Eagle. Jimmy Bama didn’t like Prisco’s logic and wrote a post about that. Bama and Prisco battled it out for a couple of days on Twitter. I will write about that angle later, but for now I want to get back to the original question…is Foles overrated?

Before we can answer this question we must first address the question of how Foles is rated. I really think that is where the confusion lies.

Let’s look at the Top 8 passer rating’s for a single season.

1 – Aaron Rodgers
2 – Peyton Manning
3 – Nick Foles
4 – Tom Brady
5 – Peyton Manning
6 – Steve Young
7 – Joe Montana
8 – Tom Brady

So…what name on that list looks different than the others?

Those are some of the greatest QBs in NFL history. Foles has never even been a starter on opening day. He doesn’t belong to be considered as a peer to those players…yet. That could change over time, but there are no guarantees. 2013 could prove to be the best season of his career.

I don’t think even the most ardent of Eagles fans sees Foles as belonging on that list. But…his 2013 season is there and that’s what causes the problem. How do you rate a guy who just had one of the best seasons ever?

Honestly, we don’t know what Nick Foles is.

Foles stats and the eye test don’t mesh. Foles certainly looks like a good QB, but he doesn’t do the kind of special things that you expect from a great QB. Then again, the guys on the list weren’t all great from the start. Brady was clutch very early in his career, but he didn’t have a rating of above 100 until his 7th full season as a starter. The same is true for Manning, which actually shocked me. Young was very disappointing in Tampa Bay and got dealt to SF. Rodgers rode the bench for a few years before even getting a chance to play.

Foles is 25 years old. Montana led SF to their first Super Bowl at age 25. We couldn’t very well define Montana in July 1981 since he was a young player with not enough game action under his belt. Let’s see what Foles does this year before we really try to pin him down. Even then, it will take a couple of more seasons to truly know.

Part of being a defined player (whether great or good or average or bad) is that you have a track record people can study and make judgments from. Foles doesn’t have that. The guy has never started more than 8 straight games in the NFL. Let’s give him a chance to play before we figure out what he really is.

Back to Prisco’s point of Foles being overrated. If someone talks about Foles as being a Top QB in the NFL, then yeah…I’d say he’s overrated. I’m sticking with Rodgers, Brees and Manning as the best. Brady seems to be descending. Put Foles in a discussion with Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck. That’s where he belongs for now.

If someone says Foles is one of the 10 best QBs in the NFL, I think you can make that argument. That’s reasonable.

I understand where Priso is coming from because there is some hype with Foles that can seem a bit much at times, but I just think you have to say a bit more than he did in throwing a blanket assessment like “Overrated”.

* * * * *

Pro Football Focus put some numbers together on Foles and the kind of season he had.


•  Ranked second in the league at +11.2 on passes in the 11-to-20-yard range.
•  Among the league’s best on throws of 30+ yards (+3.3) and 40+ yards (+3.0).
•  Graded at +10.5 on throws between the numbers and +7.3 outside the numbers on the right.
•  Graded at +3.7 with a 131.8 passer rating against the blitz. Those numbers rose to a +7.2grade and 153.5 rating when the blitz didn’t result in pressure.
•  Ranked fourth with a +10.7 grade on drop-backs of 9 or more yards.
•  Ranked fourth on passes lasting at least 3.6 seconds at +9.1.
•  Best routes were the posts (+4.3) and in routes (+3.1).


•  Graded at -2.3 on passes in the 21-to-30-yard range.
•  Strugged on passes outside the numbers to the left at -3.5.
•  Graded at -3.5 against blitz pressure.
•  Posted negative grades on passes that lasted up to 2.5 seconds; graded positively on those lasting at least 2.5 seconds.
•  Lowest grade by route was a -0.1 on go routes.


•  Led the league with 92.5% of his drop-backs coming from the shotgun or pistol.
•  8.0% of his passes came on scrambles outside the pocket, above the league average of 5.6%.
•  Threw the highest percentage of passes at 20+ yards (18.9%) and 30+ yard (7.0%).
•  Threw 31.6% of his passes outside the numbers to his right, third-highest in the league.
•  Overall, 54.6% of his passes went outside the numbers, fifth-highest in the league.
•  Dropped back to 9 or more yards on 38.5% of his drop-backs, sixth-highest in the league.
•  26.6% of passes lasted at least 3.6 seconds, fourth-highest in the league.
•  Threw the highest percentage of screens in the league at 17.5% of his total drop-backs.
•  Threw crossing routes on 16.1% of his drop-backs, highest percentage in the league.
•  Threw the lowest percentage of slants in the league at 3.1% 


117 Comments on “Is Nick Foles Overrated?”

  1. 1 GEAGLE said at 8:41 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    What FOles did to Charles Woodson was. Thing of beauty during the raiders game. He moved Woodson around like a puppet all game like a veteran QB with his eyes, body language and subtle nuances of the QB position… Any idiot can look at Kapernick rip off a 30yard run and see what makes him good….but it takes a. Educated football fan to be able to appreciate just how spectacular FOles was this past year considering his age and experience level, because he played the game like a high quality veteran…

    People see the 7TDs in Oakland and how DBs were falling lack over the place. But go back and watch the FOles vs. Charles Woodson battle from the Oakland game. FOles pulled his strings like a puppet master all game, moving Woodson wherever he wanted to move him,..for a kid who hasn’t even started 16 games to do what he did to Charles Woodson, that’s some advanced high level QB ish….of course getting a fuckin idiot like Prisco to even notice something like this is way too much to ask. His simple brain is better off sticking to, “he runs fast, that makes him good” level of analysis,,,,

    If you haven’t seen What FOles did to Charles Woodson, strongly suggest going back and watching the raiders game! paying attention to FOles vs? Woodson battle.. If FOles wanted to throw right, you will see him use the nuances of the position to move Woodson to the left, and then come back and throw right….he abused Woodson all game. A novice NFL QBs should not have done that to Woodson…. Let’s see cam newton, RG3, KAp play the QB position as advanced as FOles did

  2. 2 Tom Christiansen said at 8:57 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    He did take Woodson to school that day, but the Raiders secondary around him were so bad in the game that he was trying to compensate for that to an extent. Foles uses his eyes and shoulders pretty well to manipulate defenses, but he also misses reads occasionally and throws some bad balls. He had some games where he looked unstoppable (Raiders, Bucs, Bears) but he also had a few where he didn’t look great (Vikings) and then the 1st game against the Cowboys was an aberration. While his stats were great last year, and he did play very well, there is a level of inconsistency that won’t allow me to anoint him the next great QB.

