Up-And-Down Debut For Nick Foles

 Nick Foles showed promise, and he showed poor decision-making. He demonstrated some decent pocket awareness and field vision in one moment, then was shaky in the next.

He looked, well, like a rookie quarterback making his debut.

The final line:  22-of-32  for 220 yards with a touchdown and an interception, good for a 85.4 quarterback rating. He also lost a fumble that resulted in a Dallas touchdown at the end of the game.

Foles was asked how he thought he did.

“Not good enough to win. I made some mistakes,” said Foles. “I can’t turn the ball over. That’s the most important thing to win games and I turned it over twice. It ended up being touchdowns. I can’t do that. But it’s a learning experience. I’m going to learn from it, get better and get back to work.”

The 6-5 Arizona product entered to cheers midway through the second quarter after Michael Vick exited with a concussion. The game was knotted at 7-7.

Foles had an odd first series. His first career pass, a quick hitter to LeSean McCoy, was actually ruled a run because the ball traveled behind the line of scrimmage. He followed that with a spot-on dart to Jason Avant, but the veteran receiver injured his hamstring on the play as the ball ricocheted right off his helmet, forcing the Eagles to punt.

The Eagles were conservative with the rookie signal-caller for the rest of the half, and he finished 3-for-5 for 18 yards.

“For not having practiced at all with the first group there I thought he came in and did some good things,” said Andy Reid. “There are some plays he would like to have back but he kept battling. He kept his eyes downfield — there were some positives there. We just can’t have the turnovers.”

His first big moment came two minutes into the third quarter as he found a wide-open Jeremy Maclin for a 44-yard touchdown. Foles bought a little extra time by moving up and to his right in the pocket. With his eyes downfield he spotted Maclin, who was all alone in the middle of the end zone.

In the process, Foles became the first Eagles rookie quarterback to throw a TD pass since A.J. Feeley in 2001.

A forgettable series by King Dunlap on the Eagles’ next possession forced the team to settle for a Alex Henery field goal. After wiping out Maclin on a wide receiver screen, Dunlap was flagged for illegal hands to the face, negating a nice Foles’ throw to Damaris Johnson deep in Dallas territory that would have set up a first-and-goal.

Dallas was able to tie it at 17-17 moments later courtesy of a 30-yard touchdown from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant. The refs, after review, upheld the call despite replays that appeared to show the ball grazing the turf.

Foles avoided disaster when his pick-six to Anthony Spencer was called off because of a defensive holding penalty on Dallas. Jay Ratliff forced the errant throw with pressure up the gut.

Disaster struck anyway thanks to a 78-yard punt return by Dwayne Harris with 13:52 remaining in the game, giving the Cowboys a 24-17 lead. The next Cowboys’ interception return for a touchdown held up. DeSean Jackson bobbled a throw that was thrown behind him. Brandon Carr scooped it up and ran 47 yards with 12:37 left to make it a 14-point advantage.

“I’ve got to give him a better ball, it’s as simple as that,” said Foles. “I have to give DeSean the ball right in front, right on him, so he can catch it and get up field. I have to be more accurate.”

There was no storybook ending in store for the kid. Foles did take the offense down the field on a 10-play, 77 yard drive and the Eagles cut the deficit to eight with a short touchdown run by Stanley Havili with 1:55 left. Henery missed the extra point, amazingly enough, and the onsides kick did not work.

Foles was clocked in the final seconds and coughed up the ball. Jason Hatcher recovered it for a touchdown, icing the game.

“I didn’t get the job done tonight,” said Foles. “I have a 24-hour rule with dealing with games and looking at film and the emotions of it. It’s an emotional game, you want to win every game and fight every game. It’s back to work.”

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  • James

    Hope all the fans calling for Vick to be benched are happy. Foles was terrible and so inaccurate. I hope Vick is back soon. The season is over anyway but he can actually hit receivers so we may win another game with him in.

    • Joe

      22-32 is “so inaccurate”?

      • JofreyRice

        My problem with his accuracy is his ball placement. He puts it “near” the receiver, but not to a good spot to make the catch, and continue the play. The slants are behind the receivers, which forces tough catches, or a worst case scenario, like what happened with the Carr INT touchdown.

