All-22: What We Saw From Foles This Week

Here’s the All-22 look at what we saw from Nick Foles and the Eagles’ offense last week (when they weren’t fumbling, that is).

Play 1: I’ve heard Greg Cosell of NFL Films talk about young quarterbacks sometimes deciding where they’re going with the ball pre-snap. That might have been the case on this 3rd-and-3 incompletion to Clay Harbor.


Harbor ran a go-route down the left sideline. But he was matched up one-on-one with cornerback Leon Hall. That’s not a favorable matchup for the Eagles. Situation here is also important. Foles had Bryce Brown at the bottom of your screen. It was 3rd-and-3. He probably should have taken the easy throw and moved the chains. Instead, the Eagles had to punt.

Play 2: One of Foles’ best qualities is sensing pressure and creating space while keeping his eyes downfield. We see it every week. On this first-quarter throw, you can see he’s got nowhere to go when he takes his initial drop.


Foles feels pressure from both sides as the pocket begins to collapse.


But he scrambles to his left, and Jason Avant does a great job of helping him out by scurrying towards the sideline. The result is a 25-yard completion.


Play 3: When evaluating Foles, we must acknowledge that he’s playing with a bunch of backups. There was one point last week where the offense was without 10 of its 11 projected starters from the beginning of the season. On this third-down play in the first, Foles just has nowhere to go with the football.


The receivers are blanketed, and the Bengals send a blitz. Jake Scott fails to switch off to No. 93, who is basically rushing free at Foles. He has to get rid of the ball quickly.


Foles targeted Cooper on a slant, but the pass was broken up. The Eagles wanted a flag, but didn’t get one. I thought the loss of DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy really showed in this game.

Play 4: Andy Reid admitted after the game that Brown probably didn’t need to bounce a few of his runs to the outside. I wonder if this was one he was referring to.


It was a delayed handoff in the first. You can see King Dunlap, Evan Mathis and Harbor have it blocked pretty well if Brown cuts upfield, but instead, he tries to get to the edge and is pushed out after a 1-yard run.

Keep in mind, I’m showing this image with the benefit of several replays. And even then, I’m guessing. It’s a split-second decision for Brown. Looked like he had room though.

Play 5: Love the play-call by Marty Mornhinweg in the second quarter. Love the initial execution. Didn’t love the finish.

The Eagles took a play out of their opponents’ playbook. We’ve seen the defense get burned by this on multiple occasions. They ran a fake screen to Damaris Johnson and got the cornerback responsible for Jeremy Maclin to bite.


Johnson and Foles did a good job selling it, and Maclin got free down the right sideline. But two things could have been done better. One is Foles’ throw. He made Maclin slow down and come back for the ball.



And the other, which I mentioned earlier in the week, is Maclin’s inability to make the defensive backs miss in the open field. Maclin does a lot of things well, but I don’t know if he has that one skill that sets him apart. Remember, he’s a free agent after the 2013 season.

Play 6: The Eagles had to settle for a field goal on a second-quarter drive, but had multiple opportunities to get in the end zone. Tough to blame Dion Lewis here. It looked like he initially had some room to the right, but if he cuts it back, he might score.


Play 7: And as much as we rip the Eagles for over-using the shovel pass, they probably would’ve scored had Brown held on to the football.


There was also Harbor getting stuffed at the 1 by a defensive back, Matt Tennant dropping a ball in the end zone and Dallas Reynolds being called for an illegal snap. In other words, Foles didn’t get much help from his teammates in the red zone.

Play 8: One more example of Foles having nowhere to go with the ball. This is off a play-fake. The Bengals send six at the quarterback and are in man coverage with one safety deep.


Everyone’s covered. Foles forced a short throw to Maclin that got called back anyway because of a holding penalty on Scott.

Play 9: I think Emil Igwenagu delivered the best lead block we’ve seen from an Eagles fullback all year. He starts out by chipping the defensive lineman.


Then Igwenagu gets to the linebacker.


Drives him back.


And takes him to the ground as Brown picks up 8.


Play 10: We’ve already been over the interception. Reid explained that it was a matter of mechanics, not arm strength. One thing to note: Maclin was not wide-open on the play. Take a look at the coverage at the time Foles released the ball.