    Having said that, he is the perfect place to become a very good QB, great o-line, great RB, very good receiving options and perhaps the best offensive coach in the game (has to prove he is more than a 1 year wonder as well, which I think he will, with aplomb). A lot is riding on him as there is uncertainty behind on the depth chart, but I think he will rise to the challenge.

    Also Prisco is a bit of an idiot, but I do understand him calling Foles ‘overrated’, everyone goes on about his passer rating, but to an extent that stat is pretty useless. Watching the season back online, there are times when Foles is frustrating to watch. But I still prefer him leading the team to any other QB available, and so does Chip, which is enough for me to go on. Fly, Eagles Fly.

  3. 3 Andrew J. Race said at 9:02 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    vikings game, foles played pretty well…he scored points which is all that matters…defense let us down in that game

  4. 4 Tom Christiansen said at 8:38 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    He put up good stats, but didn’t play that well.

  5. 5 GEAGLE said at 9:16 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    It’s perfectly fine to wait to anoint FOles…that’s perfectly reasonable. But if that’s the case, than I don’t want to see Luck, Kapernick or RG3 anointed either…..Wilson has a SB ring, and Cam has like 40 starts under his belt….but the other 3 haven’t proved any more than FOles has

  6. 6 Tom Christiansen said at 9:42 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    RG3 and Kap I fully agree with, Wilson has a ring so he has proved he can perform on the big stage. To be fair a lot of QBs could have won that game though. Luck has dragged a terrible team into the playoffs 2 years in a row, he has to carry that team. The difference between the 2011 team and the 2012 team was negligible overall, other than Luck. He is an incredible talent, and when/if they develop a ground game, his completion % and INTs will both improve. He still has to improve, but he has every opportunity to do that, just like Foles. Newton has been the best QB of them all so far though. Great through the air despite average-bad receivers, and 28 rushing TDs in 3 seasons, that is seriously impressive stuff.

  7. 7 Ben Hert said at 10:41 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I was watching some of the Chip breakdowns that he did during the season today, h/t to TLAW for retweeting that and making me watch them again. But just as you said, rewatching the OAK tape, Kelly talks about how great of a job Nick does in controlling Woodson with his eyes. Fun watch, thanks for pointing that out.

  8. 8 Mike Roman said at 9:14 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Did anyone hear Ray Didinger and Rob Ellis talk to Prisco last week?

  9. 9 GEAGLE said at 9:19 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Yeah it was funny how pathetic he was,,,they took him to task and made him look stupid, yet Prisco still stick to his guns, without admitting his mistake, which makes him a blowhard that I will never respect…..he called FOles check down charle, the didy gave him the stats about leading the league in throws over 20 yards, and Prisco refused to change his tune. Basically, no amount of evidence could have gotten him to change his tune, which makes him the definition of a blowhard

  10. 10 Mike Roman said at 11:16 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Most of the national guys are idiots. 17% of Drew Brees’ completions over the last three years were to Darren Sproles for 8.57 yards per completion. I bet Prisco would never call Drew Brees check down Charlie.

  11. 11 D3FB said at 2:04 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I heard it live, and the best part was when Prisco claimed to understand Philly fans because he lived in KOP for a few years, then proceeded to pull out the tired national cliches, and ellis just called him on his shit.

  12. 12 anon said at 9:20 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    In his first 4 games Vick was putting up career numbers as well. It’d be interesting to see what his rating was in those first few games vs historical — i’d call that the “Kelly Effect”. But at the end of the day — who cares overrated, underrated perfectly rated, as long as we win games i could care less whether he doesn’t throw picks.

  13. 13 GEAGLE said at 9:22 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Please… By the KC game it was back to the old vick

  14. 14 Neil said at 9:34 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Yeah, Vick got to play in the games where film was nonexistent to scarce on this offense. Might not be the biggest advantage, but Vick put up worse numbers despite it.

  15. 15 anon said at 11:11 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Honestly the whole team was terrible that game — started from DJ2 muffing the punt all the way to that 4th quarter drive by kc that took like 7 minutes.

    KC was also for much of the season the best defense in the league.

    The offense was generally better with Foles but I don’t know if he wins us Chargers, KC, Denver. Thoughts?

  16. 16 Ark87 said at 11:32 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    KC and chargers were pretty tight so who knows. Denver, no way, at that point in the season we were in very different places, week 17 rematch would have been interesting. The biggest factor in all of these games is that the D had a long, long ways to go.

    If Vick had thrown a bunch of picks in any of those games and that is what lost us the game, you might speculate that Foles wouldn’t have done that, but I didn’t really see it that way.

  17. 17 livingonapear said at 9:27 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    I think what bothers me about the overrated/underrated thing is that there are X number of lists that come out every year, that have to have y number of overrated/underrated players; as though there are always a certain number of underrated or overrated players.

    For someone to be overrated in my eyes, they have to be accepted throughout the league as a high quality player. When profootballfocus claimed that Davin Joseph was overrated, they meant that nearly everyone was flat out wrong about him.

  18. 18 Bert's Bells said at 9:40 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Graded at +3.7 with a 131.8 passer rating against the blitz.

    Graded at -3.5 against blitz pressure.

    Say what now?

