Nick Foles celebrates after leading the Eagles to a 38-7 win in Sunday's NFC title game at Lincoln Financial Field. The backup-turned-starter went 26-for-33 with 352 yards and 3 TDs.
by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Not saying he's a better quarterback than Carson Wentz.
Not saying the team is necessarily better off with him at the helm.
But, am saying ... yo, the dude can play, and play well – sometimes exceptionally so.. That he ain’t no freakin’ game manager.
With that, don’t hate on those of us who have known that all along.
Throw disbelieving, “gotta play close-to-vest, perfect now” scaredy cats like yourself under the bus, not us.
Look, we get it. Nick Foles has that droopy, hang-dog exterior view to him with a matching, goobery, “How y’all doin’ ” way of speaking. But the sport, any sport, ain’t about that periphery, personality-based crap that often is misread anyway. It’s what happens between the lines.
Frankly, anyone who claimed that Foles had never given any evidence of being able to produce a Herculean effort like the one he put up this past Sunday evening, well, it’s time for them to take a gander in the mirror and admit, “hey, maybe I missed the boat on this guy, maybe I’m not this all-knowing evaluator of talent and predictor of how things will play out, maybe I’m off-base to accuse others who actually believed in the guy of lying and own that I’m a little too wrapped up in myself and way too caught up in first-impression superficial crap at times.”
You want frames of reference, huh? Then forget the stupid sound drops, misguided notions and, apparently, bad eyesight, and pay attention.
For starters, we’re not talking 10, 12, 15 years ago that Foles posted one of the all-time standards of efficiency and production for an NFL quarterback. It was four years ago that he earned “Mr. 27-2” recognition, and the following season – the apocalypse to his first stint in Philly – was hardly the nightmare it has been painted as being.
The guy produced a brilliant 27-for-41, 325-yard, 3-TD, 0-INT effort in a wild, 37-34 win against Washington in 2014. Even after he left town, Foles posted 125 passer-rating games for both the Rams and Chiefs in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Go to this year. Coming off the bench once Wentz went down, Foles did rally the Eagles to victory in L.A. He also tossed four TDs against the Giants next time out and that 23-for-30, 246-yard outing in the team’s playoff opener against Atlanta was hardly “nothing.”
Thing is, Foles has given a multitude of examples that he was capable of going off like he did against Minnesota. On national stages, no less.
The guy wasn’t exactly a stiff in college. During his time at the University of Arizona, the top three programs in the Pac-12 were Oregon, Stanford and Southern Cal.
Foles lit them up, all of them, every time he faced them. In nine combined starts against that triumverate in his three years running the show for the Wildcats, he threw for 3,079 yards and 24 TDs with just 6 picks while completing 64 percent of his passes. He burned each of them with at least one 400-yard, 3-TD performance, too.
Clearly, this is a guy able, if not prone, to go off in gawdy fashion at times.
Truth be told, if we’re talking just throwing the ball, he is better than Wentz. Hell, so is Sam Bradford.
By a lot.
Neither are better QBs, but they do pass it better – more accurate … short, intermediate and distance. If you really paid attention, you’d know the best ball during the Birds’ regular season was delivered by Foles to Nelson Agholor in mop-up duty of Wentz during that early November blowout of the Broncos. He tear-dropped that sucker perfectly into the receiver’s arms 35 yards down the right sideline. It was a thing of beauty.
So, spare us who knew about the guy, recognized his ability and acknowledged it, as to how we didn’t know and that we’re just jumping on board – like you are now.
Don’t blame us for your arrogance with not listening, and not knowing, before.
YO, FRAME THIS
Those questioning Nick Foles' background being a precursor to him producing in a big way such as last Sunday's NFC title-winning, 26-for-33, 352-yard, 3-TD effort against the Vikings may want to take a closer look at his career.
TOP OF THE FOLES Year-by-year 2017 Dec. 17 vs. Giants 24-for-38 (63.2%) 237 yards (6.2 per att) 4 TD, O INT 115.8 passer rating 2016 Oct. 30 vs. Colts 16-for-22 (72.7%) 223 yards (10.1 per att) 2 TD, 0 INT 135.2 passer rating 2015 Oct. 4 vs. Cardinals 16-for-24 (66.7%) 171 yards (7.1 per att) 3 TD, 0 INT 126.9 passer rating 2014 Sept. 24 vs. Redskins 27-for-41 (65.9%) 325 yards (7.9 per att) 3 TD, 0 INT 114.4 passer rating 2013 Nov. 3 vs. Raiders 22-for-28 406 yards (78.6%) 7 TD, 0 INT (14.5 per att) 158.3 passer rating 2012 Dec. 9 vs. Buccaneers 32-for-51 (62.7%) 381 yards (7.5 per att) 2 TD, 0 INT 98.6 passer rating 2011 Oct. 1 vs. Southern Cal 41-for-53 (77.4%) 425 yards (8.0 per att) 4 TD, 2 INT 162.1 passer rating 2010 Nov. 25 vs. Oregon 29-for-54 (53.7%) 448 yards (8.3 per att) 3 TD, 1 INT 138.0 passer rating 2009 Oct. 17 vs. Stanford 40-for-51 (78.4%) 415 yards (8.1 per att) 3 TD, 0 INT 166.2 passer rating
THIS AND THAT NICK Career NFL passer rating 87.4 *-Carson Wentz 88.7 1st year passer rating 79.1 *-Wentz 79.3 2nd year passer rating 119.2 *-Wentz 101.9 400-yard passing games 3 300-yard passing games 9 (1 postseason) 3-TD passing games 9 (1 postseason) 100+ passer rating games 19 (3 postseason) Career TDs 66 (5 in postseason) Career INTs 29 (0 in postseason) Record as Eagles QB 19-11 (2-1 postseason) *-Wentz 18-11