Nick Foles has managed to overcome so many obstacles this year in order to become the most controversial figure in the Eagles discussion. He had to beat out some strong competition from Lesean McCoy’s impossibly strict party bus regulations, to Riley Coopers drunken racism, to Desean Jackson pouting over pretty much anything that doesn’t go his way, to Nate Allen still being a starter. But through all of these distractions and insanity, Nick Foles has found a way to beat them all (along with the record books any time he faces a team with a sword in their logo).
It goes without saying that quarterback drama will always dominate sports talk since it is the single most important position in sports. And Nick “HOF” Foles has provided so much material to question and debate the quarterback choice. Instead of going through all of these reasons and spouting out more idiotic symphonies of praise or hatred on Foles, I want to take a look at some of the more pointless arguments I have heard as to why Foles is not deserving of being our starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
Before we get into this post, I want to preface it by saying that I do NOT think that Foles is our franchise quarterback. However, I am all for him to be our starter for the rest of this season and try and prove me wrong. I would love to be wrong on this point since it would almost guarantee the Eagles are a playoff team! (But in the NFC East, who the fuck cares about a franchise signal caller since it looks like 7-9 will win the division)
So without further ado…first idiotic reason people try and give me as to why Nick HOF Foles shouldn’t be our fearless leader.
- Nick Foles is too slow to run the Chip Kelly fast paced offense. This seems to be everyone’s favorite argument against Foles since he is so slow he might as well just march out onto the field in a hoveround to gain some mobility. Let’s just take a basic look at this by valuing our quarterbacks based on how well they can run Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense. Michael Vick has started 4 games this season, not including the Giants games since he left both of those games before they were decided. Foles has played the majority of 5 games this season, not counting the Broncos game but including the first Giants game since he played a large majority of that game. So far on the season, Mike Vick has been our fearless leader for 322 offensive snaps, which have resulted in 1,523 total yards from Vick (1,215 passing yards and 308 Vick rushing yards). Meanwhile, Nick Foles has been under center for 287 snaps while accounting for 1,336 total yards (1,256 passing yards and 80 Foles rushing yards). Break those total numbers down by yards per snap for each player, and Vick produces 4.73 yards per snap while Foles puts up 4.65 yards per snap. Basically the exact same production from both players, with the only noticeable difference coming in terms of point production. Vick has accounted for 7 touchdowns (5 passing and 2 rushing) while Nick Foles owns 17 touchdowns (16 passing and 1 rushing). That means, on this very basic scale, Vick produces a touchdown on 2% of his snaps. Nick Foles, gets a touchdown on just under 6% of his snaps. So, while Chip Kelly may want a mobile quarterback to run his system, he does not necessarily need one to effectively run his system. *[Stats from Football Outsiders and ESPN]*
- Nick Foles can’t be a franchise quarterback because he could not beat out Mike Vick in the preseason. I was listening to the radio and heard one of the most ludicrous arguments ever. It was that Nick Foles can’t possibly be the Eagles franchise quarterback because he couldn’t beat out Vick in the preseason. Franchise quarterbacks like Luck, Brees, and the Mannings beat out their competition in their first year with the team. That’s how their teams knew they had their guy. Well, this was so stupid, I felt like I should justify it with a response since the anchor on the radio basically just passed on it. (Seriously, how he passed on just tearing into this comment is beyond me, he has more power than any mere mortal man) The reason why this comment is so stupid to me, is because Luck and both Mannings were the first overall pick in their drafts, with Peyton and Andrew being once in a generation type quarterbacks, while Eli set some serious records at looking pathetic and constipated at the same time more than any other player (here he comes Canton!!!!!!!). Brees was drafted in the second round, 32nd overall by San Diego in 2001. In 2001, Brees couldn’t beat out Doug Flutie, who was a dominating QB that year throwing 15 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Then, there is Colin Kaepernick, the 36th overall pick by the 49ers in 2011. I bring him up just because he is the go to quarterback everyone says they would want for the Eagles. In 2011, Kaepernick couldn’t beat out Alex Smith until week 6, of 2012. Nick Foles, on the other hand, was the 88th overall pick in the 3rd round in 2012. He couldn’t beat out Mike Vick, the first overall pick in 2001, the second runner up in MVP voting in 2010, and icon to most of the players on our team. In 2013, Nick Foles lost out to Vick on two plays, the interception he threw in the end zone and the fumble he lost on the sack. Even still, he would have beat out Vick if Vick wasn’t playing out of his mind this preseason moving the ball and avoiding turnovers like the French dodge showers. All this is to say, Foles got into action in a way more impressive fashion than pretty much any of the franchise quarterbacks in the league (except Brady, who is just the weirdest case of a Hall of Fame quarterback being passed on in the draft, what the hell Mel Kiper?!)
- We can’t run the ball with Foles in since no defense respects his running ability. This point has some validity to it since Vick can stretch the defense and every running back plays better with a running quarterback. However, the disparity between Lesean McCoy’s production with Vick and Foles is not as bad as most people think. With Mike Vick as the starter, weeks 1-4, Lesean McCoy posted 468 rushing yards on 78 rushing attempts, which is an average of 6 yards a carry. In all other games this season, (which I know Barkley started a couple games, but he is basically just as mobile as Foles and has only run the ball twice on the season, supporting the idea that he is a pocket quarterback just like Foles), McCoy has put up 464 yards on 115 carries. That is an average of just over 4 yards a carry. So, yes, McCoy has been less productive as the running back without Vick. But, even with Foles, McCoy posts a better yards per carry attempt than Doug Martin (3.6), Chris Johnson (3.6), Trent Richardson (3), and anyone on Baltimore, but that isn’t anything to be proud of. Point is, this is a somewhat valid point, but it is not a strong enough point to keep Foles and his 16 touchdowns to 0 picks out of the equation as out franchise quarterback.
Instead of freaking out and saying Foles is terrible and should not be counted on as our starter going forward, lets just let the season play out and then judge him.