  19. 19 Dominik said at 9:43 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Didn’t get that point either. Maybe they mean “send the house” pressure? Maybe blitz pressure is the situation where there are more rushers than the O-Line can handle, mathematically, but I don’t know that, it’s just guessing.

  20. 20 A_T_G said at 7:07 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    The stats in the article said he was above average against blitz pressure overall, and well above average against blitz pressure that didn’t get home. The negative was that he was below average when it did get to him.

    With the scoring scale, I think it means that Foles was a more extreme version of what is true for every team: blitzing is a risk, and you are likely to stop the offense if you succeed in pressuring the QB but get burned if you don’t. It seems to me the stats suggest this fact was even more true against Foles last year.

  21. 21 Dominik said at 7:32 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    What I don’t get is: which QB is successful against a blitz that comes home? He either throws it away/to a receiver before the blitz comes home or the Line picks it up, but a blitz coming home means the QB has no chance anymore. That is, if he’s not a Wilson/Kaep/Vick kind of scrambler, but if that’s the case, then Manning and Brady SHOULD have bad stats against blitzes that are coming home, too.

  22. 22 FairOaks said at 9:22 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I think QBs are of course worse in that situation. The rating, I assume, means he was below average compared to other QBs when the pressure got to them.

  23. 23 shah8 said at 5:27 PM on July 8th, 2014:

    All I think that means is that Fole’s heavy feet is a liability if someone screws up on the OL.

  24. 24 Anders said at 9:44 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Blitz pressure is a blitz the OL didnt pick up and got pressure

  25. 25 SteveH said at 9:56 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Which makes sense, he’s not a super elusive guy. Has good mobility to move in the pocket but if someone comes free against him he’s not getting away.

  26. 26 bsuperfi said at 10:01 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    I’d love to see the comps for Qbs with similar games like Brady who should be good and bad in similar situations. Not saying Foles is as good (though his numbers may actually be better last season).

  27. 27 Bert's Bells said at 10:24 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Sort of figured as much. As bsuperfi suggests, this is a stat that needs context. Is “0” supposed to be the average grade? It’s rare for any QB to have better numbers against pressure, that’s sort of what defenses are built on.

  28. 28 Dominik said at 9:41 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Thanks, Tommy, for putting out quality content during the high point of summer recess. I’m a huge soccer fan, so I still have the world cup, but it’s really boring at the moment from a football point of view. Because of your posts, I can at least enjoy some good reading.

  29. 29 D-von said at 9:57 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    I always wonder what people mean when they say Foles stats doesn’t match the eye test. He looks goofy and awkward when he runs and he can hold on to the ball too long sometimes, but his QB skills are really advanced at this stage of his career.

  30. 30 Anders said at 10:02 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Some of it is also just how he played in a game like Vikings, second Cowboys game or even the Saints game. Good stat lines, but he was also holding the team back with a lot of missed opportunities

  31. 31 D-von said at 10:11 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    He didn’t play to his best but he didn’t hold the team back in any of those games. The defense allowed an Adrian Peterson-less vikings team to beat them, and allowed the saints to run the ball down there throats. The only game that Foles actually hurt the team was in the fist Dallas game

  32. 32 Anders said at 10:33 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles missed a lot of things early in the Vikings game, the Cowboys game, we almost lost to Kyle fucking Orton because Foles and co. couldnt move the ball well against one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year

  33. 33 D-von said at 1:06 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Seriously? How can the defense let Orton score on them is the question you should be asking. Division games are harder for a reason but allowing a backup Qb who hasn’t played all season to score is unacceptable. Blaming the Qb for the faults of defense is stupid

  34. 34 Anders said at 1:09 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    How Im blaming Foles? I just said he could have played a lot better in those games despite his good stat line.

  35. 35 D-von said at 1:17 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Well yeah he didn’t have his best game. Like I said above, foles didn’t play at his best but he didn’t hold the team back. It was of a case of the defense failing at critical times.

  36. 36 Anders said at 1:20 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I was just given examples of where his nice stat line was better than his tape.
    When you see a passer rating of 124.4, people assume he played lights out, but afterwards when you look at the tape, you see a guy who made a lot of mistakes or left a lot of plays on the field.

  37. 37 Sean said at 1:33 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    It’s also worth noting here that Dallas was grabbing a handful of the Eagles’ receivers all night long and were called for a grand total of 0 defensive penalties.

  38. 38 Buge Halls said at 3:11 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    “because Foles and co. couldnt move the ball well against one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year” Seems like you’re blaming Foles to me.

  39. 39 Ben Hert said at 1:29 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    You can blame the defense for sucking all you want, but you cannot deny the fact that Foles failed to lead the Eagles to any amount of points in the second half until 6m left in the game. For a guy who is having so much praise heaped upon him, we need to take a step back and have perspective on some of his red flags. Anders is 100% right in that he missed a lot of reads against one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Regardless of the defense’s performance, its definitely something to be concerned about.

  40. 40 Media Mike said at 7:15 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I’m with the thought that Foles left plays on the field and needs to improve, but I’ll take him ALL DAY over Scam, Kaeper-nit-wit, Vick, Johnny Coke Snort, and/or RGKnee.

  41. 41 Pennguino said at 1:20 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I am a huge Foles Fan but I admitt that he held the team back on several occasions. There were a couple of games where he played safe and tried to manage the game. He tried to play mistake free and was tentative.
    That is one of the things I hope he improves on. His INT’s will go up but I think it would be a step forward to open up a little more.

  42. 42 Buge Halls said at 3:10 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles won the Saints game. He did what he needed to do and left the field with his team winning! The (un)special teams and defense simply let the Saints walk down the field!