        This is way too small a sample size to judge from. Anyone who is trying to say something conclusive about Foles already made their mind up before he took a snap today. The bottom line is that Vick is gone in 7 games, whether he plays or not. Foles is here. I think it’s more important to see what kind of progress Foles is capable of with 1st team reps.

        • SteveH

          Yeah the ball placement needs improvement. Could just be he needs to adjust to the speed of the game.

    • barry_nic

      James,
      He had a higher QB rating than Vick, and the int should have been a reception by Maclin. I hope you can learn a little more about football before you make a statement like that. By the way, he is a rookie with no snaps with the 1st team.

      • James

        Really? Vick had a rating of 127 when he got injured today and Foles finished with an 85. Good work champ.

        • vick hater

          James, didn’t you use to work for bad newz kennels….I thought so.

        • MAC

          Maybe look at his year’s stats and the fact offense has averaged 17 points a game with Vick. Foles put that up in less than 3 quarters with ZERO reps with Jackson or Maclin this week. That’s why ball’s behind most likely. I commented on Vick above. Read it and see he is mediocere.

          • James

            I love how all of the lemon fans seem to quickly forget there are other factors at work when the offense doesn’t score. Play calling? Receivers making mistakes, the line not doing it’s job? Take last week for example, Vick hit Celek and he dropped it and it went the length of the field for a touchdown. Not Vick’s fault is it? So it’s ridiculous to say that the lack of points being scored is because of Vick, I know he has been bad this year but the way the fans only blame one person is laughable.

    • Vick Hater

      not quite james you genius…..Foles did better than vick would have – your 10 year veteran who can’t remember how to recognize a blitz

    • limodriver2750

      I’m sure you were perfect on your first day on the job.

  • Corry

    He wasn’t great, but you can’t really expect an outstanding game from him coming in cold with no practice time with the 1s. He needs to improve and we should see that next week. If nothing else, we should get an idea whether not he can be a decent starter in this league.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    The biggest thing that Foles has over Vick is potential.

    • UncleCarm

      Adam, sometimes fewer words are better. We know what Vick offers. For the first time in many weeks I was optimistic. Reid has his problems, but Bobby April should be fired now.

    • saunhi

      Concussions, broken ribs, contusions, O-line issues requires SEVERAL QBs in waiting.

    • Run Eagles Run

      there are hundreds of college and HS QBs that have more potential than Vick. Vick has reached his potential. Unfortunately only one starter on the o-line us healthy. What a dumb statement.

    • James

      HA!

  • TDR

    Utterly critical to see what the kid can do. Cannot go into the offseason not having seen him – I’m thrilled he’s in and I didn’t think he played that badly. Clearly he had brainfarts (throw back across his body, spencer pick6 called back), but give the kid a week with the 1’s….. I’d rather see him finish out the year and know whatcha got.

  • Big Red Hater

    here’s every Eagles’ fans dream sequence
    fatso is in the middle of saying ‘better job’….Lurie walks up behind and screams ‘Shut the F up’ and fires him on the spot.
    (saw this on another blog tonight)

  • Nathan Winder

    Really? he came in cold with almost zero prep in a game against a decent Defense in his first NFL game and was at worst average. The guy showed us that he could be a very good QB with some seasoning.

  • daytoday

    Be careful what you wish for!! you wanted foles, well u got him, could have easily thrown 3 picks for TDs….and this is like the 20 article this guy Tim McManus has written about nick foles, do you have a crush on the kid or what? Not to mention all the times i heard him ask about foles in the press conferences….
    – Also be careful what you wish for if you want andy gone, lets all think about this whole situation clearly, 3 of our lineman are gone for the year, and another is now injured, even with that this team is able to move the ball up and down the field, just imagine what they would be able to do if our line was healthy….the defense has been playing better and better each week, are there problems on the team? YES but that doesnt mean they should fire andy cuz of it….last yr we could have easily won the falcons, bills, 49ers, cardinals games, which would have been 12 wins….last yr was a lockout yr and this yr is injurys……now i know most fans wont care about that, cuz they are just mindless and want andy gone, which is sad

    • rls255

      Well one thing is for sure, Foles didnt do any worse than Vick in past weeks. In fact he had a nice throw to damaris that woukd have been first and goal after game was tied if not for dunlaps boneheaded hands to face. Ive been a staunch AR supporter but the constant penalties that negate positive plays are getting awfully tireing.

