The Eagles are 11-2, and need to win two of three games against the Giants, Raiders and Cowboys to clinch homefield throughout the NFC playoffs. If reading this article, you already know the team will have a new quarterback for its 14th game — back up Nick Foles.
Here is the good, bad and ugly from Foles’ career up to this point:
Everyone knows these stats. In 2013 Foles —drafted by the Eagles a year earlier — took over the Chip Kelly offense and not only led Philly to it’s most recent playoff berth (a first round exit in a loss to New Orleans) but he also posted a then record touchdown to interception ration of 27-2.
“When I looked at what Nick has done in this league, to throw seven touchdowns in a game, to throw 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in the course of a year, that’s pretty freakish,” Eagles offensive coordinator and longtime NFL back up quarterbac Frank Reich said. “Good for us that we have a backup quarterback that’s done that. I mean, that’s crazy.”
Foles was helped by a dyamic offense, boasting DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, along with the best offensive line in the NFL that year. Even still, his string of success came in the toughest league in the toughest position in sports. It still deserves praise.
Foles, 28, bopped around to two other franchises after the Eagles moved on from him in 2015, playing for the Rams and the Chiefs. He has had enough reps in the NFL to qualify as a wily veteran and has a winning record in the NFL, 20-16, which is no easy task.
In his career Foles has 56 touchdowns and 27 incerceptions, also an impressive ratio. His completion percentage — a hair over 60 percent is average.
He’s not Carson Wentz
Filling in for Wentz will be a tall task. Afterall, prior to his injury — and throwing his Eagles’ record 33rd touchdown pass — he was a leading MVP candidate. There is no way Foles can act with the same agility and creativity as Wentz did. The spectacular highlight plays will look a lot differently for Foles. Sure, he does have Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and a bevy of other potent weapons at his disposal, but there will be a different feel behind center. The magic has been replaced by a slightly better than average back up.
Was 2013 an abberation?
If you take away Foles’ incredible 2013 accolades, his career touchdown to interception ratio falls to 29 to 25. He’s never started more than 11 games in a season and is a back up in the NFL for a reason. If Foles was a one-trick pony, he will show his true colors in the playoffs with the Eagles.
Don’t forget 2015
Foles says he mulled retirement after a disastrous 2015 season with the then St. Louis Rams. That year he did not throw a touchdown pass in his last five games and had a quarterback rating of a mere 69.0.
“I sat there and talked with my wife,” Foles said. “You go through a lot of emotions. Changing teams, being traded, going there, going through that year, and once I was a free agent, we just sort of sat there and said, ‘Hey what do we want to do?’ It was the first time I had been a free agent in my career and it was the first time I had to make a decision because I was drafted and traded. I was leaning toward not playing and stepping back.”
Andy Reid came to the rescue, talking Foles into playing as a back up with the Chiefs last year.