  43. 43 Pennguino said at 1:15 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    It’s more of the group that likes highlight reels. The frozen rope 50 yarders. The Houdini escapes. They want the physical achievements because it is something they can see and rate. They cannot rate a beautiful mind.
    A part of it is the expectations. He is a tall goofey kid and runs awkwardly and doesn’t have a cannon for an arm. He was only a third round draft choice. Therefor when he splits a double team and fits it in a tight spot you get “he was lucky there.” If it is Keap, RGIII you get the “WOW, what a great throw. His arm allowed him to make that throw.”
    For me I get the “WOW” from watching him sell the screens, the touch passes and the bucket drops he had. The clinic he put on in the Oak game with his shoulder and eye movements to manipulate the defense. He had one pump fake that actually caused the receiver to stop running his route leaving Nick high and dry.
    We haven’t had a smart QB, Strike that, a Heady QB in a long time.

  44. 44 Anders said at 1:22 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    “game with his shoulder and eye movements to manipulate the defense. ”

    His ability to manipulate defenses with his movement and eyes is just on a level you do not expect from a guy who only had 6 starts to his career

  45. 45 SteveH said at 10:03 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    The problem I think with Prisco’s reasoning is this – how highly rated is Nick Foles really anyhow? The general consensus doesn’t seem to place Foles among the elites yet, or maybe even the 2nd tier guys. So overrated in relation to his current general standing would mean Foles is what, a terrible QB? I think the media and league in general would need to be giving Foles a lot more love before you can really say he’s overrated. I have yet to see anyone make the case that Foles is a top 5 QB in the NFL right now, despite having one of the best seasons of all time.

    Speaking of stats not meshing with the eye test, Foles is bizarrely effective on throws of 30+ and 40+. The eye test tells me he’s not terrible on those throws, but he definitely doesn’t have a cannon arm that can really launch it with ease.

  46. 46 David Wolf said at 5:21 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles may not have a cannon, but if you look at the NFL combine results for various quarterbacks you would find the following results in the “velocity” throws:
    Kaepernick–59 MPH
    Dalton–59 MPH
    Newton–56 MPH
    Wilson–55 MPH
    FOLES–57 MPH
    Does Dalton have a cannon? Does the 2 MPH difference between Foles and Kaepernick actually mean a damn thing? Would you have guessed that Foles has a stronger arm than Wilson or Newton?

  47. 47 A_T_G said at 6:58 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    2mph difference equates to about 3 feet per second. So, it could make a difference, but only in very select scenarios and with the assumption that both throwers read the window and go through their throwing motion at the same rate.

  48. 48 Media Mike said at 7:16 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    And considering Kaep makes the decision to try to throw on Sherman to SORRY receivers like Crabtree, that extra 2mph isn’t worth squat.

  49. 49 Tumtum said at 10:19 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Judging from the numbers listed I think it is safe to say that Foles is playing in an offense vastly different from anyone else’s in league. That probably means the normal inferences that you would draw from the numbers may not apply. Weather you use that as a pro or anti Foles angle, it is what it is.

    Montana and Young were also playing in an offense pretty significantly different than the rest of the league during their time. Defenses were not used to defending the WCO. That certainly would have worked to their advantage, yet there they sit in the conversation about the best QBs ever. No one ever mentions that they played in an unusual offense (at the time).

    The thing that stands out about Foles is his ability to avoid mistakes. He makes the right decision and gets it there or limits negative consequences if he can’t. That is a HUGE trait to have. Most guys either have that innately or they don’t. Not to say that the light doesn’t go on for many guys. I think if you asked any coach if they could have a guy who didn’t get it (and may never) with great physical attributes, or a guy that did get it with limited physical attributes (which have proven methods of improvement); I think most offensive coaches are going to take the guy who gets it. Heck I think Manning is the GOAT and he sure seems like Foles in a lot of ways.

    That being said I still put Nick behind guys even like Rothel, Flacco, and Ryan.

  50. 50 Media Mike said at 7:17 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Very fair.

  51. 51 MFlick said at 10:20 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles is very underrated.

  52. 52 MFlick said at 10:21 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Everyone has said that he will regress. His numbers will be worse. But I have not heard a reason why except “He can’t be that good.”

  53. 53 Anders said at 11:37 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Its called regression towards the mean, unless you think his 119 QB rating and his 27/2 td/int ratio is his mean.

  54. 54 Sean said at 1:29 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Certainly, he will throw more than 2 interceptions next season and, consequently, his passer rating will fall in turn. At the same time, it annoys me that everyone seems to have decided to overlook every other statistic of his aside from these two. He led the league in several important metrics, among them y/a, ay/a, any/a (the highest since 1976, in fact), and td%. There’s a stronger argument to be made that he has been underrated considering the historically awesome season he just posted.

  55. 55 Anders said at 1:34 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    and looking at both y/a and td%, he is looking to regress towards his mean there as well, as both was out of the world great

  56. 56 Sean said at 2:45 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Perhaps, but the argument against him boils down to the notion that his tremendous luck fueled his numbers. These efficiency stats aren’t tied to luck in the same way that interceptions are. Saying these sky-high rates will naturally dip a little is fine and probably accurate, but it won’t mean his play has regressed. Maybe he completes a couple of passes to the 1-yard line, so his td% goes down, but that’s not regression.

  57. 57 Anders said at 3:30 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Most people say his stats will regress, but his overall play might improve.

    I think Foles will 100% improve because he is a very smart driven guy, but I think his numbers will be more like 65% comp%, around 35 tds, 4400 yards and 8 ints.

  58. 58 MFlick said at 2:05 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    He can’t have a statistical mean with 2 data points.

  59. 59 Anders said at 3:31 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    There is his true mean and his observed mean, right now we only have 2 points of his observed mean, but that doesnt mean he cant regress towards his true mean.

  60. 60 MFlick said at 4:47 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I don’t even know what that means.

  61. 61 Anders said at 7:46 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Might have used some other words than normal, but true mean =population mean (unknown right now as his sample is not big enough to estimate it), observed mean = sample mean (his 16 starts)

  62. 62 Neil said at 2:21 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles has a lot of things he can improve. I personally believe he will.