      • daytoday

        - didnt do any worse? i have to disagree, he could have EASILY thrown 3 or 4 INTs and most of them would have been for TDs….not to mention some of the throws that could have got players hurt, (that shady screen for example)
        – since its a rookie, most ppl will give him a pass, but if vick had some of those throws ppl would be calling for his job, like they already were….
        – if anything i think these past 2 games have proved that this yr no matter who is the QB we cant win with this O-LINE, which is why i say andy shouldnt be fired, some changes made? yes, but fired? NO

        • MAC

          DAYTODAY if you want to keep Reid the rest of your opinions are dismissed. Also Foles put up more points than Vick has all year. He never throws to jackson or Maclin in practice so that explains in accuracy. he looked poised and no not great by any means but for a rookie against a good defense with worst o line ever on his debut i will take it. Also anyone who says Vick is struggling bc of o line I agree, but what happened last year when we had a good o line guys? He has 2 playoff victories in career. We have seen what he brings to table. Not enough is bottom line!!

          • daytoday

            tell me how many times has andy taken this team deep in the playoffs? so we get rid of andy and bring in who? gruden? after he won that superbowl how many years did he make the playoffs after that, let me know, Cowher, how many years did it take him to finally win one? all im saying is you dont know what you have till its gone, so be careful what you wish for….
            – i explained that last yr was a lockout yr and the team still could have won the falcons, bills, 49ers, and cardinals games, but our defense blew it…and this yr under todd they have improved every week and you cant deny that

          • James

            Foles put up more points than Vick has all year? Really? The Eagles had already scored 7 when Vick got injured and put up another 16 with Foles. Vick has put up more points than that this year, the Baltimore game, the Detroit game, the Giants game. Selective memory?

    • Christopher Adkins

      Daytoday, Micheal Vick COULD have thrown interceptions that could have ended the game in ALL three of the wins we have this year. To call a fanbase mindless because they are fed up with the not even mediocre play of a “talented” team is ridiculous. I have seen Andy Reid’s fall from productivity to ineffectiveness over the last 5 years. Take a risk! Andy was once a rookie head coach too, and was given the opportunity when the time was right. I do not understand how people can say that the time is not right for MAJOR changes with this team. We have seen horrific performances in offense, defense, special team, and roster management. Thre are no other areas left for this organization to fail. When that happens, you have to take a risk and TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

      • daytoday

        listen id be on board with this bandwagon IF the o-line wasnt missing 3 STARTERS for the yr and another one who is now injured,….if they were here and we were 3-6, id agree….but you have to take into consideration that injurys play a part in why this team is losing…..
        – and i said most fans are mindless, not all…..and the reason i said that is cuz what im saying is using logic, 4 starters out on the o-line= bad offense…..most fans just say, we keep losing, this team has no heart, etc

  • SteveH

    Well it was a solid beginning for the kid. Making long term projections based off a half of work is a little silly, but I thought he looked really good in certain aspects. He really took command of the offense, he showed good awareness making line checks and with audibles, he did a solid job with the hurry up for someone who has probably had next to no experience with it. He didn’t get rattled after that interception, he came right back and led a touchdown drive. Those are all positives. He can be very accurate and has good timing on some of his throws but others the ball placement is a bit off, wrong shoulder kind of stuff.
    All in all I think the kid handled himself well under the circumstances.

  • aub32

    Seems to me that Foles’ performance didn’t do anything for the argument for or against benching Vick. Foles did ok, but threw some really bad balls that the WRs made excellent catches. He did get rid of the ball quicker than Vick for better or worse. However, he didn’t do anything special. His TD to Mac looked exactly like what Vick did to the Saints when he had all day to throw to DJax. I think the choice between the two QBs is simple. If you are like, and still think the Eagles have a chance, Vick is the clear choice. He has made his mistakes but is still better than Foles for now. If you have given up on this season, then getting Foles a few games to learn makes sense. I do think Vick would’ve won the game tonight, but we will never know.

    • rls255

      I cant agree that vick woukd have won this game. Not with the penalties and punt return down the stretch. We would have lost even if montana was the qb tonight. The team failed on multiple levels at critical moments.

