Nick Foles is a pretty smart young man. He is humble and shows good self-awareness. He is willing to take the blame when things go wrong and he seems to understand why things went wrong, which is always important.
But there are times on Sundays when he makes you want to pull your hair out and scream “WHY???”.
Foles threw a pair of INTs on Sunday night that were just awful.
* 1st/10 – from the Giants 16 – up 20-0 … It is freaking 1st down. Throw the ball away. You’re already in scoring position. Foles threw to Sproles quickly and didn’t see that he was covered. Foles has to know that things are condensed in the Red Zone. You can’t assume someone on the backside will be open because they were on previous plays. It is better to be safe than sorry in that situation.
* 3rd/5 – from the Eagles 35 – up 20-0 … Chip Kelly said he thought Foles might have been trying to throw this ball away, but it sure looked like it was headed right for Jeremy Maclin. Foles has got to have better situational awareness. When you are up by 20 points, don’t force things on 3rd down. Punt the damn ball. Punts can be our friend. They aren’t all bad. The defense and Tom Coughlin bailed Foles out on this, but he’s too smart to be making mistakes like this.
So what’s happening?
Over the course of the weekend I saw a slew of awful INTs. Colin Kaepernick made the worst decision of them all on MNF when the Niners were in the RZ and he basically threw a pass up for grabs while being slung to the ground. Amazingly, it wasn’t picked off. And he was bailed out by a penalty anyway, but that might be the worst QB decision of the year.
It seems like young QBs are just forcing things when they don’t have to. It’s one thing to not see a defender on a play over the middle or for a Safety to make a great pick on a deep throw. I”m talking about QBs throwing a pass when there is literally no way the outcome can be positive.
I wonder if part of Foles problem is not his background. Arizona was a mediocre team during Foles time there. As a Senior, Foles led the team to 31, 41, 27, 31, 21 and 29 points…in losses. That team was desperate for every point they could get. Foles had to take chances. He had to force things.
Foles is now part of an elite offensive unit. He has playmakers all over the place. There is no reason to force things in the average game. There are going to be times when the Eagles are struggling and he has to do that, but Sunday was just the opposite. The team was dominating. You have to adjust your QB brain setting to “We’ve got a big lead…play smart”.
There is plenty more to discuss with Foles and some areas he needs to improve. I can live with a lot of things, but not the QB being dumb, especially when he’s a smart guy. Foles knows better. He’s got to start playing smart. The Eagles won’t always be able to pitch a shutout (still sounds so beautiful, huh?).
And don’t turn this into “Foles sucks, we need to bench hm” or “Why is everyone so hard on Foles”. He is a good young QB that is working through some issues. I have no problem with being patient. All QBs need time to develop. Theses brain lapses should be easy to fix, in theory. Footwork and mechanical issues often have to wait for the offseason.
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Great news about Darren Sproles. The Eagles have a bye this week and Sproles will be evaluated week-to-week after that. It is possible he won’t miss any time, but more than likely will miss a game or two. Based on what Michelle Tafoya said on Sunday night, it sure sounded like the initial check on the field meant bad news, possibly a torn ACL. The medical staff did a further check in the locker room and that led to the conclusion that this was an MCL sprain. And a mild one from the sound of it.
The Eagles can get by without Sproles for a week or two. Losing him long term would have been a huge problem. Sproles has been a big time playmaker this year and you just can’t afford to lose those guys during the season.
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Vinny Curry had 4 sacks last year. He’s already got 4 this year. The coaches know how to use him this year and Curry is making plays.
The funny thing is that a couple of those sacks are gifts. One time he was unblocked. Another time the QB ran out of bounds and Curry was the closest defender. Curry has nothing to apologize for, though. He is incredibly disruptive on a regular basis. Sometimes he draws penalty flags. Other times he gets held, but there are no calls. Sometimes Curry forces the QB to move or rush a throw. Curry shows up on tape.
It will be interesting to see if he wants to leave in free agency so he can play in a 4-3 or if he’s now happy as a backup / specialist in the Eagles 3-4 scheme.
The DL and OLBs are playing well this year.
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I loved the reverse to Josh Huff on Sunday. Okay, the execution was bad, but I loved the call. Sproles tossed the ball under his off arm and the ball hit the arm. Ugh. I really wanted to see Huff on the move with the ball. He had good RAC skills at Oregon. It would be nice to have another player to get the ball to on short throws who can then make things happen.
I hope that stays in the playbook.
The Eagles tried to get the ball to Huff on the final offensive play. He just dropped the quick screen. I think Huff is dying to make something happen and his lack of playing time and touches is killing him. He had one big play in every Oregon game last year. Huff did have some good blocks and some good moments on STs so he’s at least willing to do the dirty work. A lot of young players struggle with that concept.