    But yeah, as regards his numbers, to say his stats won’t ever be as high again is no knock on Foles. What he did was just out of this world. If he were to repeat it even once during a career that is otherwise fairly close to that level of play, he’d be a HOFer. He could play the next 15 years and never have a season with such a high passer rating, but if he was consistently above 100 he would still almost surely end up in the HOF.

  63. 63 Mark F said at 10:30 AM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles learns from his mistakes and doesn’t repeat them. That is absolutely the most necessary trait for a great QB and Foles has it in spades. It’s the single greatest reason why I pegged him for success in the NFL the day we drafted him and it continues to be the reason why he is the starter.
    People want to peg him as a product of a great system, but tell me, how did these other great QBs do in their first seasons? It took Brady how many years to get a QB rating over 100? Manning? Yeah…Foles sure is overrated…smh…
    Tommy, I have to disagree I say he passes the eye test.

  64. 64 Buge Halls said at 3:16 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Similarly, how did Vick do in that same system? He failed when he was apparently the QB perfectly designed to fit into Chip’s system. If it’s all about the system, you would expect any QB to excel in it.

  65. 65 Media Mike said at 7:21 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Which is why I’m inflamed that Kempski had the audacity to rank Kaepernick and Newton ahead of Foles on his “fit” list.

  66. 66 Media Mike said at 7:21 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to bash McNabb in the Vick (or other scramble bum) category. Although his failure to learn how to properly set his feet led to all of those worm burner passes over the years; his brilliance and intellect in avoiding INTs was a great asset. I’m not a McNabb = HOF guy, but I think his career showed him to be a great player.

  67. 67 Guest said at 9:02 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    A bit of revisionist history, eh? I know what I saw with my own eyes, I know he couldn’t read a defense to save his life, and he couldn’t go through his progressions, either…I know that several former players said they had to dumb the offense down for him because he wasn’t a cerebral QB…McNabb and brilliance rarely found themselves in the same sentence.

  68. 68 Rage114 said at 12:13 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I haven’t seen anyone rate him that high so I am not sure how he can be overrated. It is almost like he had to build a straw man to attack.

  69. 69 Dominik said at 12:31 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Prisco would tell you that he has watched hours of film on straw man, but when you ask him, he couldn’t tell you what it means.

  70. 70 theycallmerob said at 6:17 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    not to mention his persistent douchebagery persona on twitter. usually a snarky response to a fan who points out specific data or scenarios discounting his “analysis”

    Nice to see local Philly writers (@JimmyKempski) try to tear my overrated-underrated Eagles apart. With work, you can watch all 32, Jimmy— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) June 30, 2014


    Fun times on @SportsRadioWIP. Host was entitled to his wrong opinion.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) June 30, 2014

  71. 71 Dominik said at 7:29 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Read the tweets, too. And those were even before the “Twitter war” against Jimmy. A real dickish behaviour. My comment was an allusion to his “with work, you can watch all 32”.

  72. 72 ACViking said at 12:52 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Re: Who is Nick Foles?

    As wonderful as the internet can be, the need to fill virtual news space leads to fruitless discussions like this one.

    There’re only 2 QB in the NFL’s modern era (1955 to present) who were instantly great. And then actually got better.

    Otherwise, I can’t name a single QB — HOFer, active QB headed to the HOF, or a multiple All Pro not in the HOF — whom, without reservation, could be marked after just two seasons as a “great” QB . . . as in prolific, clutch, and breathtaking. Not one.

    John Unitas? Didn’t even start opening day until his third year.

    Bart Starr? Lombardi was still looking for a different starter in his 4th year.

    Terry Bradshaw? Noll yo-yo’d him with Joe Gilliam and Terry Hanratty for 5 seasons.

    Bob Griese? Shula came to Miami in Griese’s 4th year and chose jouneyman John Stofa as his starter over the future HOFer.

    Fran Tarkenton? Pretty good start considering he was a rookie on an expansion team, but it wasn’t until season 3 that he really took off.

    Roger Staubach? Year 3 he rocketed to the top of the NFL heap. Before that? He couldn’t beat out Craig Morton.

    Roman Gabriel? 2nd-overall pick in ’64. Took 5 years to become the starter.

    Brett Favre? Took over for Don Majkowski in Wk 4 of his 2nd year, but was still a couple years away from becoming a top-shelf QB.

    Dan Fouts? JAG for 5 years, until Don Coryell moved his Air Show to S.D.

    Big Ben Roethlisberger? Carefully managed his first three season on a run-first team by a run-first coach with a great defense — then had his break-out season in year 4.

    T-Law . . . you covered the rest.

    At bottom, conversations like these — particularly with regard to rookies — generally aren’t especially grounded in enough facts.

    Who were the 2 QBs who were immediately great?

    Marino and Namath. In that order.

    Talk about guys who — as GEagle remarked about Foles — manipulated defenses with their eyes and shoulders and then, with the two quickest releases in NFL history, unloaded and unloaded deep.

    Namath may have been the best with that skill — even better than Marino.

  73. 73 Anders said at 1:25 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles ability to maneuver the pocket and manipulate defenses is just so great.
    It is clear the Foles will never be able to make some of throws Marino or Rodgers are able to do because he do not have the elite arm strength, but guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have shown you do not need it if the head is elite and your ability to move in the pocket is elite.

    Yes, I sometimes wish Foles was more mobile because of the scheme, but I rather have an elite passer who can only get 4 yards on a keeper, than a guy who isnt a good passer, but can get 20 yards on a keeper (There was several times last year where a Vick would have gotten 20 yards when Foles maybe got 8-10 yards, but Foles is far superior passer)

  74. 74 Ark87 said at 1:38 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    To be fair, Foles wasn’t instantly great. He showed some promise in his rookie year but definitely didn’t establish himself as the QB of the future. By the eye he looks like a guy who has really cashed in on that sophomore growth. Strengthened his strengths and the weaknesses that he could.