    • UncleCarm

      Hold your horses on the Maclin touchdown. If Vick had been in there, he would have felt that pressure on the left, looked to the right, saw all that open space and started running. Then he would have got 7 or 12 yards and fumbled the ball as he hit the ground. That is Vicks record these last two years. And what is up with our play calling? Dallas was jumping all those short routes. We needed to pump fake and throw it down field.

      • aub32

        I disagree. Vick did the same thing last week against the Saints when he had a lot of time. He stayed put, shifted a bit and found DJax for a wide open TD. In regards to the play calling, They had to throw it short. Foles doesn’t have command of the deep ball (we saw that in preseason) and do you really think our O line could’ve held up long enough to take shots down the field consistently?

  • fireandy

    Be careful what your wish for??? Vick is not coming back next season. He is due $16 million. The season is over, so what choice do you have. Foles looked like any rookie QB would, but i will tell you this: he made his reads, he stayed in the pocket knowing he was going to take a shot. Thats all you can ask for. Djax is a franchise WR, if the ball hits him in the hands he needs to make a play. Maclin is another one with alligator arms. The special teams suck, the oline sucks. Nhamdi and DRC are overrated. This team may be in a rebuild mode!!

    • aub32

      Vick isn’t coming back, but this season isn’t loss. The Giants have loss 2 in a row and there schedule only gets tougher from here. The Cowboys are only one game up and we play them again. Plus they have the Steelers and Saints left. Also, our players may be overrated but they are still good. DJax has been great this season, and there are plenty of teams that would love either of our two corners. The team isn’t all world like we thought, but there is talent tp build upon without blowing the whole thing up.

      • Brian

        If we had a healthy O-line, I might agree with you. But you just can’t win with Bell, Dunlap, Kelly and Reynolds all starting on the same line. We’re still mathematically in it, but this team just isn’t good/healthy enough to seriously be competitive.

        • daytoday

          i agree 100% if we had a fully healthy line with our pro bowlers on it, and we were 3-6 id be on board with getting rid of andy…but that is not the case, there are just to many injurys to overcome on this O line, this is not a fair look at how good of a coach andy is

    • Wilbert M.

      The ball got smacked before it hit D-Jax’s hands. Not his fault.

    • Wilbert M.

      Totally agree that Nnamdi and DRC are bad. Both have to go – no heart, no passion.

  • Run Eagles Run

    If some of you are ready to hand this franchise’s starting QB duties to Nick Foles, you are out of your mind. This team’s problem has not been the QB. The o-line looked the best the have in a few weeks, and vick would have won the game. andy reid is getting fired no matter if the season turns around or not. this o line and special teams are both horrid. everyone is so happy to get rid of vick, but what better option is out there? and if you say foles, you’re absolutely looney. AJ Feely looked good in this offense too.

    • MAC

      So why was Vick no good last year with a good o line? we have seen what Vick is capable of and it’s not enough. He has 2 career playoff victories. ENOUGH SAID. Foles is not suppose to be better than Vick who is a 10 yr vet and he is a rookie. we just want to see what he has to see if should get another guy. No one can know after 1 NFL game. He looked ok but was poised and led the hurry up well. He never practices throwing to Jackson and Maclin so timing will get better with that. The Vick experiment was a failure and it is par for the course on Vick career. Either way time to move forward.

      • Run Eagles Run

        Did they have a good line last year? Not the first half of last year. They did towards the end of the season, and vick looked decent. I am not a vick fan, but there are no QBs out there to take over for vick, so if certain fans want to hold out hope that foles is some lottery ticket, keep dreaming. Im not excited about the thought of having vick for another year, but Im not going to be happy if next year is rebuilding year. there is talent on this team, find a coach who can win. ELi manning is not a good QB, yet tom coughlin has won 2 Sbowls with him under center.

  • atlvickfan

    Full disclosure: as my screen name suggests, I am an Eagles fan solely because of Vick and I have no interest in seeing Foles play. With that said, Foles played OK for a rookie in his first game. He doesn’t deserve criticism for his performance. A lot of rookies have looked much worse.

    What his performance should clearly show, though, is that for those who think this team’s problems are fixed by changing quarterbacks, the issues on this team run FAR deeper than that position, and the criticisms about the O-line and playcalling are legitimate issues, not just excuses for Vick.