Hall’s got a couple steps on him. On TV, it looked like Maclin ran past him because Hall slowed down and came back for the ball. Had the throw been better, maybe Maclin would have separated as Hall looked back. But obviously, it was a poor throw that got picked off.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Johngiam

    I was not down on Foles at all after the game. I feel like his teammates did him no favors. Another game of Foles hitting receivers in the head and chest with the ball. Every time Foles got some momentum going, one of his dope teammates dropped an easy ball,or fumbled it away. Abandoned the run in the second quarter…after the game, Foles was the last person I blamed, then again I didn’t go back and watch the game either like I did with every other game this season…. Anyone remember Peyton mannings rookie year? Luck and rg3 have spoiled people…Rookie qbs aren’t supposed to have success their rookie yeAr. They’re supposed to take a beating and go thru hell facing all types of adversity…the measu of a starting qb is how HE COMES BACK from that and ovcomes it in year two. First year success of recent qbs are skewing the way rookie qb should be judged. First of all, the sins tailored an entire offense around rg3…hell, we don’t even give our rookie a run game. Our rookie steps into a game, with a backup line starting against staring defensive lines, back up receivers and we ask him to chuck the ball 50 times. Comparing Foles to luck or rg3 or even russel and tannahill is not how to judge Foles. Every team is different, different systems, different talent…..there will be nothing that we see THIS YEAR that tells us FOLES can’t be our staring QB…but to really judge him to know for sure if HE CAN BE THAT GUY, we need to see how he comes back to overcome this mess next year!

    • Johngiam

      Sheil I wrote the above post before reading your Foles all 22 analysis…then I read it and it seems that you pretty much saw what I saw, FOLES doing NOTHING that says he cantne a franchise qb, and that his backup teammates did him no favors against a good, STARTING defense. Am I reading into this wrong?

      can we start our sign Jarius Byrd CAMPAIGN?

  • 1972

    Gotta love a tight end go route!!! lol can we please get this over with???

    • Pomo

      Bobby April is calling offensive plays- You didn’t know this?

  • Wilbert M.

    Foles wasn’t bad at all and did some things well. You have to be impressed with his pocket presence and he’s hitting guys in stride. After watching the Sanchez/Locker debacle Monday night, I’d say the Eagles are in better shape than several teams. Vick should head for the Jets – He’d be a nice upgrade from Sanchez.

    • Johngiam

      Foles was the last player to blame on the offense. As crazy as it sounds, he might have been our best player lol

      • southy

        have to agree. the only thing i saw that caused me concern was his inaccuracy on the long ball. he’s got to get that figured out. ‘course that’s probably way easier to do than say, improve your pocket presence/mobility or stick with your progressions in the face of pressure.

        • Johngiam

          we are. Asking too much out of a couple bad throws…that long ball throw isn’t a lesser throw just cause its preseason? His bombs were on point during preseason. I have no doubt that he will get the long ball ironed out

      • aub32

        How can you say that? Foles did throw a pick on a clearly under thrown ball. I am so tired of the rookie excuse. He is a poor deep ball passer. Maybe that gets fixed…maybe, but I have seen nothing that suggests otherwise. He under threw balls in preseason, but the opposing level of competition was bad enough that he got away with it. I do not think the kid is terrible, but he does not deserve to be given the job in 2013. I hope that he has some competition for the job, and I don’t mean bogus competition like someone who we have all seen fail and would easily except that Foles can play better than. I want legit competition like Vick, a starter via FA or trade, or a high draft pick, preferably Geno. I do not claim to know what Foles can be. I also realize that what many dismiss as “rookie mistakes” may not get fixed. We are unfamiliar in recent year of going through rookie QBs, but I am sure no one will argue that not every rookie progresses and fixes their “rookie mistakes”.

    • atlvickfan

      As a Vick fan I’d rather see him on almost any team other than the Jets. That team is a mess. The Vikings would be ideal.

      • The Guru

        Hahaha he’s going to Buffalo, Jacksonville, Arizona. Enjoy those franchises cancer

  • fastnbulbous

    Foles is definitely a work in progress, hopefully that progress will continue next year with a better/more healthy OL, TE and WRs and more balanced playcalling that takes pressure off him. I don’t see him as a guy who’s going to have success throwing the ball 50 times a game. A full offseason to work on his mechanics and footwork should eliminate those dead-duck throws we saw in the Cincy game.