    Statistically I’m not as mystified as everyone else. We see a guy who I would grade out as the second tier QB by eye with plenty of potential for growth, in an offense based around the run. It makes sense to me, most of his totals, even per game, are pretty pedestrian by modern standards. But his efficiency is tremendous. Take a talented guy and have him take it to a bunch of D’s with 8 in the box, history will be made. Traditionally if you have a 2nd tier QB, you build the offense around that QB, we don’t. That hurts his totals, and helps his efficiency. Makes sense to me.

    I guess I would argue that there has been a recognizable growth curve I could buy. Not just an out of nowhere anomaly. While the discussion may be fruitless, it is an opportunity to voice an opinion and discuss.

  75. 75 Dominik said at 1:56 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Great history lesson, as always, AC. But what it doesn’t take to account, imho, is the way the position and football overall has progressed. A guy like Rodgers, who was sitting for three years, is the exception nowadays, not the rule. So we should compare Foles as a young QB more to the young QBs since the millenium, Brady, Manning, Wilson etc. And it still looks pretty good for Foles.

    But, like I said, always interesting to learn some historical context.

  76. 76 ACViking said at 4:56 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    D —

    Totally agree.

    Much harder to be great fast in the old days.

    Great point.

    Should have put more context in there. That said, those old HOFers — even Joe Namath — had to be very special to put up great numbers.

  77. 77 Dominik said at 5:24 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    That said, those old HOFers — even Joe Namath — had to be very special to put up great numbers.

    No doubt about that. 🙂

  78. 78 eagleyankfan said at 2:02 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Namath great? must be a joke I missed.

  79. 79 ACViking said at 4:59 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    The man’s in the HOF for a reason. Before his knees caved he was the best gunslinger in the NFL.

    The Jets got old all at once. And his health fell apart.

    But I get the meme that Namath was a 1-game wonder . . . on the biggest stage in the biggest game of his career.

  80. 80 Media Mike said at 7:24 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Namath’s notoriety coupled with the tendency of ALL New York players to be overrated, rather than his stats, got him into the hall of fame. I cannot find a football, rather than a hype reason, to place him in the HOF over Ken Anderson.

  81. 81 Anders said at 7:28 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Ken Anderson should be in the HoF, but why does that mean Namath cant be in? There is a ton of guys who shouldnt be in based on that because Ken Anderson is better than a lot of the guys in and its a mystery why he isnt in yet.

  82. 82 Media Mike said at 7:30 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Beware of puking. Here are Namath’s career stats.

    Huge net negative in TD/INT ratio. Career losing record.

  83. 83 Anders said at 7:44 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I forgot win/loss was a QB stat.

    Remember Namath played in the dead ball era, so his stats wont look nice consider he played on a bad team.

  84. 84 Media Mike said at 8:17 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    It’s listed on his page, and that of every other QB, on Pro Football Reference…… so I consider that valid.

    Namath played 65 to 77, Staubach played from 69 to 79. They’re the two closest HOF players from that era I can find in terms of active years. Namath isn’t even close to Staubach when you look at their numbers side by side.

    I’ll never see Namath as anything more than a one moment in time, cultural icon, overrated NYC player who rode nonsense and unworthy stats into the HOF.

  85. 85 eagleyankfan said at 7:03 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    I’m with you on this MM. I always catch games on tv that were from the past. They never air one(that I’ve seen) that included Joe outside of that championship game. No, it’s not how base all my opinions. It’s just that if Joe was that great — why do I never hear about him outside of the SB? His IS a cultural icon – and that’s about it….

  86. 86 Jernst said at 10:06 PM on July 7th, 2014:


  87. 87 eagleyankfan said at 6:57 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    That was my point. I looked up his stats and puked. How else am I to judge someone who I haven’t seen play? I asked 2 older fella’s about Namath. Without question they said — YES — he’s HOF material. I still don’t get it. My memory of him is winning the SB and trying to kiss that lady on live TV – and that’s it. So I did look up his stats to get a feel and I found — well, not HOF #’s. (my view of HOF’s is probably different than most. I think it should be harder to get into — especially baseball HOF — but I get that it’s a “vote” — meaning it’s biased)

  88. 88 A Roy said at 9:59 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Where’s Elway fit in this equation?

  89. 89 eagleyankfan said at 2:21 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    great — not great — meh. I don’t care. Deliver a ring and we can talk. Until then — Eli Manning great? I’ll take 2 rings with a brutal QB over a GREAT qb with 0 rings….it’s about the bling ….

  90. 90 Tumtum said at 2:45 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    As soon as a QB wins a ring everyone proclaims them to be great anyway.

  91. 91 Baloophi said at 8:58 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Unless he is Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, or Mark Rypien.

  92. 92 SteveH said at 9:37 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    If Alex Smith ever won one he’d be in this category.

    Remarkable how in the ultimate team sport, the greatest quarterbacks are measured by how many superbowls their team won.

  93. 93 eagleyankfan said at 6:52 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    I think all the great qb’s who’ve never won a ring — would trade in any season stat, any record they own etc. for a SB ring.

  94. 94 anon said at 12:39 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    Eli had a historic season when he won the second ring — 14 come-from-behind victories in a season.

  95. 95 Phyxius said at 12:58 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    Hate this mentality.

    You want a ring? Get married.

  96. 96 eagleyankfan said at 6:50 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    Not sure what state you come from, but I’m already married and I’m not allowed to wed again.
    It’s ok not to like that mentality. What mentality do you prefer? I’m ecstatic to have a good team who never wins anything? Or, I’m ok watching the Giants win the SB?
    The ultimate goal of any nfl team(well, should be anyway) is to win the SB. If that’s not your goal why bother playing(or watching)? As a fan, my expectation is the same — win a SB. I wouldn’t care if you were the QB if you were to deliver the win. AFTER that, than we can talk dynasty. Until then “greatness” means squat.