    Vick gives this team the best chance to win right now. If the Eagles want to punt this season and look to the future, Foles makes sense. Otherwise, he needs to be holding a clipboard when Vick gets healthy.

    • MAC

      READ comment above to Run Eagles Run. Same applies to you. It’s time to realize Vick’s career was exciting but that’s it. He really never reached potential and that is on him as he admitted in Atlanta he never studied film and relied on his athletic ability. Vick has worked hard in Philly I believe and I like him as a person but as a QB I will let someone else deal with mediocrity.

  • dislikedisqus

    For a guy with few first team reps, 68% completion and 7 yards ppa are pretty good. Yes there were mistakes but overall he did as well as one could reasonably hope.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    HE THREW 1 INTERCEPTION…SO STOP WITH HE COULD HAVE THROWN 3 OR 4…YOU SOUND STUPID…HE COULD HAVE THROWN 3 OR 4 TDS FOR THAT MATTER TOO…BUT HE THREW 1…REALITY IS THIS KID IS BETTER…AND ID RATHER WATCH HIM PLAY AND MAKE MISTAKES AND GET BETTER THAN A 32 YR. OLD QB WHO HAS BEEN IN THE LEAGUE 10+ YRS AND SHOULDNT BE MAKING THOSE MISTAKES…VICK ISNT GETTIN ANY BETTER…QBS GET BETTER WITH AGE..LOOK AROUND IT REALLY JUST TAKES ABOUT A HANDFUL OF YEARS TO MASTER…AND VICK IS CLEARLY STUPID AND CANT READ A DEFENSE, PICK UP A BLITZ, AND SEE THE WHOLE FIELD…HE WOULDNT HAVE EVEN SEEN MACLIN WIDE OPEN BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE LOCKED IN ON 1 RECEIVER AND OR TOOK A SACK FOR A 9 YARD LOSS…AMAZING NICK DIDNT GET SACKED TILL 4TH QUARTER…HE STAYED IN THE POCKET..DIDNT LEAVE AND WHEN IT BROKE DOWN ..SCRAMBLED TO MAKE A PLAY AND THREW THE BALL AWAY WHEN NOTHING WAS THERE…QB 101…BUT YOU CANT EXPECT VICK TO UNDERSTAND…HE HURTS YOUR TEAM…AND IS A COACH KILLER…MEANWHILE NICK DROVE THE EAGLES ON 2 TD DRIVES AGAINST A PRETTY NICELY RANKED DALLAS DEFENSE…AND VICK COULDNT EVEN DO THAT AGAINST ONE OF THE WORST DEFENSES IN NFL HISTORY IN THE SAINTS LAST WEEK…NICK CONVERTED IN REDZONE..WHERE VICK TURNS BALL OVER…EVERYONE KNOWS YOU PROTECT BALL AND PLAY SMART IN REDZONE….VICK DOESNT SEE IT THAT WAY…LET THE KID PLAY..STOP TO ALL THE VICK APOLOGISTS

    • aub32

      I don’t get the all caps, just makes it annoying to read. As far as the he could have thrown 3 picks defense, I only hope you were also defending Vick in the Cleavland win. All you heard after that game was how Vick could’ve thrown 6. I don’t consider myself a Vick apologist, but I don’t see how anyone watches that game and thinks Foles is a better QB than Vick is right now. You seem to have a bias against Vick (probably why you went all caps) and you have a right to be frustrated. However, when Vick had the same time Foles had in his TD against the Saints, he found DJax for a TD. I really don’t get how many fans forget that. Foles did ok, just ok. He had several drives kept alive by penalties, and a INT reversed. My guess is had Vick done the same you would condemn him. Also, protecting the ball shouldn’t be just for the red zone. Foles did fumble, and it was in our own endzone. Once again, had Vick done this, fans would be livid with him. Lastly, there are plenty of QBs who never master the game and don’t make it to even where Vick is. So calling him stupid is just ignorant on your part. Pretty sure you have never played QB in the NFL, so let’s not surmise it’s easy to read defenses because you can do it on Madden or after being shown a play in slow motion.

    • limodriver2750

      Turned past his comment. Caps lock was too annoying to read. It reveals too much about the author.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    Foles looked Ok, but can he take the consistent pounding he’s sure to take substituting for Vick. Also, expect the blitz and from what I saw yesterday Foles isn’t a good passer on the move.