Eww…(can I stop there?)
Let’s put aside everything else from today’s game for a moment and focus on the biggest issue: the complete, shocking, inexplicable, incompetence of Nick Foles today. The WRs deserve some blame for dropping catchable balls, the O-Line deserves some blame for not protecting better, and Chip Kelly deserves a lot of blame for not calling the game like he should (Play-Action dammit!). However, Foles was awful, and will rightfully shoulder most of the blame for today.
As a supporter of Foles, where does that leave me? Disappointed, obviously, but not as despondent as some may have expected. Let’s do this in bullet form.
– People who are writing off Foles after today are clearly falling victim to confirmation bias. They’re convinced he can’t play, and today was an overwhelming affirmation of that sentiment. HOWEVER, just as 1 great game (last week), didn’t warrant proclaiming Foles “the future”, one terrible game doesn’t warrant throwing him away. Simply put, 1 game can NEVER be held to mean that much. Like everything else, we need to assimilate it into what we already know about Foles, then adjust our expectations accordingly. So it definitely hurts, but let’s not go crazy here.
– I feel compelled to remind everyone that the case for starting Foles was not entirely (perhaps not even largely) built upon Foles’ being good. The case for Foles was that A) he’s an unknown, and we have to know, so play him, B) Mike Vick is not a long-term answer, so starting him for a non-contending team is useless, and C) if Foles is good, you have an asset, if he sucks, you have a good draft pick.
Given the divisional competition, you could maybe convince me that the “contending” bit is debatable, but the fact remains, playing Foles still seems to make the most sense.
– Today’s performance was very….confusing. Foles has weaknesses, no doubt. The problem is that today, his issues came almost entirely from what we though were his strengths. He was woefully inaccurate. He lacked the poise we’ve come to expect. He didn’t move as well in the pocket as we’ve seen before. He didn’t take advantage of open underneath receivers or “what the defense gave him” in common NFL analyst parlance.
I have no particular insight as to what happened, which is why it confuses me. If he was victimized on poorly thrown deep-balls, I’d get it. If he was sacked a bunch of times because he’s slow, I’d get it. This though? WTF…Maybe he was actually injured (skeptical), maybe he just had a terrible day (possible), maybe the “pressure” of starting in a big, meaningful game got to him, maybe he left his contact lenses at home and couldn’t see (does he where glasses?) Regardless, it was either a fluke, or he can’t play in this league.
– Temporary end to the “QB Competition”. Despite what I think is best for the long-term future of this team, it’s clear what Chip Kelly thinks. Michael Vick is the starting QB. I should note, though, that even if Foles played well, I think we’d see Vick back in there when healthy. The reason I said “temporary” above is because we kind of have to assume that Vick will be injured again before the end of the season. We haven’t seen the last of Foles.
– Foles didn’t turn the ball over. Doesn’t mean much, given that he didn’t complete passes to his own team either, but it’s pretty remarkable that, given how awful the game was, he didn’t actually throw a pick or fumble the ball. Matt Barkley provided a good illustration of what really bad QB play will do to you….keep that in mind when judging Foles.
That’s all I’ve got on Foles. Maybe the All-22 will shed some light on the subject. In the meantime, remember:
– Dallas looked pretty bad as well, so the division race is still wide open.
– The Eagles play the Giants and Raiders the next two weeks….they could be back in first place sooner than you think.