  97. 97 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 2:45 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    There is a statistical analysis method by which you can estimate how likely a given event is an outlier if you assume the subject has a certain base ability. let’s say a batter gets a hit in 25 consecutive games. This would be very unlikely no matter how good the hitter is, but the better the hitter is, the less unlikely it is. a career .350 hitter is much more likely to do this than a .250 career hitter.
    This is useful when considering a sample size as small as Foles. If in his first season, a batter has a 25 game hitting streak, we can’t say if he definitely is a .350 hitter or a .250 hitter, but we can say he is far more likely to be .350 than .250.
    All of this to say that doing an exact estimate is beyond my abilities, but it is far more likely that Foles (in this system at least) will be a highly productive, even elite starter than washed out next year.

  98. 98 RIP Worms said at 3:07 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Foles 2013 season reminded me a bit of Tim Howard’s performance against Belgium. I watched the game on DVR after knowing that Tim Howard had played a historically great World Cup game at keeper. And yet, there were very few individual saves that had me saying, “Wow.”

    And then towards the end of the game (while Howard still had a clean sheet), color commentator Taylor Twellman (Taylor Twellman!) said something that changed my whole perception of Tim Howard’s game. He had just made a save and Twellman pointed out that he had not leaned the wrong way once all game.

    It was at that point, that I remembered that the most important part of playing keeper is positioning. Several saves that Howard made look routine, were routine only because he was perfectly positioned. He came off his line when he needed to, he stayed home when he needed to, etc. The average fan judges a keeper’s play by spectacular saves, but oftentimes a spectacular save is a byproduct of poor positioning.

    The parallel here is with Foles’s decision-making ability. Chip’s offense puts defenses in no-win situations. Most plays are designed with specific options to beat specific defenses. What you need is a point guard (Rajon Rondo?) to distribute the ball to the open man.

    As long as the QB makes the right decision, the throw itself should look relatively easy. If Foles is squeezing a rope into double-coverage on a 20-yard out, it likely means that he made the wrong read. It might be a more impressive throw than a WR screen, but it’s a lower-percentage decision.

    I think for the analysts who even bother to put on game tape, they see a guy making a bunch of pedestrian throws to guys that are open or single-covered. And they immediately throw out some tired cliche like “Checkdown Charlie.” The beauty of Foles’s game is all of the decisions and attention to detail (eye movement, coverage recognition, player matchups, etc.) that happen *before* the actual throw.

    All that said, let’s see him do it a few more years before we start putting him in Canton.

  99. 99 SteveH said at 3:38 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I like this analogy.

  100. 100 Birds4Life said at 4:21 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I agree with alot of what you said here. If Foles is fitting the ball in these tight windows or into double coverage, that probably means someone else is wide open.

    With your last statement though, we don’t have to put Foles in Canton. He is already in there for the game against Oakland. I forget which writer said it at the time, but he said it wasn’t a big deal because “Nick freaking Foles did it.” But Peyton Manning played them twice last year and I don’t remember him throwing 7 TDs against them. Foles did it in less than 3 quarters. I know that makes me look like a homer but I don’t care. Can’t wait for the season to start! I think Foles throwing 40 TDs and 10 INTs while winning the division is a successful season for him. And that should hopefully prove all his doubters wrong.

  101. 101 Dominik said at 5:05 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    As a huge soccer fan I can tell you: you’re dead on with positioning for Goalkeepers and how easy it looks sometimes, while it isn’t, really.

    Manuel Neuer, the best goalkeeper by far at the moment, doesn’t have many spectacular saves, because, like Howard against Belgium, he doesn’t have to fly that often. He positioned himself in a way he only has to move a little bit to make the save.

    You’re analogy to Foles is also a very reasonable and logic one, imho. Thing is: a goalkeeper can have 15 saves, all of them unspectacular, and still don’t have good positioning. Maybe the strikers are just shooting right at him, even if he positioned himself badly. I think that’s the part where you just have to wait and see if he can repeat a game like this – like we’ll do with Foles.

  102. 102 Baloophi said at 9:11 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Excellent observation. The baseball equivalent is when (if) Ben Revere makes a diving catch in the outfield and everyone gets excited, then you watch the replay and see him take two steps in the wrong direction before correcting himself. National media only focuses on the highlights – not the number of doubles he gives up by poor positioning and angles.

  103. 103 izzylangfan said at 3:09 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    When Michael Vick was with Atlanta the way to beat him was to use a mush rush or something to contain his running, then let him pass. Sooner or later he would throw a dumb pass interception right down the middle. He just didn’t really see the field or understand the defense.

    Well he goes to jail and afterwards the Eagles give him a second chance. Kevin Kolb gets hurt and Vick is back starting again. Well, the adrenaline is flowing and his senses are heightened and low and behold for 10 games he is amazing. But by the end of the season and for the next two plus seasons after that he is throwing those dumb interceptions right down the middle. This in spite of Mornhenwig’s best efforts to teach him the pre-snap reads and a whole bunch of other stuff.

    My point is that for eight or ten games someone can play above their true level, particularly if the situation is new and the adrenaline is flowing. So, we really need more information on Foles. To be sure, I am excited and hopeful as we find out the true nature of this young QB. Still his 2013 was more impressive than that first season by Vick. He did more than a few amazing things. What concerns me most is his efficiency below 2.5 seconds. We know that he takes a bit too long to release the ball. Perhaps the reason was that in 2013 his main target was DeSean Jackson who had trouble getting free from man coverage and who’s longer developing pass patterns forced Foles to wait. In addition the other wideout, Riley Cooper, had trouble getting open sometimes and Jason Avant did not fit Kelly’s system and may have been in decline anyway.

    But doesn’t it seem that Kelly is addressing these problems? DeSean and Avant are gone and Sproles is in the slot – I’m thinking to get open quickly and to be one of the options on Kelly’s double and triple option packaged plays. I’m thinking that Sproles will be running quickly to the area abandoned by the unblocked defensive end as he crashes down on Shady or something like that.

    So I think the keys for Foles and the offense are

    1. How does he improve since he seems honest with himself about his weaknesses.

    2. How does Kelly help him out with play calling,

    3. Getting better field position due to special teams, and

    4. The effect of new personnel.

    The positive effect of factors 1,2,and 3 are all but certain in my view. Factor four had some uncertainty relative to last year due to the loss of Jackson. But there are reasons for optimism there as well.

    What I would like to hear more of from you, Tommy, is what the Eagles offense will look like in terms of play calling and strategy. I know its early but there is some information to work with. I’m sure you have some valuable thoughts on the topic.

  104. 104 Media Mike said at 7:26 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    And RG3, and Newton, and Kaep.

  105. 105 anon said at 12:38 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    Vick was coached terribly under andy reid. Obviously hes not the best pocket QB but that’s what Reid tried to make him instead of trying to give Vick designed run options.

    In 2011 people just used a predator and brought pressure from the outside and Reid didn’t do a great job scheming for it or protecting him — he just mad more complicated and long developing plays and tried to remove the best thing about vick’s game. If Vick had CK from the start he’d have a much different career. I don’t think he’s the brightest apple on the tree but he could have learned the system.

  106. 106 SteveH said at 3:44 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    Going back to Tommy’s post about how our locker room seems to have a lot of good guys, here’s a little reminder that exceptionally talented yet low character players can be risky business:

    2 things jump out at me there: low-character or behavioral issue players can blow up in your face and Cleveland truly is a factory of sadness; they just can’t have nice things.

  107. 107 Baloophi said at 9:34 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    That’s not true – remember when the Indians won the whole f’n thing with Jake Taylor, Willie Mays Hayes, and a Jobu-less Pedro Cerrano?

  108. 108 SteveH said at 11:19 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    I’m still not sure that particular Indians squad qualifies as a “nice thing”.

  109. 109 ztom6 said at 10:12 AM on July 9th, 2014:

    I thought they just won their division?

  110. 110 mtn_green said at 6:15 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    IMHO, whether Foles is overrated is the wrong question. It involves speculations and the media gauging how much media is appropriate.

    Which QB would you rather have?
    That list is rather short, the best (Brady, manning, Rogers) are old and the younger (Luck, rg3, Wilson) are similarly flawed or too little starts to measure.

  111. 111 Sean Stott said at 7:45 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    This is the key argument imo. Who would you rather have?

    Let’s look at it REALISTICALLY. First the unquestioned best 4 QBs, in order. Would you rather have them?

    Rodgers – YES
    P. Manning – No thanks, too old

    T. Brady – No thanks, too old
    D. Brees – No thanks, too old

    E. Manning – No thanks for many reasons
    RG3 – No thanks, glass knees, small, not a team guy.
    Romo – Maybe 5 years ago. Too old, plus a back issue.

    Stafford – Eh, maybe. A bit reckless and inconsistent.
    Cutler – Foles is better.

    Cam Newton – Maybe. He would seem to be a good fit and has proven to be durable and a good thrower.
    Matt Ryan – I don’t know tbh.

    Kaepernick – No thanks. He is not accurate, first and foremost. No touch on the ball. SF lost the NFCCG because Kaepernick cannot throw a well placed ball.
    Wilson – I don’t know. Hard to tell with the team he plays on.
    Matt Barkley – Easy no.
    Carson Palmer – Easy no.

    On to the AFC…

    Flacco – Maybe. He’s a bit inconsistent as well though. I’d probably take Foles.
    Dalton – LOL
    Roethlisberger – 8 years ago, Yes. But he’s approaching the tail end of his career. He’d be a good fit though.

    Luck – I prefer Foles. Luck is very athletic though so that’s always a plus.
    Locker – lol, no.

    Rivers – Too old. Would have been an interesting fit though.
    Alex Smith – I see him as Nick Foles Lite. Not bad but not as good as Nick.

    Tannehill – Meh, Foles is better.

    Well, that’s it. People not mentioned are not worth mentioning.

    That is 1 single QB you would definitively take over Foles, who is Aaron friggin Rodgers. And 6 Maybes. All the others are easy No’s.

    Seems to me that he is already a very good QB, and when thought about long term you feel like he is an excellent QB that would be very hard to replace.

  112. 112 Anders said at 7:55 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    For me, it is very tough comparing Foles with guys like Tannenhill, Locker (who actually looked good last year before he got injured), Luck and Cutler because all have suffered from bad coaching and bad surrounding cast.

    How would any of those look in Kelly offense played with a top 5 OL and the best RB in the NFL along with some very good WRs and TEs?

  113. 113 Andy124 said at 12:31 PM on July 8th, 2014:

    Cutler? Take it back, Anders. Take it back.

  114. 114 Media Mike said at 7:03 PM on July 7th, 2014:

    What Foles isn’t is worse than Kaeper-nit-wit and Scam Newton, but Kempski just posted an article saying those guys are better fits for the Eagles.


  115. 115 Rage114 said at 8:13 AM on July 8th, 2014:

    Living in Boston, I get an alternate opinion on most topics. It just so happens that local sports radio was discussing the top quarterbacks in the league based on the recent ESPN article.

    Not once was Nick Foles even mentioned…even when discussing the next tier down from the top 4 or 5.

    The fact that he isn’t even on anyone radar should be enough evidence that he is not overrated by anyone.

  116. 116 shah8 said at 5:25 PM on July 8th, 2014:

    Wheee!! Was following a big typhoon, so missed this post when it was posted. May more controversy be stirred!

  117. 117 ztom6 said at 10:10 AM on July 9th, 2014:

    Everyone was saying Brady was overrated, didn’t pass the eye test, etc. after his second year too… and that was after he had just won the Super Bowl. How’d that work out?